Leather is a natural product developed from animal hides, each with its own unique imperfections and range marks. These distinct markings are not flaws, but indications of a quality, genuine top-grain leather hide. We predominantly use premium, full top-grain cow and buffalo hides, and pig suede sourced from the USA and Canada. Any alternate sources will be indicated in product descriptions.
The production and use of leather are time-honoured, ancient traditions, used for (but not limited to): armour, quivers, waterskins, clothing, bags, animal tack, tool wraps, and shoes. Leather has a long history as a ready bi-product of meat consumption. For generations, our ancestors have honoured the sacrifice by utilizing as much of the animal as possible. We believe in continuing that tradition.
The processing of animal hides goes through a series of stages: preparatory → tanning → crusting →surface coating.
The preparatory stage involves removing any unwanted components of the hide and altering the ph and fluid levels to be optimal for the tanning stage.
The tanning stage of leather production is employed to alter the protein structure of the hide for preservation and to prevent deterioration. There are a variety of methods used for tanning leather - at Tribute Leather we primarily use Chrome and Vegetable tanned leathers.
Chrome tanning involves the use of chromium (III) sulfate, a chemical process, whereas Vegetable tanning uses natural tannins. Although each method is used to achieve the same result, the end products are very different.
Chrome tanned hides are faster to produce and are characterized by vibrant colours and a supple leather that will remain relatively consistent with use and age. These leathers are ideal for bag and garment leather production.
Vegetable tanned hides are slow to produce, and are characterized by their earthy neutral colours and rigid structure that will absorb character and alter colour with use and age (patina). These leathers are ideal for belts, straps, luggage, and furniture production.
The crusting stage involves the thinning of the hide and adding of oils and colourings.
The final stage for some leathers is surface coating. A tanner would use this finishing stage to apply further oils, embossing, combing (for hair on products) or other similar finishing enhancements.
There are five main alloys commonly used for leather working hardware; zinc, copper, nickel, brass, and stainless steel.
At Tribute Leather we feel the strength and corrosion resistance of solid brass hardware is essential to creating a quality piece. For aesthetic purposes we will often use solid brass items skillfully plated with alternate finishes to enhance final product.
Finishing touches are important to us, for this reason we use quality wool and cotton fabrics as liners in our bags and some of our smaller items.
RFID Protection (Radio frequency IDentification)
We integrate a special fabric in some of our designs, that has a 99.99% shielding efficiency designed to prevent skimming, a form of electronic pick-pocketing where a small scanner is used to capture sensitive information from RFID enabled documents (some passports, driver's licenses, or credit cards). Fabric content: 23% copper - 27% nickel - 50%polyester.
Although we have taken precautions to help protect your personal information no form of RFID protection is 100% effective in all scenarios and the protection offered is limited in certain situations, like when the wallet is open or your card is in use. If you feel your personal information has been compromised you must contact the proper authorities. Tribute Leather is not liable for information obtained through a skimming protocol as we are merely reducing the risk to you.