How to make a Dog’s Martingale Collar

So far, my adventures in sewing with my new Brother JS1700 have included making a convertible and detachable dog bandanna, a standard dog collar and a 4-in-1 dog collar.

The one thing I hadn’t reverse engineered yet was a Martingale Collar. This is a type of collar that is comfortably loose around the dog’s neck, but which tightens when the dog pulls. If fitted correctly, it doesn’t hurt the dog’s throat but serves to remind it that it’s going ahead too fast. It was originally designed for sighthounds such as greyhounds, whose heads are smaller than their necks, which meant that standard collars would just slip off.

Here’s Wikipedia’s description of a Martingale collar:

Aestheticaly speaking, I like the Martingale collar for the simple ingenuity of its design. For practical reasons, however, I prefer using a no-pull harness, which takes away ALL pressure from the dog’s vulnerable trachea.

Anyway, seeing as I’ve managed with my fledgling sewing machine skills to create other types of dog accessories, I figured why not have a go at making my own Martingale collar?

Reverse engineering to the rescue again! I’m using an old Martingale collar I’ve sacrificed in the name of research. I found it in my local thrift store, amongst a whole heap of belts, while scavenging for hardware such as buckles, D rings, O rings, snap hooks etc. It’s amazing what you can find at thrift stores. I have a Yellow and a White Belt in Karate, and I mean this in the literal sense, not that I’m a martial arts exponent 😄:

And here it is again, deconstructed and taken apart:

To make my own Martingale collar, I used webbing from Spotlight. I only had it in a 25mm width, and the hardware for this collar was for 20mm webbing. So I trimmed my 25mm webbing down to 20mm, and ran my candle lighter along the raw edges to seal them shut again. 

So here’s my webbing, the hardware cannibalised from the old collar, and my fabric of choice.

To make the collar, I wrapped and pinned my fabric all round the webbing, then sewed along both edges to secure. I double-sewed each edge, for added durability.

Here’s the collar, ready to be assembled.

Okay, I made a small boo-boo with the shorter strap. I cut too close to the selvedge, you can see where the printed label is showing. And I cut my fabric too narrow so there was one part where the webbing just wasn’t covered up completely. So that piece was chucked in the bin and I ran another one up quickly to replace it. Easy peasy. 

Assembling the Martingale collar was relatively easy, as I’d already noted its components and construction in the deconstruction of it. Here is the completed collar.

And it fitted well on Shelagh. 

Shelagh looks really naked without a collar round her neck. This collar is sweet and does the job, but I reckon Shelagh would look even more awesome with a broader collar. I might make another collar for her, but this time I’ll double the width. Finding bigger hardware might be a challenge, though. But watch this space! 😉

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