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How to Make a Martingale Collar

March 23, 2015 - Posted By Carol Alexander

Learn how to make a martingale collar for your dog with this simple tutorial.

Take a close look at a Martingale dog collar. Notice the two loops, a D-ring, a tri-glide slide for adjustment and two rectangle rings. The larger loop lies against your dog's throat area and the smaller loop rests on the top of your dog's neck. When the short loop is pulled, the large loop is affected. This is what keeps your dog from slipping a collar and it works unbelievably well!

Depending on where you buy retail collars, you may not be familiar with a Martingale collar for dogs. To learn more, read A Martingale for Dogs on Country Brook Design's blog.

If you are the do-it-yourself type or you make dog collars to sell to pet owners, you really should try making a Martingale using our easy-to-follow tutorial. All you need is some hardware, webbing material, and our clear written instructions below that include great photos for every step of the way. You'll be on your way to completing your first Martingale collar!

Before You Begin

Our How To Make A Martingale Dog Collar guide assumes you are already familiar with the use of your sewing machine. If you are not, please familiarize yourself with its basic operation before continuing.

Editor’s Note: To switch between metric and standard measurements, click here:
Rounding occurred when necessary in converting inches / metric.

Necessary Stitches

If you are new to machine sewing, you may want to practice these stitches on some scrap fabric before attempting your Martingale collar.

This simple stitch is used to make a Martingale collar.

Figure 1: Triple Stitch

  1. Stitch forward about 1"2.5cm.
  2. Next, backstitch the same length.
  3. Now, stitch forward the same length.
Use an easy box stitch on this Martingale collar.

Figure 2: Box Stitch

  1. Perform a triple stitch.
  2. Turn piece diagonally ~45° and backstitch.
  3. Next, perform another triple stitch.
  4. Turn piece diagonally again ~45°. Close the "box" by stitching back to your original stitches.
Materials needed to make your Martingale dog collarItems you'll need to construct your Martingale dog collar.
Supplies Needed to Make A Martingale Dog Collar:

You will need to determine what your dog's collar size is so that you can cut your materials to the correct lengths.

Refer to this chart to determine the correct lengths for webbing:

Collar Size Small Loop Large Loop Webbing Width Neck Size
Extra Large 12"30.4cm 35"89cm 1"2.5cm 23" - 31"58.4cm - 78.7cm
Large 12"30.4cm 29"73.6cm 1"2.5cm 18" - 26"45.7cm - 66cm
Medium 12"30.4cm 24"60.9cm 3/4" or 1"1.9cm or 2.5cm 15" - 21"38.1cm - 53.3cm
Small 9"22.8cm 19"48.2cm 3/4"1.9cm 11" - 15"27.9cm - 38.1cm
Extra Small 8"20.3cm 17"43.1cm 5/8"1.5cm 9" - 12"22.8cm - 30.4cm
Mini 6"15.2cm 12"30.4cm 3/8".9cm 7" - 10"17.7cm - 25.4cm

Your hardware size needs to match the webbing width for your particular collar. For example, if you are constructing a medium collar, you can choose to use either 3/4" or 1"1.9cm or 2.5cm rectangle rings, triglide, and D-ring but you should use matching 3/4" or 1"1.9cm or 2.5cm webbing for the same rectangle rings, triglide, and D-ring sizes.

  1. Cut Fabric for Large and Small Loop

    Use sewing scissors to cut webbing material after measuring.

    Refer to the table above for correct measurements. Cut your webbing to length. Remember to measure twice and cut once!

  2. Melt every raw end of webbing to prevent fraying

    Melt webbing end with a flame to prevent fraying.

    Also, heat all the cut ends of webbing with the lighter so the individual nylon fibers melt together.

    If you're not quite sure how to do all that, don't worry! We have a handy guide here to help you cut your webbing properly.

