We Pride ourselves on the years of handwork sourcing our materials. Our leathers come from various parts of the country and include Bridle, Veg Tan, & Milled Leather.
Both our Barrel Aged & Black are made from the finest Bridle Leather. Bridle leather has both the Flesh and Grain side of the leather stuffed with greases and finished with wax. Being a labor intensive process Bridle is some of the highest quality leathers. It is expected to be both strong and durable. The riders life literally depends on bridle leather not failing unexpectedly. Its is subjected to quite high loads, and must tolerate this time after time. An item of saddlery is typically expected to last for 10 or more years of use, so not only must the leather be strong, but it must survive poor weather, dirt, everything being in contact with a horse throws at it for many years.
Vegetable tanning is the traditional method of tanning leather, its method dating back to approximately 6000 BCE. Like the name suggests, veg-tanning is an organic method relying on natural vegetable tannins from bark or other plant tissues. Tannins from trees such as oak, chestnut, or mimosa are popular, but hundreds of tree types and other plants are known to have been used. Vegetable tanning is generally a time-consuming process requiring highly skilled craftsmen, which involves soaking hides in large baths of concentrated tannins over a course of several months. Some of the features and benefits associated with vegetable tanned leather which makes it relevant in the heritage community include:
- Traditional approach
- Leathers are thick and hard wearing
- All materials are biodegradable
- Natural feel and “earthy” smell
- Develops a patina with use and age
- Feels more organic/‘alive’
All of our Backpacks, Totes, Crossbody Bags, and Travel bags are all made from some of the softest Milled Leather we have seen. Milled cowhide leather is a nice top grain quality leather.The term Milled is just a way to separate nicer cowhide from cheaper cowhide leathers (such as split skin). Milled actually refers to the part of production where the leather is put into a milling machine and rotated.
For Bridle Leather: A good way to keep your bridle in good condition is to wipe it off after use using a cloth such as an old flannel or dishcloth dipped in a small bucket of warm water and thoroughly squeezed out. After cleaning the dirt and grease from the bridle, apply a coat of Black Rock Leather 'N' Rich.
For Veg Tan Leather: To apply a conditioning treatment, rub a very light coat of conditioning treatment using a clean, dry rag. Allow the conditioner to soak in at least a few minutes or up to overnight. Use another clean rag to buff dry…look for an even glow and no dry areas.
For Milled Leather: Since leather is porous, it loses moisture through evaporation. Use a conditioner once a month to keep your goods looking their best. Wipe excess product and allow the bag to air dry completely before storing it.