CraftyNick

American Leather Direct or other sources for American leather

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Hi, 

I'm looking for input on what is the best company to buy from.  I want veg-tanned not-dyed leather for carving and dyeing from a U.S. source.  American Leather Direct says much of their leather is from U.S. sources.  They are telling me their tooling leather is $7.00 - $6.40 per sq. foot.  How do these prices compare?  How does their leather compare?  What other companies do you know of, or buy U.S. sourced leather from?  To be clear, I don't have a business so I'm not talking about wholesale deals.  

Thanks!

Nick

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$7 is a GOOD price if the leather is decent.  Most of us here, I would dare say, use leather from

Hermann Oak (natural tooling leather at about $8) and/or Wickett & Craig (natural tooling at about $10)

They are not the same, but both quite good.

 As for american leather, THEY may be in the US,but is the LEATHER from teh US?

 

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HI JLSleathr, in response to your question, according to the company, "AMERICAN LEATHER DIRECT INC. offers a wide range of high quality leathers produced at one of the most modern equipped, state of the art tanneries in North America. We use only the finest U.S. steer hides."

Thanks for the info on how prices compare. 

Do you know if Herman Oak leather is from U.S. sources?  

Edited by CraftyNick

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Studio-N   
33 minutes ago, CraftyNick said:

HI JLSleathr, in response to your question, according to the company, "AMERICAN LEATHER DIRECT INC. offers a wide range of high quality leathers produced at one of the most modern equipped, state of the art tanneries in North America. We use only the finest U.S. steer hides."

Mexico is in North America.  MANY US hides are tanned in Mexico and returned.

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HO claims to use only domestic hides.

But "my question" wasn't for me -- just for your consideration. Maybe its made here with cows from here. Maybe not. :dunno:   Since I use the two I listed, it's not something that matters to me.  

Gotta wonder, tho -- if 'they say' that they " use only the finest U.S. steer hides", then why does your first post read " American Leather Direct says much of their leather is from U.S. sources "

But you point out that you don't have "business license" (whatever that is).  If you're talking about strictly retail purchasing, then your best bet might be to post in the "wanted" section, and perhaps someone here can get you the piece(s) you need for less than an arm ...

 

 

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Leather sourcing gets tricky... SB foot and Horween are US tanneries, but it looks like SB foot gets the hides in as "wet blues":

http://www.sbfoot.com/process.html

 

Horween has said that their horse hide comes mostly from Europe, I would assume that the cow can come from anywhere...

So American Leather really can depend on what point in the process you start counting...

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5 hours ago, CraftyNick said:

HI JLSleathr, in response to your question, according to the company, "AMERICAN LEATHER DIRECT INC. offers a wide range of high quality leathers produced at one of the most modern equipped, state of the art tanneries in North America. We use only the finest U.S. steer hides."

Thanks for the info on how prices compare. 

Do you know if Herman Oak leather is from U.S. sources?  

Tricky wording for Mexican tanned leather.  Not a slam on ALD quality of leather, but they sell Mexican tanned hides.

Herman Oak and Wicket and Craig both tan in the USA.

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You guys are probably right that much or all of the American Leather Direct hides are tanned in Mexico, but, according to what they say, they must be from domestic steers.  However, they told me that their "economy" leather is not necessarily domestic, but this doesn't apply to their normal tooling leather.  That's why I said "much of their leather".is from US sources.  

It's good to know that they tan in the U.S., but does anyone know whether Herman Oak or WIcket and Craig use hides sourced from the U.S.?  

I don't know, maybe most people on here are professionals who buy in bulk, but I'm just a beginning crafter and would like to get material processed and sourced in the U.S. if possible.  We ought to be able to make leather in this country, still.  

Edited by CraftyNick

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Studio-N   
4 minutes ago, CraftyNick said:

......We ought to be able to make leather in this country, still.  

ha! try convincing the EPA of that.

I remember having a convo with an EPA guy in Kansas who was involved in a closing of a tannery there that specialized in deer hides.  He told me basically it's all political. the argument that chromium tanning pollutes the water supply (which it does) didn't hold water (pun intended). He said he tried to convince the feds that there was just about the same amount of chromium in the surrounding rocks but they didn't want to hear it. So now we send stuff to Mexico.

Edited by Studio-N

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ALD's website says that they sell Chahin leather, which is from a tannery in Mexico.  Weaver leather also sells the brand.  I've never used it, so can't give an opinion on it.

 

Bill

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I don't think I'll actually buy from ALD.  Not that I think there is really anything wrong with them, just don't know why I'd choose them since they don't even sell US tanned leather apparently.  Does anyone get US leather from Tandy?