  3. Fabric Collar Alternative

    For directions showing how to create a designer fabric Martingale dog collar, click below to access directions for creating fabric-covered webbing. Once you have finished, click to close and continue to Stage One of the Martingale instructions.

    • Refer to this chart to determine the correct lengths for your fabric and webbing:

      Collar Size Small Loop Large Loop Webbing Width Fabric for Small Loop Fabric for Large Loop
      Extra Large 12"30.4cm 35"89cm 1"2.5cm 3"7.6cm X 14"35.5cm 3"7.6cm X 37"93.9cm
      Large 12"30.4cm 29"73.6cm 1"2.5cm 3"7.6cm X 14"35.5cm 3"7.6cm X 31"78.7cm
      Medium 12"30.4cm 24"60.9cm 3/4" or 1"1.9cm or 2.5cm 3"7.6cm X 14"35.5cm 3"7.6cm X 26"66cm
      Small 9"22.8cm 19"48.2cm 3/4"1.9cm 3"7.6cm X 11"27.9cm 3"7.6cm X 21"53.3cm
      Extra Small 8"20.3cm 17"43.1cm 5/8"1.5cm 3"7.6cm X 10"25.4cm 3"7.6cm X 19"48.2cm
      Mini 6"15.2cm 12"30.4cm 3/8".9cm 3"7.6cm X 8"20.3cm 3"7.6cm X 14"35.5cm

      Your hardware size needs to match the webbing width for your particular collar. For example, if you are constructing a medium collar, you can choose to use either 3/4" or 1"1.9cm or 2.5cm rectangle rings, triglide, and D-ring but you should use matching 3/4" or 1"1.9cm or 2.5cm webbing for the same rectangle rings, triglide, and D-ring sizes.

      Part A: Cut two fabric pieces.

      Cut Your FabricPart A - Cut the fabric for two loops.

      Cut your fabric to length. Use the measurements in the table above as a guide. The 3"7.6cm width isn't set in stone: You will need enough width to cover both sides of the webbing as well as its thickness. Remember to include the seam allowance which is included in our fabric length. So as you go down to smaller collars, you could reduce the width of the fabric to match. However, we recommend you start with 3"7.6cm and adjust as you get more practice.

      Part B: Prep the fabric.

      Iron Your FabricStep 2 - Iron Your Fabric

      Before you sew your first stitch, spray fabric quickly with a burst of starch. Afterwards, take a hot iron and smooth out your fabric as much as possible. This step helps to remove wrinkles and will give you a more accurate stitch when you get ready to sew.

      Part C: Stitch both fabric tubes.

      Sew Your Fabric Into a TubeStep 3 - Sew Your Fabric Into a Tube

      Now that your fabric is ready, you need to sew it into the shape of a long tube and a short tube. These tubes will cover the large and small lengths of webbing as the the core of your Martingale collar. We use a professional serger during this step, although you can either use a home serger or a regular sewing machine and finish the seam using a zigzap stitch. Be sure to sew your fabric with right sides together so the seam is on the inside of the tube when you turn it rightside out. You'll also want to make your loop loose enough to make inserting the webbing easier.

      Part D: Turn The tubes right side out.

      There are a number of ways to accomplish this step. This video shows a popular technique called the Chopstick Method.

      Part E: Insert your webbing.

      Slide the webbing through the looped fabric. Once it is in, you'll want to adjust the fabric so that the seam is aligned straight against the edge of the webbing. Doing this ensures that your finished collar will look professionally done.

      Part F: Prep the fabric-covered webbing pieces.

      How To Make a Dog Collar on Your Own-Prep the Dog Collar

      It's starting to come together! Once again, spray both collar loops with a quick burst of starch and press with a hot iron. This helps removes wrinkles and presses the seam flat. Doing so will make sewing the fabric and webbing together much easier.

      Part G: Topstitch fabric and webbing together.

      Sew The Webbing and Fabric TogetherPart G - Topstitch fabric and webbing together.

