I proposed to use his hide as an overlay on cowhide to produce his order. He liked the idea and sent me a large section of hide with an order for 3 holsters, 3 pouches, and 3 belts.
Holster rig #1 is my Enhanced Pancake model with slide shield option, made for the 5" Model 1911 pistol with neutral cant, produced as follows:
1. holster front is of 6/7 veg-tanned cowhide, smooth side in against the handgun, with 4/5 oz. elephant hide laminated to be exposed on the front.
2. holster back is of two layers of 5/6 oz. veg-tanned cowhide laminated flesh-side to flesh-side.
3. matching single pouch is of 5/6 oz. veg-tanned laminated with elephant hide flesh-side to flesh-side.
4. matching belt is 8/9 oz. veg-tanned cowhide laminated to 4/5 oz. elephant on outer side.
Holster rig #2 is essentially the same as #1, made for the 4.25" Model 1911 pistol, standard forward cant..
Holster rig #3 is similar in construction, Model 1-D Pancake with Dual Carry Option (strong-side or cross-draw, 3-slot pancake), made for the 2-1/8" J-frame .357 magnum, with 6-round drop pouch.
Elephant hide was cemented to the cowhide using Fiebings Tanners Bond cement. Adhesion was excellent and these holsters went through the wet-forming and boning processes with very good results and no delamination at all.
The elephant hide has an extreme surface texture. This prevents stitch grooving, but the Cobra Class 4 stitcher set the stitches in so firmly that they are all but invisible in the textured surface. Edge stitching was accomplished using the roller guide. Remainder of assembly stitching was done using a colored pencil line to identify the stitch pattern.
The elephant hide as received was a very dark charcoal gray shade. I used Fiebings Black Oil dye on all surfaces to create an even overall appearance.
One mistake was made on holster #1. Customer had specified neutral cant, but I made it with standard butt-forward cant. That "mistake" will now be for my assistant's husband (deputy sheriff) Christmas present. Customer also requested that I keep enough of the elephant hide to make a rig for myself, which I will probably get around to one of these days.