My friend UV pointed out that its not so different with archery gear. He's a traditional archery - and cheese - aficionado. He likes the styles of bow that hearken back to longstanding cultural traditions. He's shaped a thumb ring, used in Asiatic styles of archery, from antler. They're figured to go way back to Neolithic times, made from leather, but thank goodness they decided harder materials work better because it's those harder ones that we still have as artifacts. Now, historically, you might be surprised that they were pretty decorative, inlaid with showy metals and gems, say gold and jade. To show that one belonged to the elite archer class you'd want it to be made with status materials. Hungarian horse bows are distinctive to their region, too, being made from horn.
UV was also experimenting with making a silk bowstring. That would have been typical in parts of Asia, whereas linen would be more common English longbows made from yew and string of linen. I would add that the machined metal and synthetic equipment produced internationally for the Olympic style of archery speak just as loudly about global economy and industrialized nations. See how they all reflect their cultures?
Bringing the cheese wheel around full circle, I have to mention this: i found a forum where a guy was planning to make a backing for his bow from cheese slices. He'd found an ancient one under the seat of his friend's car that had turned into something like vinyl and tough enough that he couldn't tear it. We all like to make Swiss cheese of our targets, but that's carrying it a little far, no?