      Topstitch the webbing and fabric together down each side of the collar. It is very important to make sure the thread goes through both the webbing and the fabric. On larger collars, this stitch is made about 1/4" from the edge. For smaller collars, you'll want it closer to the edge, but not so close that you miss the webbing!

      Make your stitch about 1/4 inch from the edgePart G - Make Your Stitches 1/4" from the edge

    Stage One: Create the Small Loop

  4. Place Webbing Through Rings

    Thread two rectangle rings onto short piece of webbing.

    Insert the short piece of webbing through the two rectangle pieces.

  5. Box Stitch

    Fold left side of webbing on top of right side.

    Fold left end over right end about 3" - 4"7.6cm - 10.1cm.

    On the right side, put a box stitch (Figure 2) 1/8".3cm from the webbing end.

  6. D-ring Placement

    Put the D-ring between unstitched layers of webbing.

    Insert the D-ring between the two overlapped pieces with the straight side against the webbing and the curved part hanging inside the loop.

  7. Box Stitch D-Ring

    Snug D-ring against first box stitch and boxstitch the remaining open end.

    Snug the D-ring against the first box stitch and then, box stitch about 1/8".3cm from webbing end on the left side (open end.) (This creates a small channel that will allow the D-ring some side-to-side movement.)

  8. D-ring outside the loop

    Turn loop inside out so D-ring is outside of loop.

    Now, turn loop inside out so D-ring is on the outside for leash attachment.

  9. Loop is Completed

    Here is a completed small loop.

    You should now have a small loop with 2 rectangle rings and a D-ring. Place the completed loop to the side.

  10. Stage Two: Construct the Large Loop, Part One

  11. Weave Strap Through Triglides

    Weave end of strap in and out of triglide slide.

    Insert one end of the long piece of webbing through both openings of the triglide.

  12. Fold Webbing

    .

    Fold webbing back about 2"5cm.

  13. Stitch Triglide Into Place

    A box stitch will secure tri-glide placement on strap.

    Box stitch 1/8".3cm from end to secure to secure triglide on webbing strap.

  14. Stage Three: Construct the Large Loop, Part Two

  15. Getting ready to connect the two loops

    Place large strap beside small loop with triglide on the right and webbing end on top.

    Place the long piece in front of you with triglide and box-stitched end to your right. Raw webbing end should be on top.

  16. Insert strap through a rectangle ring

    Insert end of large loop through rectangle ring on small loop.

    Pick up the completed short loop. With the D-ring facing you, take the long piece and insert the unstitched end through the rectangle ring on the right side of the short loop.

  17. Insert strap through triglide slide

    Insert end of large loop through empty opening on triglide slide.

    Push the end of long webbing strap up through the "empty" slot on the triglide slide.

  18. Insert strap through other side of triglide

    Weaving strap end through triglide by coming from beneath, up, then over, and down through other opening makes a double thickness.

    Bring the end to the triglide and insert from beneath the triglide, over and down through the other side of the triglide. There should now be a double thickness of webbing on the triglide.

  19. Push Webbing Through Ring & Fold

    .

    Put the unstitched end of the long strap through the remaining rectangle ring by coming from above to go down through the ring.

  20. Box Stitch

    Box stitch to close large loop. Insert label at this step.

    Fold about 2"5cm and box stitch 1/8" from webbing end to secure. (We insert the Country Brook Design® label between the layers of webbing at this stage.)

  21. Congratulations!

    Your custom made Martingale dog collar should look just like ours.

    You have just completed a Martingale dog collar ... just like ones the artisans make here at Country Brook Design. Let us know how it went; Reader feedback is always welcome and helpful.

    Better yet, take a picture of your collar on a dog and share it with our friends on Facebook, on our Good Job! board on Pinterest, or in our stream on Twitter @countrybrook.

    You'll encourage other readers to try their hand at a custom collar and you'll help us spread the word about this great collar. Sounds like a great partnership for all involved.