Reply To: Advise on what leather to buy for seat

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Larry Geib


Most of those descriptive names don’t mean much to me since I don’t buy all that much leather. They are usually a description of how the leather was dyed and finished. Sometimes they dye with a marbled effect, some leather is pressed to look like the hide of a particular animal. Sometimes they make it look like alligator. I see one of the ones in your link says Ostrich.. I presume that means they pressed it while wet with a stamp that simulates that type of hide. ( sort of like chicken skin) Sometimes the finishes are made to hide ( enhance) flaws in the hides. These are real animals on an open range mostly they get life scars just like we do. . Really fine leather is from cows or horses that are coddled when raised. I used to live in horse leather farm country in Pennsylvania and the fences were even padded so the horses didn’t scar.

When I see Laredo I think of veg tanned leather with a pebbled finish pressed into it often seen on cowboy boots. but it may just mean the impression.

That’s why I said originally you should go by look and feel. I haven’t dealt with enough leather to know what to expect from the descriptors. Pay more attention to how the leather was tanned and the thickness. Chome or oil tanned will be generally soft and dyed dark to hide the blue color the chrome imparts to the raw leather. If you see a light color is usually vegetable tanned. Expect that will be pretty stiff. Lastly , pay attention to whether they tell you it’s top leather ( the outermost layer of a hide) or a split inner hide under it. The split will be less durable and less waterproof. They can buff a split to look like top leather, sort of.

Hope that helps.