Let's Talk Leather: Wickett & Craig English Bridle

Here at Silver Hand, we really do believe that the leather we use makes all the difference in our bags. The question we get asked most often is, "Will this soften up over time?" because our bags are so structured while brand-new. And the answer to that is yes - it will soften over time, but it will also hold its structure, and that's why we like it so much. 

But why is our leather stiffer than most, and why do our bags have so much shape? Why aren't they soft and slouchy, like a lot of leather bags on the market? 

To answer that question, we have to go back to the source. All of our bags are made with sides of English Bridle leather - cow sides, roughly speaking. We source our leather from Wickett & Craig, an American tannery in Pennsylvania that's been operating for over a decade. 

English Bridle is smooth and durable, mainly used to make equestrian riding gear and saddles. What we use to make our bags is a heavy "weight" - leather is measured in terms of ounces, and the heavier the weight, the thicker the leather.

The tanning process for English Bridle also includes something called "hot stuffing," which uses raw conditioning agents like beeswax, lanolin, and tallow to impregnate the leather with a smooth, waxy feel. These also make the bag naturally water resistant. Very few tanneries process leather this way anymore, so we feel fortunate to get to work with a high-quality company and product. If you've ever picked up one of our bags, the finished feel is incomparable to most other leathers. It is smooth, glossy and flexible. 

Instead of constructing our bags inside-out and flipping them to hide the seams and stitching, our bags are engineered to show stitching. They're constructed in a way that maintains the natural strength of the leather, and gives our bags their boxy, roomy shape. 

As the bag ages it starts to wear gently in the places it sees the most use, molding to fit the items you carry inside. It literally forms to you - it is yours, and will never fit anyone else quite the same way. 

It's our job here at Silver Hand to create something we're very proud of. Each bag takes laborious hours to handcraft, but is a process we enjoy. The result, however, is essentially a blank slate. We can create a nice backpack, but only you can make it yours. Every day you wear it adds to its value and its history. 

As always, if there's ever a problem with your purchase, send it back to us and we'll repair or replace it. Each bag comes with a lifetime guarantee, because we want to see it last a lifetime. 

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