Why Buffalo Leather?
You may be wondering why, out of all the types of leather available, did we choose to use American buffalo leather? It’s a great type of leather, but what makes buffalo leather stand out? What are the unique qualities that make buffalo leather the best choice? Does a tanned buffalo hide feel different than cow hide? Well, we plan to answer all of those questions, and give you some background on why we’re uniquely qualified to answer these questions.
Back in 1972 we started our leather goods shop. At the start, we worked with various types of leather (cow, deer, etc) because of the popularity of certain styles. At the time many people were generally more fond of leather engraving so we choose to use leather that would support that art form. We hand engraved cow hide that was of a thicker tanning, and created many unique pieces in our own style. We worked on improving our own unique leather tanning recipes because we wanted each of our products to be handcrafted by the very best leather.
The Big Switch
After a while we had perfected our tanning recipes and leather working techniques using cow hide. At that time we were supplying leather pager cases to organizations all across the USA. However, throughout this time we’d been getting excited about working with other types of leather. We decided to shift our focus to the American Bison because buffalo leather was proving to have amazing qualities. We’ll get to that later. After a little time our customers were enjoying a brand new product line handcrafted entirely from buffalo leather. After mastering cow hide and now a few years into mastering buffalo hide, we now saw the possibilities that could be offered by buffalo leather when tanned, hand selected, and crafted properly. This is when we made our big switch, changed our product line to buffalo leather and became a trail blazer in the American Bison leather industry.
We don’t outsource any of our leather work, but work every ounce of the leather ourselves. Because of this, we’re uniquely qualified to answer the questions posed earlier. So let’s get started!
Buffalo Leather, Hands Down.
Why does buffalo leather stand out? One big difference is how it stretches. This can be a good thing, or a bad thing (if you don’t know how to use it to your advantage). Thankfully, after years of hands on experience, the stretch of buffalo leather is a great thing in our products! The product needs each part to be sourced from a specific part of each buffalo hide. Using the right pieces in the right places will give you long lasting durability and increased performance. This is one reason customers love our products.
Besides being a great leather because of it’s stretchiness and strength, buffalo hide offers other unique qualities. It looks different and wears differently than cow hide. Initially buffalo leather has a unique texture to it and is softer than cow hide. Customers often notice that texture difference when they pick up our leather goods. The more a leather product is used, the more the texture begins to fade. You’ll see a wallets texture fade faster than a purse or a Standard Legal Pad Cover. The leather can eventually look like a well worn saddle.
Tanning leather is an art in itself. Different techniques and recipes will give you different leathers. This is why leather tanning is an essential foundation in every product. Both buffalo hide and cow hide have unique results when tanning because you can tan them in so many different ways. The key to a good product rests with knowing which recipes to use for various products, and understanding how the different parts of the tanned hide will perform. Buffalo leather is a bit trickier to work than cow hide because of the nature of the leather. Even so, the end results when using American Bison leather are amazing.
Now that you’ve gotten a better understanding of the unique properties buffalo leather has to offer, we hope you can see why we love it so much. Whether we are handcrafting a belt, checkbook cover, case or clip, we’re excited to be working with American Bison leather. All of our leather goods are Made in America at our workshop in Worthington, MN and we’d challenge you to try out one of our buffalo leather goods when you’re in the market!