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Wdfd908   

I've heard Seidel Tannery in Wisconsin uses all US hides and tans in the US. It might be worth checking them out.

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2 hours ago, CraftyNick said:

I don't think I'll actually buy from ALD.  Not that I think there is really anything wrong with them, just don't know why I'd choose them since they don't even sell US tanned leather apparently.  Does anyone get US leather from Tandy?

Some Tandy stores sell very low grade Herman Oak, call it #1 and price it as premium.  If you want to buy it from them expect to pay more than twice market value for it, and you will hate Herman Oak after you see it.    Most of their leather is from undisclosed South American tanneries. They do have some European leather that's pretty nice, pretty expensive, but nice. 

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I don't know if they still carry it, but the Tandy up the road had H.O. for a while, at $300 per side, and it was certainly the low end of the line (for perspective, HO "A" grade at teh tannery is about $200 per side).

Kinda speaks to your original question though... maybe the name or where it's from isn't really the issue.

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keplerts   

American Leather Direct tans US steer hides in Mexico under the Chahin tannery.  This is NOT the economy stuff.  I have bought from them many times and I must say the leather is very nice.  I always bought their #1 grade.  The leather has a softer temper then Hermann Oak and it cuts, tools, and dyes really well.  I really like their skirting leather.  Weaver Leather does sell Chahin leather in Tannery Run grade ONLY.  If leather at Weaver does say Hermann Oak or Chahin, it is some south American/Brazilian imported/economy leather that cuts/tools very poorly.  But over all, I thinks ALD's Chahin leather is a great buy.

Tom

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11 hours ago, keplerts said:

If leather at Weaver does say Hermann Oak or Chahin, it is some south American/Brazilian imported/economy leather that cuts/tools very poorly.  But over all, I thinks ALD's Chahin leather is a great buy.

Keplerts, thanks for your input, I appreciate your opinion.  Did you mean here that Weaver leather sold as Herman Oak is really imported economy leather?  Or did you mean to say "if it does NOT say Herman Oak..."  Just wanted to get that clear so I could know what to watch out for!  

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Thanks for lots of input from all responders.  I have been expanding my research into the different types, kinds, sources, and ways to buy veg-tanned leather.  We could also expand the original question beyond just US leathers.   I'd appreciate hearing from anyone what leather you find works for you, and where you get it.  

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keplerts   

CraftyNick,

Yes, I meant to say:  "if it does NOT say Hermann Oak or Chahin" it is the imported leather.  Thanks for catching my mistake!

I bought a double shoulder of the 6-7 oz imported stuff (because they don't carry double shoulders in the HO or Chahin brands)

and I fought constantly with my sharp swivel knife to get my tooling pattern cut in.  I had to strop the blade (and I'm not kidding) after every 3" to 4" inches of carving.  Now I'm just hoping the dye I plan to use will turn out the way I need it to.  But, I'm not holding my breath on this going smoothly.

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Troy I   

Just buy a side from Wickett & Craig Tannery...good leather if you buy their top of the line.  Minimum order is one side.

They are based in Pennsylvania and use North America cow hides..so your hide might come from anywhere in North America, but is tanned in the U.S.A.

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keplerts   

Troy I,

Yes, Wickett & Craig has nice leather for sure.  I live about 72 miles from them (not that far).  But I can never seem to find the time to drive up (work two jobs and have my leather shop). And when I need something it is easier to just order it from a supplier where I don't have to wait 2-3 weeks to get it.  Someday, I will make them a visit!

Tom

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Troy I   

Keplerts,

I go up there about once or twice a year. My mother lives close to Altoona, so I kill two birds with one stone, get to visit with her and then drive up to Curwensville and get some leather.

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keplerts   

I'm about 35 miles from Altoona and 35 miles to State College.  I will just have to make time and check W/C out in person.

 

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I admit it --- when I saw PA in your profile thing there, I wondered why you "order' leather at all.  I'd just earmark a few hours one saturday a month to go GET some.  

I order maybe a little larger amounts than some folks round here, but that's because I don't live an hour from the tannery! With that hour drive, I'd pick up a few at a time and have more room!

 

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keplerts   

You are right Jeff, I should earmark some time.   I would love to SEE what I'm getting before I actually get it!

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I STILL haven't been in there. Make myself NOT go about once or twice a month.  Matt 'n' friends say come on out.. you can pick the hides you want, get it holstered, split, and/or packaged and leave with it under yer arm.

Scared to go.  It's not the cost of the leather, or even the plane ticket (I am NOT driving that far),... it's the 3 young fellas I'd need to help me carry everything I liked!

 

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