Golden West combines my interest in Hank Snow, country music history and westernwear. I make mostly western style clothes in my workshop in Guelph, Ontario, Canada.
I lived in many different places before coming to Guelph, which isn’t listed in The Singing Ranger Hank Snow’s ode to being itinerant, “I’ve Been Everywhere”.
Creating Golden West also led me to a 1930s Singer 114w103 chainstitch embroidery machine.
One of the many things I like about vintage westernwear is its dependence on details like piping and embroidery, which aren’t always adaptable to mechanized mass production.
Hand tailoring is the only way.
In the 30s and 40s, rodeo stars, movie stars and country singers popularized the style, and western tailors like Rodeo Ben and Nathan Turk, Fay Ward and Jack Weil popped up all over America.
And in the late 40s, Nudie Cohn, a tailor who had been looking for his niche, found it in becoming the most famous rodeo tailor of them all.
Here’s Hank Snow in a sparkling Nudie suit, with the Rainbow Ranch Boys: