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Definition of 'chaps'

For other uses, see Chaps disambiguation. Retrieved 24 October Archived from the original on 12 January There is no reason we can't have it ' ". Retrieved 10 November Retrieved from " https: They protect the upper legs of farriers from getting scratched or cut up in the process of shoeing or otherwise treating the hooves of horses.

Some designs have a breakaway front for safety while working. Woolies are a variation on shotgun chaps, made with a fleece or with hair-on cowhide, often angora , lined with canvas on the inside. They are the warmest chaps, associated with the northern plains and Rocky Mountains. Zamorros somewhat resemble batwing chaps, in that the leggings are closely fitted at the thigh and flare out below the knee, but unlike batwings, the leggings extend far below the boot with a distinctive triangular flare.

They are popular with Paso Fino aficionados, and are derived from styles seen in Colombia. Chaps worn by campinos in Portugal during the s were sheepskin or goatskin with the wool or hair on and of a "drainpipe" style, while in Spain, chaps were without hair and feature intricately worked designs called "poker-work. Chaps are intended to protect the legs of cowboys from contact with daily environmental hazards seen in working with cattle , horses and other livestock.

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They help to protect riders' legs from scraping on brush, injury from thorns of cacti , sagebrush , mesquite and other thorny vegetation. Chaps are also useful for other types of riding. Leather chaps stick to a leather saddle or a bareback horse better than do fabric trousers and thus help the rider stay on. They are worn by rodeo competitors in "rough stock" events, including bull riding , saddle bronc and bareback riding.

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Riders in other disciplines, including various styles of English riding , sometimes wear chaps while schooling horses. Chaps are commonly worn by western riders at horse shows , where contestants are required to adhere to traditional forms of clothing, albeit with more decorative touches than seen in working designs. Chaps are often required by show rules, [20] and even when optional under the rules are often worn to give a "finished" look to an outfit.

Fashions change periodically and styles vary between the assorted sub-disciplines within western-style riding. Chainsaw chaps are a component of chainsaw safety clothing. They are made of strong materials like kevlar and protect the legs from injury.

A similar style, though of different materials, is sold to hunters and other outdoor sportsmen for protection from rattlesnake bites. Use of upland chaps allows any type of pants to be worn in the field and they are also used to protect rain suits. Motorcycle chaps are an example of the shotgun style. They are usually made of leather with the smooth side out, and generally provide all-around protection for the leg and have side zippers to allow them to be put on easily.

They are popular in the biker subculture , providing protection from the wind and cold as well as partial protection from cuts and scrapes in the event of a fall to the roadway.

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Chaps are also popular in fetish fashion and the leather subculture , where they often are tightly fitted and worn without jeans or other garments layered beneath them other than a codpiece. They can be made of leather, patent leather, rubber, or vinyl and are worn for decoration serving no protective purpose. Worn in this manner, they are colloquially referred to as "assless" chaps, despite the redundancy of the term.

Equestrian chaps, with the exception of woolies, are traditionally made of cowhide. Historically, they also included seal, bear, and buffalo.

Chaps definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary

Leather for chaps is tanned and dyed, and the hide is usually "split" so that the leather is supple and can be made into a garment that allows easy movement. There is a rough side, what is today called suede or "roughout", and a smooth side. Chaps are made in both "roughout" and "smooth out" smooth side out designs. Most batwings and chinks are made smooth side out, most shotguns are suede, or roughout. For horse shows , where fashions may change from year to year and durability is not as great a concern, lighter, synthetic materials such as ultrasuede and vinyl may be used, though leather suede or a smooth split predominates due to durability and proper fit.


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Most chaps, with the exception of Armitas which have no metal parts , usually have a small metal buckle in front to attach around the waist, and have lacing on the back of the belt area to allow adjustment in size. A few designs lace in the front and buckle in the back, but they are not often seen.

The sides of some designs, particularly the batwing style, either have straps and relatively small metal buckles or snaps to attach the legging around the rider's leg. Other styles, particularly shotguns, usually use full-length heavy-duty metal zippers. Some historic styles of riding chaps used a single break-away leather string or lace instead of a front buckle.


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Except for the batwing design, most chaps are fringed along the edge of the leg, usually a fringe of the same leather as the legging, though occasionally a contrasting color of leather may be added. Chinks and Armitas have fringe on the bottom of the leg as well.

The belt that holds on a pair of the chaps may be the same color of leather or of a contrasting color, sometimes is fringed in the back for show, but usually not on a working outfit. Decorative leather designs or fancy stitching may be added along the edge of bottom of the leg or to the belt, and even sterling silver pieces may be used for buckles, and on round decorative metal conchos placed to cover the lacing on the back of the belt, or occasionally even at the bottom of the legging, by the heel. Shop Tires Shop All. Shop All Brands Shop All. Navigation Search Phone Cart. We Ship to No Restock Fees.

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