Best Leather Choice for a Wallet?

Discussion in 'General Attire & Accoutrements' started by MemphisBlues, Jan 31, 2017.

  1. MemphisBlues

    MemphisBlues One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    151
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    Greetings folks,

    As far as I can tell, I couldn't find much archived information on this topic, so I apologize if this has already been asked and answered. I am a newbie, after all.

    Anyways, I'm looking at biker, trucker and long wallets as of late and I am on the fence about paying extra for a custom job. Most mall wallets and generic online items seem to often choose cowhide (to keep costs down I would imagine) but the durability factor is always lacking.

    I've also found a variety of online artisans, with many providing similar claims on "toughest," "strongest," and "will last longer than you do." Suffice to say, though, I'm no leather expert. Aesthetically, I know what pleases my eye, but I also know that different types of leather are better suited for different purposes. So here I am asking the more knowledgeable for assistance...

    So, if anyone happens to know or could point me in the right direction, any insights about what types of leather are best suited for a biker/trucker/long wallet that will, indeed, last longer than I do?

    Thanks in advance,

    MB
     
  2. simon jacket man

    simon jacket man Familiar Face

    Messages:
    95
    Location:
    essex
    I have lots of vintage leather wallets used to collect them might sell some,old leather the best modern wallets no good unless you spend £200 or more I Harrods,got several long ones in stock
     
  3. MemphisBlues

    MemphisBlues One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    151
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    I appreciate the reply, but I'm not exactly looking to buy just yet.

    I'm much more interested in feedback for now.
     
  4. simon jacket man

    simon jacket man Familiar Face

    Messages:
    95
    Location:
    essex
    That's ok best look on amazon a few good ones on there
     
  5. RJR

    RJR

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    10,626
    Location:
    Iowa
    I've been using a custom made of elephant,after 5 years its starting to break in and become comfortable.
     
    Michael R. likes this.
  6. Peter Mackin

    Peter Mackin Practically Family

    Messages:
    637
    Location:
    glasgow
    I'm use a pike brothers brown roamer wallet..it's a year old now and slowly moulding to my liking..also available in natural..I'm impressed with it.
     
    bn1966 likes this.
  7. Dickie Teenie

    Dickie Teenie A-List Customer

    Messages:
    367
    Location:
    Iowa now Athens Gr.
    The quality of tanning is as important as the type of tanning.
    I much prefer veg tanned leather over chrome tanned for wallets.
     
  8. Edward

    Edward Bartender

    Messages:
    20,316
    Location:
    London, UK
    I have a couple of the small 'ID' wallets from Saddleback Leathers; also bought one for my dad a few years ago, a different model. Well worth checking out if you like the looks of some of their line. Thed quality is excellent, and the custoemr service superb. Email them to ask about a better shipping deal if it seems outrageous on the automatic website calculator.

    www.saddlebackleather.com

    I also have a fantastic moneyclip wallet in Horween CXL Steer from Mitchell Leathers, but I don't know if they do any other designs. It was pricey - GBP70 by the time I got it in to the UK. Most I've ever spent (or would spend) on a wallet.
     
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  9. Seb Lucas

    Seb Lucas I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    6,458
    Location:
    Australia
    The difference in quality is usually the thickness of the leather and the tanning process and stitching, not whether it is cowhide, etc. Cowhide is perfectly good. Kangaroo makes a good wallet too and can be made thinner as it's tensile strength is much greater than most leather.
     
    Edward likes this.
  10. shadowrider

    shadowrider One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    258
    Location:
    Italy
    As for the leather, for a long trucker wallet I would choose a thick cowhide.
    Like Lukas wrote above me, the tanning and stitching used is important.
    I've been wanting to buy one of those for myself and, after some emails exchanges, have chosen an online vendor/artisan whose work seems really good and not overly pricey. Pm me if you would like to have more infos on that.
     
  11. bn1966

    bn1966 Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,498
    Location:
    UK
    Pike Bros wallet here too....lovely :)
     
    Peter Mackin likes this.
  12. MemphisBlues

    MemphisBlues One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    151
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    I appreciate all the input guys!

    I've had my eye on a piece from Anvil Customs. They make a lot of their stuff out of exotic leathers, like Ostrich, Elephant, Giraffe and several others.

