Exotic leathers

These leathers really aren’t that exotic, but they are rare, at least in the objects I make from them.

The first is phone case for a Samsung Galaxy Nexus. This is a pretty hefty phone which measures almost 136 mm high X 68 mm wide. I personally use a Galaxy S which is only 122 X 64 (wish I had the Nexus). The exterior leather is veg-tanned goat that is normally used for bookbinding. It is lined with 2 oz. Herman Oak cowhide veg-tanned strap leather. The pull strap is made from Horween cxl front quarter horse.

Cxl front quarter horse is kind of hard to get your hands on as all the big jacket manufacturers snap it up before it becomes available to small timers like me. I got my hands on a hide several years ago, and and I’ve been slowly chipping away at it on projects like this.

Horween is an amazing company, and if they ever shut down, it will be a national disaster as far as I’m concerned. Nobody produces leather in the color selection, quality,  and quantity that they do.

For example, I just got a small hide from the Clayton Leather of Chesterfield Tannery in the U.K.  that is Bridle tanned front quarter horse. (I believe this is a full veg-tan) It’s exquisite leather, probably better than Horween in some ways, but they only run it one color ( dark brown) and it’s almost impossible to get. Someday soon, I’ll produce a line of wallets from the stuff that I have. It’ll be very interesting to see if they sell, and if anyone realizes what a treat it is to own this stuff.

There is a tannery in Paraguay that also produces veg-tanned front quarter horse. They sold it for a very shot time on ebay. I bought a hide and found about 60% of it usable. I guess it’s hard to properly tan horses. Even so, I would love to get some more as it was a very raw veg-tan (my favorite!). Unfortunately, they have a 10 hide minimum now, and I don’t have a couple of grand to drop on leather that is hard to sell.

Next, is a basic billfold I made from dark brown Horween CXL horsebutt and Wicket and Craig veg-tanned carving leather. CXL horsebutt is similar to their CXL front quarter but thicker and obviously from a different part of the animal. CXL (to the best of my knowledge) has been chrome tanned and then re-tanned in vegetable tannins. This leather is quite refined, has a waxy hand, and is dyed at the tannery. Thus far I’ve been able to source it in a reddish brown,  brown, and black. It has a medium temper which makes for excellent wallets. However, it lacks the graining and marbling textures of full veg-tan horse. I’m almost certain this is the leather that is used on the Thorogood for Epaulet Horsehide No. 685 boot. They advertise it as brown, but it looks much more like the reddish/brown to me. Compare their boot with this wallet, and you be the judge. 


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