A razor strop is a flexible strip of leather, canvas, denim fabric, balsa wood, or other soft material, used to straighten and polish the blade of a straight razor. In many cases stropping re-aligns parts of the blade edge that have been bent out of alignment. In other cases, especially when abrasive polishing compound is used, stropping may remove a small amount of metal. Stropping can also burnish (i.e. push metal around) on the blade.The strop may be a hanging strop or a hand-held paddle. Various abrasive compounds may be applied to the strop to aid in polishing the blade while stropping to obtain a mirror-like finish. Common abrasive compounds include: half micron diamonds, green Chromium(III) oxide, white rouge (aluminum oxide), and Jeweller's rouge (Iron oxide).
Two points are key to stropping:
Draw the blade spine-first along the strop. By contrast, honing on a stone is usually done edge-first.
When you turn the blade at the end of a stroke, turn it over the spine, so the edge moves away from the strop and faces you, and the spine rests on the strop. This preserves the edge – if the blade is turned over with the edge against the strop, this will roll the blade edge, defeating the purpose of stropping.