A short summary of the leather I use.
Leather comes in an almost infinite range of colours, finishes and thicknesses. It can be really soft and flexible or as hard as wood. It can take a long time to make using natural tanning materials or produced very quickly and cheaply using chemical tanning processes.
Deciding on the best leather is the start of the production process. The leathers I choose have the required strength and flexibility to create a strap that not only looks good but performs well.
The first consideration is what tanning process was used in its manufacture.
Vegetable tanning is the traditional way to produce leather. The process uses the natural tannin found in trees and other plants to preserve the hide. This process takes time and experience to get the best results. It’s friendlier to the environment and is less likely to cause any health issues in the user.
Chrome tanning as the name implies uses a lot of chromium salts among other things, which have been shown to be harmful to both the environment and us! Even knowing this it’s still the most widely used method of making leather, mainly because it’s a lot cheaper.
For me it’s vegetable tanned every time!
The types of leather I use are as follows:
Bridle leather, as its name would suggest, is primarily used for equestrian leather products such as saddles and harnesses. This leather is strong and durable and will stand the test of time if looked after properly. When new it can be quite stiff, but with use it becomes more flexible. The colour doesn’t go all the way through the leather, so the edges can be either natural, which shows the untreated tan colour along the edges, or edged so the edges are the same colour as the face of the leather. This leather can be joined using solid copper rivets or double head rivets in either brass or nickel. This is a premium leather that will not disappoint.
Waxed ‘pull-up’ leather.
This leather comes in chestnut or tan and has the quality that when it is bent the colour lightens which gives a very attractive appearance to the surface. It also has a lot of the marks and texture that a hide will have if not over processed. It’s flexible from the start and will soften more with use. It is dyed all the way through and treated with waxes and oils to give a soft and flexible feel and finish. These colours really go well with the copper rivets or tan stitching, but also can be supplied with brass double head rivets if preferred.
Black waxed ‘pull-up’ leather.
This is the same process as the other waxed leathers but because it’s black the ‘pull-up’ effect isn’t as visible. It has the same soft and flexible qualities and again is dyed all the way through.