Tortoloid is a handsome pickguard material developed and handmade by luthier Mario Proulx. Poured resins and dyes reproduce authentic tortoise shell patterns: tigerstripe, tortoise, and swirl. Tortoloid is becoming a popular choice for making vintage-style guitars look even more vintage. Unhappy with modern "printed" pickguards? Tortoloid is a great alternative.
Each Tortoloid sheet is individually made. No two have exactly the same pattern, just like natural shell. The highly durable material is .025" thin, flexible, and resists shrinkage.
Supplied in a 4-3/4" x 7-1/2" x .025" (120.65mm x 190.50mm x .64mm) sheet. This includes sufficient usable material for cutting most traditional pickguard shapes.
Available in these vintage styles:
Dark brown tortoise When the pickguard is installed on a typical spruce guitar top, the color and 3-dimensional depth closely match actual antique Hawskbill tortoise shell (antique guitar picks were used for sampling the colors). Semi-transparent amber areas intensify the color of the soundboard to complement your guitar's appearance. Dark brown tortoise is also available in vintage Dreadnought shape.
Dark brown swirl Similar to the '30s pattern but darker overall, with red-browns replacing the amber. The look of early-1940s Martin celluloid pickguards.
Especially for Gibson acoustic guitars. Amber/brown for soundboards with a light sunburst or natural finish, and red/brown to complement typical darker sunbursts.
Tortoloid cuts easily with scissors, but to avoid chipping the edges, warm the material in hot water or with a hair dryer first. The cut edges can be sanded and polished, or beveled with a razor blade (work at room temperature for a sharp bevel, or warm the material for a rounded edge). Bending is easily corrected by placing the material on a flat surface and warming it.
Note: You may notice small abrasions on the underside of the material. These are from the manufacturing process and will become invisible after installation with our Pickguard Adhesive Sheet.