The Materials

Bark Tanned Deerskin

Bark Tanned Deerskin

Rugged and full of history, our bark tanned deerskins are hunter harvested in North America and converted into leather by soaking in a "soup" of tree bark for several months (a process called vegetable tanning). Each deerskin makes only a handful of wallets, bags or bracelets, and we pair each limited edition collection with an equally special antique textile lining.

Deer Split

Deer Split

Splitting our bark tanned deerskins to a weight that is suitable for wallets is an essential step of preparing the deerskin for production. The remaining double-sided suede interior, or Deer Split, is buffed into a super soft, yet durable material that makes an excellent wallet. Like all vegetable tanned leathers, this suede ages gracefully with exposure to the elements, adding characteristics unique to the wearer.

Vegetable Tanned Cowhide

Vegetable Tanned Cowhide

We use the finest full grain, vegetable tanned cowhide from tanneries in Pennsylvania and New York. Vegetable tanning allows the leather to continue to absorb water and oils throughout its lifetime, developing a rich dark patina with use. Our vegetable tanned cowhide colors include Natural, Russet, Tobacco, Noir, and Corbeau.

Vegetable Tanned Kangaroo

Vegetable Tanned Roo

The kangaroo provides one of the strongest, yet softest leathers in the world. Roo leather is light but strong with a tough grain side and smooth suede side - making it a perfect material for wallets. Each of our kangaroo hides is harvested legally and vegetable tanned in Australia. We then hand dye the leather in-house using natural colors like Beeswax, Turmeric, Annatto and Walnut.

Vinegarooning Cowhide

Special Colors

In addition to our hand dyed Roo Collection, we periodically introduce other ancient dye methods or unique materials. Vinegaroon is a method of darkening vegetable tanned leather using iron and vinegar that dates back thousands of years. We use this classic coloring method to "tattoo" the wallets and belts in our Berber Collection. Our Mulberry Disciple Wallet was colored with a subtle purple dye created by reducing the juice of berries from a tree outside our studio.

Horween Shell Cordovan

Horween Shell Cordovan

For over 100 years, the Horween tannery in Chicago has been tanning the hindquarters of the horse into a soft, durable leather renown for its self-moisturizing oils. The cult following of this special material is testimony to its scarceness. See our products in Shell Cordovan No 8 and Black Shell Cordovan.

Texas Beeswax

Texas Beeswax

All Barrett Alley products are carefully edged and finished by hand. We use a combination of dark wildflower beeswax from Texas and hand burnishing to add a polished edge to our leather accessories. Beeswax has been used as a natural way to waterproof and condition leather for centuries.

Antique American Textiles

Antique American Fabric

Still bright and colorful after 100 years, these deadstock cotton plaids and prints bring a classic accent to the natural hues of leather. Though colorfast for their time, the dyes in these fabrics are guaranteed to fade beautifully with time and use. These antique American textiles can be found in our cloth bracelets as well as lining our wallets.

Antique French Textiles

Antique French Fabric

Portraying pastoral scenes, or reminiscing an era of Oriental trade, our antique French fabrics date back to the 19th and 18th centuries. Despite their age, they are as strong as their modern day equivalents. We repurpose them into cloth bracelets and linings for our handmade wallets.

Antique Japanese Textiles

Antique Japanese Fabric

Straight from the antiquities market in Japan, these hand-dyed indigo fabrics date to the Edo and Meiji periods (19th and early 20th century). The small hand loom was a common fixture in Japanese homes, and its strong, short bolts of selvage fabric were usually hand stitched together to create kimonos and futon covers. We repurpose the fabric to add a beautiful proportion of sky to the earth tones of our leather wallets and cloth bracelets.

Antique Trade Beads

Antique Trade Beads

Hailing from an era of 19th c. European trade with Africa, these beads provide a hint of history and color to our bracelets. The glass beads were typically manufactured in Venice and Bohemia, while the metal beads were handmade in Africa. See these historical beads featured in our handmade beaded bracelets.

Antique American Bone Buttons

Antique American Bone and Antler Buttons

Usually unearthed in American Civil War-era dig sites or removed from antique clothing, these 19th c. bone and antler buttons have found a new life in Barrett Alley bracelets as well as the Judas Pouch, adding a splash of antiquity and uniqueness to each item.

Hand Forged Buckles

Hand Forged Buckles

Hand forged steel and brass buckles add the perfect rustic accent to our handmade belts. Our steel buckles are individually crafted by skilled American blacksmiths. Our brass buckles are sand cast at a Texas foundry. Each is poured by hand into sand mold that must be destroyed to remove the buckle, making each completely unique.