    Part of me wonders about the durability issue. I'm certain cowhide can do all that I need, but I've also been disappointed so many times with what I ended up with that I figure, I'd rather just pay up for something better and presumably have it last longer, too.

    Aside for durability, I was also hoping to customize what I get a little bit. Most places I find seem to either say, "ok, sure, we can do that for 500% more," or "sorry, no, we don't have the time to interrupt our production line for custom work."

    So, any recommendations on places that would be willing to take on a custom project without completely breaking the bank?
     
  13. Seb Lucas

    Seb Lucas I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    6,458
    Location:
    Australia
    As I said cowhide will be amongst the best and strongest you can get. My current wallet, cowhide, I bought in 1995. Handmade in Melbourne. It's still totally fine. Remember a properly crafted piece will be made of leather 2 or 3 times as thick and in full grain and stitched with care with quality thread. You can't go wrong. But if you want a novelty leather like Ostrich, that's a different story.
     
    bn1966 likes this.
  14. Lean'n'mean

    Lean'n'mean My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Messages:
    3,243
    Location:
    Cloud-cuckoo-land
    The best leather for a wallet is brain tanned Banker's hide, even when the wallet's empty you can carry on spending though there will be a small charge to pay everytime you open it.
     
    Edward, robrinay and andy b. like this.
  15. Benzadmiral

    Benzadmiral Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,815
    Location:
    The Swamp
    I have a kangaroo wallet -- I think I got it through Hammacher Schlemmer, but I'm not sure. Very tough. I've got a belt of kangaroo that I ordered from Australia, too.
     
  16. Michael R.

    Michael R. Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,859
    Location:
    West Tennessee USA
    Having been a hard physical laborer , a suit , a dock worker , and cross country truck driver , among other things , I personally prefer a front pocket money clip/wallet . No pickpocket can get at it , and it won't accidentally fall out , but WELL MADE from Quality Leather is the key , most importantly the Stitching . You can pay a small fortune or a reasonable price for the same basic thing just because there's a designer name nobody sees on it , and most of those designer name brands won't hold up as well .

    I found a seller/maker on Etsy that is extremely reasonable , makes High Quality Leather Goods , and will personalize it , if you like , in whatever font , initials , name , even name and address , whatever floats your boat . I think the wallet I use now , and the one before have lasted together 35 years . On the clips , the leather covering the metal , the stitching is what eventually wears out . I will stick with a front pocket wallet , but the next may skip the clip . But if you get a clip and can handle the edge of the end of the clip not bending up , it's best .

    Here's one seller that has some nice affordable quality Wallets of whatever style you prefer https://www.etsy.com/shop/HoltzLeather?ref=l2-shopheader-name (skip the ads and continue to Etsy) , and great personalization , but there are others , if you look . Keep an eye on the stitching , but you can get whatever type of leather if you look . Some are less expensive , some more . Even harness leather , it really can take it and isn't expensive . A quality leather will break in and last , not falling apart . I just can't stand sitting on anything between me and the seat , especially my wallet . And don't want to lose it , so it's front pocket for me . That's my 2 cents worth ... .
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2017
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  17. bn1966

    bn1966 Call Me a Cab

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    2,498
    Location:
    UK
    Front pocket here too...don't want to tempt any light fingered Johnny with anything in the back one :) Currently rocking a thick German Pike Bros number....
     
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  18. Feraud

    Feraud Bartender

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    17,091
    Location:
    Hardlucksville, NY
    If security is an issue there is always the trucker/biker option.

    [​IMG]
     
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  19. Gromulus

    Gromulus Practically Family

    Messages:
    573
    Location:
    NE Ohio, USA
    This has been my go-to wallet as well the past several years. Love the thin profile and money clip for my front pocket wear. While both very nice hides, I slightly prefer the Dublin vs. the CXL Leather however.

    I also love their valet trays (also available in Dublin leather) which I keep on my nightstand:

    http://www.mitchell-leather.com/Valet_Trays.html
     
    Edward likes this.
  20. Pdawg

    Pdawg One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    147
    Location:
    USA DC

    Veg tanned cowhide.....like someone mentioned baker's is fantastic, but most of the people who make such wallets are in the UK. I own pretty much all kind of leathers and I find the baker's is best of the lot. But to your point, cowhide is not any worse than other leathers.
     

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