Shell Cordovan "Forever" Wallet
This is another in a series of products I release this year. Introducing… The Rugged Workwear x K&H Leatherworks Natural Shell Cordovan “Forever" Wallet! This is a collaborative partnership between me and Tucker at K&H Leatherworks with the wallet being designed in Georgia USA and hand crafted in Connecticut USA.
For this wallet, I wanted to use shell cordovan. At the time this was designed I had very little shell cordovan leather in my collection. I wanted to try this leather in a wallet so I could compare it to many items I had aged with natural vegetable tanned cow hide used as the leather of manufacture. I quickly fell in love with shell cordovan for leather accessories. It is more dense and less porous than cowhide leather, and always has a magical shiny luster. Being more dense, it ages a bit slower than other natural vegetable tanned leather items I had aged. While slower to age, it developed a more rich tone than cowhide natural vegetable tanned leather being less blackish with age and more of a rich golden tan with lots of shine and luster. This became my favorite leather accessory rather quickly if you haven’t yet made that prediction while reading. Besides the leather used, I wanted a wallet that was not overly thick, yet could hold a large number of credit and debit cards as well as cash and of course business cards. This design became more of a smaller version of a long wallet, without being as long as a long wallet if that makes sense. Almost like billfold turned sideways and opened like a book instead of a traditional billfold design. This design fit my desire perfectly. Not overly big or thick, but could hold a large number of things. Between the leather and the design, it became my "Forever" wallet - I love it that much!
Here is Tucker’s write up of the build process (thanks Tucker!):
This wallet is made from Natural Shinki Shell Cordovan. Sourced from the Shinki Hikaku Tannery in Japan, this is some of the finest Shell Cordovan available in the world. You can expect it to age gracefully, form to its contents over time, and develop a beautiful patina.
The wallet is entirely made by hand. I click the pieces out in order to ensure that every wallet is the same size, and that all the pieces line up properly. All of the edges that won't be accessible once the piece is completed are then burnished with a burnishing agent and burnishing cloth. I also take the time to carefully stamp the two logos on the corners of the card pockets at this stage.
The next step is to prepare the inside of the wallet. I do this by glueing in each card pocket one at a time. After a pocket is glued in - I will complete a row of stitching at the bottom of that pocket to hold it in place, and then move onto the next. All of my stitching is done using the saddle stitching method, which is an incredibly durable stitch and involves absolutley no sewing machines. The saddle stitch method is done by attaching one needle to each end of a length of thread, and completing a figure-eight like stitch through the material after prepping the material with your pricking irons or awl.
Once all the interior pockets are in place and stitched in - I glue the interior panel of the wallet to the exterior panel. I then stitch this in place.
The final step - is to sand and burnish the edges of the wallet. I begin with a 200 grit and move upwards incrementally until I reach 1500. I find that this provides a nice glossy edge even before you add your burnishing agent into the mix. I will then coat the edges with a light coating of burnishing agent, and use my burnishing cloth.
Besides doing fantastic leather crafting, Tucker is also a great human. He donates 5% of all proceeds in K&H Leatherworks to First Nations Development Institute, an organization that improves economic conditions of Native Americans through direct financial grants, technical assistance & training, and advocacy & policy. We thank you for your support of this collaboration!