Vegetable Tanned Leather
All of our leather is vegetable tanned and comes from old American tanneries and individual rural tanners. "Tanning" is the process of converting animal skin into leather. Vegetable tanning describes using the tannins found naturally in tree bark and leaves to react with the proteins in the animal skin, creating a new durable material called "leather". This is one of the oldest methods of making leather and has been used for thousands of years.
Much like raw denim, vegetable tanned leather wears gracefully and molds to the owner's habits over time. All vegetable tanned leather darkens and develops a natural patina over time with exposure to natural elements like sun, water and oil. After several months or years, a vegetable tanned product can acquire a rich unique patina that is strikingly different from how it looked when brand new.
We lightly precondition all of our leather products with neatsfoot oil, a natural product derived from cows. There is no need to add oil or conditioner to your new leather product. Over time, oils from your hands will condition your wallet naturally, and it will gradually change color and mold to its contents. Vegetable tanned leather can be lightly cleaned and conditioned by buffing briskly with your hand or a soft cloth. This friction slightly heats the leather and brings its natural oils to the surface.
The most important step in maintaining any leather wallet is to not overstuff it. Cramming too many cards and receipts into a wallet is like overinflating a tire - over time the internal pressure will cause stress on the material and cause a blowout. A periodic inventory of your wallet's contents is a good way to make sure you aren't unnecessarily stressing the seams. File old receipts, and consider investing in a "desk wallet" to store seldom used membership cards.
Our handmade belts are constructed of 10 oz thick US cowide and won't require much maintenance over their lifetime. If your belt gets scratched or wet, you may wish to condition it with neatsfoot oil or your preferred leather conditioner. Over time the unfinished steel or brass buckle may oxidize onto the leather. This is natural and part of the intended style over the timeline of your Barrett Alley product.
Our handmade bracelets are designed using strong textiles, cords and leathers. Because our hands are often exposed to natural elements such as water, sunlight and oil, your Barrett Alley bracelet may change in appearance more rapidly than your wallet. Occasional exposure to water will not harm your bracelet, however we recommend that you remove your bracelet before bathing in order to maximize its lifespan.