Silver Dog Collar – Historical Sew Monthly

Silver Dog Collar - Historical Sew Monthly

I’ve finally finished the silver dog collar for challenge 10 of the Historical Sew Monthly! 😀

1900s silver leather dog collar

Victorian and Edwardian dog collars were often made of silver, white metal, brass or copper with leather on the inside.

antique silver dog collar

Antique dog collars had slots in the metal and an eye plate, and were closed with a matching padlock.

edwardian silver dog collar

My main inspiration was this pretty brass dog collar on an equally pretty black Labrador. At first I also wanted to use brass but then I thought silver would look even better with the black fur of my dog. But as real silver is so expensive I decided to use nickel silver which was also used for antique dog collars.

victorian silver leather dog collar

My other inspirations were this 1860s silver dog collar and this 1850s silver dog collar. And here’s an antique painting of a dog with silver dog collar lined with red leather, and a ca. 1840-50s painting of two dogs: the beige-colored dog wears a brass and leather dog collar.

silver dog collar

I used a 4 x 60cm nickel silver sheet. The holes and the slot are bored with a drill. Then I filed the edges and the slot smooth with metal files, sandpaper and steel wool; and bent the nickel silver sheet with a rubber mallet and a tree log, and later by hand.

silver dog collar

Some antique Victorian and Edwardian metal dog collars have creased or folded edges but not all.

1900s silver leather dog collar

At first I wanted to engrave the dog collar with my dog’s name – antique dog collars often have the dog’s name, owner’s name and address or a saying engraved – and lines along the edges, but I’m not skilled enough yet with my new metal graver. And I didn’t want to ruin the dog collar. 😉

silver dog collar

Antique dog collars usually had leather on the inside to protect the dog’s neck. The leather and metal was joined together with rivets.

black leather dog collar

I used scraps of vegetable tanned leather which I dyed black naturally. Then I sewed the leather pieces together …

german silver black leather dog collar

… and punched holes for the book screws.

german silver leather dog collar
Edwardian silver hairbrush & mirror and 1920s marcel wave iron

But the leather was too thick at the closure of the dog collar so I had to cut off the thick leather …

black leather dog collar

… and attach a piece of thin black leather.

edwardian silver dog collar

Because the DIY dyed leather is hidden behind the metal, the dog collar is my entry for challenge 10 – sewing secrets of the Historical Sew Monthly.

It took so long to make the dog collar because I hadn’t the right tools. With the right tools I think it would just take a couple of hours. And the collar is really heavy, much heavier than modern dog collars. So the silver dog collar isn’t an everyday dog collar; my dog wore it just once for the photos.

vintage silver dog collar

The dog collar is closed with a stainless steel shackle instead of the usual padlock because I couldn’t find a silver padlock in the right size.

silver dog collar-10

I even found Edwardian instructions for making metal dog collars! 😀 ‘Cut a strip of brass 1 1/2 in. wide, and equal in length to the circumference of the dog’s neck, with an additional allowance for lap at the end, as shown at A B (Fig. 1). Punch two small holes at the opposite end, into which the ends of the wire staple (Fig. 2) will fit, and also punch out the slots at the end AB […] the collar could be fastened with a small padlock.’ (Cassell’s Cyclopaedia Of Mechanics, 1900)

victorian silver leather dog collar

Challenge: 10 – sewing secrets

Fabric: nickel silver sheet, black leather

Pattern: my own

Year: Victorian or Edwardian

Notions: stainless steel eye plate, dog collar terret, shackle and book screws; black linen and cotton thread

How historically accurate is it? Very accurate (apart from the book screws – I don’t know if they were used for dog collars)

Hours to complete: much more than I thought 😉

First worn: today for the photos

Total cost: 43,50$ / 39,99€


I also made a natural 100% linen dog collar and rope dog leashes. And here you’ll find how a dog was fed in the Victorian and Edwardian era: History of dog food.

11 thoughts on “Silver Dog Collar – Historical Sew Monthly

    1. Hi,
      yes, I’d be willing to make such metal dog collars for your dogs. However, the costs (including the required working time) for one such dog collar would be about 300€ + postage. And be aware that these metal dog collars are very heavy: I don’t think they are suitable for an everyday dog collar. If you’re still interested in buying these metal dog collars, I can give you my email address for further communication.

  1. OMIGOSH thank you soooo much for posting about this! I’ve been searching for instructions on solid metal dog collars for *ages* and couldn’t find any modern equivelants. Thanks you for the links *and* for your experience making one :3

      1. I’m hopefully starting up a vintage and antique collar business. I love the old style ones with locks and plain decorations but can never find any.

  2. Very nice look for the dog collar. It looks something a punk rocker would have worn in the 70’s. I love how you research these things and get them so accurate.

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