Rope Dye Crafted Goods

To Dye For. Wrench and Needle Vegetable Tanned Leather Wallet

The Secrets To Ageing Veg Tanned Leather And What To Watch Out For

To Dye For
To Dye For is our occasional series where we discuss the very best of the best. If you have something that you are particularly proud of and would like to see it on Rope Dye, please just get in touch.
If you cast your mind back a few months, you will remember our article on How to Age Vegetable Tanned Leather. We gave you a few tips and tricks on how to get your veg tanned leather item off to the a great start: putting down the foundations of what would evolve into a beautiful patina.

As an example, we used a bi-fold wallet from the fantastic Wrench and Needle. The leather Wrench and Needle used comes from the world famous Horween tannery in the United States. Given the quality of the leather and the care and attention to the craftsmanship, I was very curious to see how my wallet would evolve over the months.

Proof Of The Pudding

Eight months later, it is time to revisit the wallet and see how the patina developed.

As you can see from the pictures, it is barely recognisable as the same wallet. With use and exposure to the elements, it has darkened down to a rich brown with the scrapes, scars and hallmarks of daily life adding to the charm.

The leather has bedded into the contents of the wallet. Carrying cash, bank cards, business cards and so on fills the wallet out. With the pressure from carrying it in my back pocket, the leather has stretched around the contents creating this beautiful clam shell effect with some specific marks acting as a time capsule.

On the inside, the leather is noticeably lighter as is gets significantly less exposure to light, dirt and general use. But, it does give a great example of how vegetable tanned leather reacts to light. Notice how the leather is lighter under the card slots and darkens down towards the edges.

Will The Stitching Let You Down?

If we take a close look at the stitching, we can see that my faith in Wrench and Needle was not misplaced. With a good quality, full grain leather item, it will never be the leather itself which will wear out and fall apart. That is why it is essential to look at the quality of the hardware, stitch quality and even down to the type of thread used. This is where the problems will occur. But, as you can see, the stitching is as good as the day I got it and shows no signs of wear and tear.

Now It’s Your Turn!

This wallet has been my constant companion in daily life. It has been over a couple of continents, taken a couple of adventures by itself (read lost in a club) and continues to see daily use. Building up beautiful patina is really as simple as that. Take a little care and attention up front and then use and abuse the thing!

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