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What makes a GOOD Wallet ?

Posted by Jeff Tucker on

Wallets!  Let’s talk about wallets for a minute.  I love building wallets. I think it is because I have always enjoyed carrying a quality wallet. What I didn’t know then was that my wallets were junk. I had a favorite wallet that was given to me by my loving wife for Christmas and it lasted a year before it literally started coming apart at the seams. I thought, well maybe I’m just hard on my wallet and maybe wildland firefighting was just too rough on it. I’d throw it in the door pocket of the fire engine and go to work, but even that seemed to be pretty harsh from looking at the seams. Lol. So I went to my favorite outdoor sporting goods store and bought the exact same “oil tanned” leather wallet with the 12 gauge shotshell on the front.  This one didn’t make it 8 months. It wasn’t cheap, but it was cheaply made (was it really even leather? How thin is that thread?)  There is a huge difference between thick, Full Grained Leather from American Steers that are tanned in American Tanneries and the junk that gets passed off as “genuine leather”.  We don’t know what we don’t know. I really had to dig deep and learn...  what is it  that makes this wallet a $40 wallet and what makes that one a $500 wallet?  (people really spend $500-$1000 on wallet?).  What makes a good wallet a GOOD WALLET?  There are certain design aspects that are a must: properly stitched seams, burnished edges that aren’t rough with loose fibers, pockets that actually hold cards, and overall function.  But the most important ingredient, besides great skill, is leather quality. I set out to find the highest quality leather available in the world. Being a huge fan of American made products, I was delighted to find that 3 of the best leather tanneries in the world are right here in the US.  How awesome is that???  The tanneries that I buy from are Hermann Oak Leather, Wickett and Craig, and Horween. Horween is the newest tannery, founded in 1905 and they produce world class Shell Cordovan, as well as some other extremely famous leathers, Horween Chromexcel being one.  Wickett and Craig was founded in 1867 and Hermann Oak was founded in 1881, making these 2, 2 of 3 oldest tanneries in the world.  All 3 are ranked top in quality throughout the world. 

When I first started making wallets, I was, for whatever reason, under the impression that most folks wanted a hand stitched wallet. I don’t know where I came up with this because I’ve learned, it might be the farthest thing from the truth. Hand stitching a wallet takes a very long time. Time increases cost and so on.  The Cedar Wallet, pictured above, takes me 4 hours to build on a good day if I hand stitch it. I can machine stitch this wallet and have it completed in 1.5 hours. That is a huge savings of both time and money that we are happy to pass along to our customers. What’s more, I don’t believe a machine stitched wallet is any less durable.  I’ve tried to break a properly machine stitched seam and the leather ripped before I even made a dent in the stitching. I will still Hand stitch a wallet if requested, but for the most part, I will be machine saddle stitching my wallets from here on out for the sake of driving the cost down and passing the savings on to our customers.  (Our Shell Cordovan wallets will still be handstitched).  Same great quality, same awesome leathers, hand cut and hand burnished edges, and machine stitched. 

To summarize, a Good Wallet begins with Great Leather, followed by great craftsmanship!  If you’ve been looking for a superb wallet with a lifetime warranty, checkout the wallet section! I’ve added several awesome new designs this week. You won’t be disappointed! 

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