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The Leather

All of our products are made from exceptional hides of 100% full grain vegetable tanned leather. "Oh, that sounds like... something" you say. Well, it's not that there's anything wrong with other types of leather, but if you prefer goods that will last you for many years, then full grain veg. tanned is the way to go.

So, in regards to fullness or quality of leather, if you look at a cross section of cow hide it will break down into: full grain with tightest and strongest fibers, top grain with weaker fibers and split leather with looser fibers(it's split from the higher layers of full and top grain leather). There is also bonded leather and genuine leather(think of that dept. store wallet or watch band that falls apart in less than 6 mo.). Think about how much quality goes into something that's... bonded. Although, there are many uses for genuine or bonded leather, the products made from these types of leather are mostly mass produced because it's a cheaper raw material. Split leather is the lowest and weakest layer of usable hide while bonded leather is simply shredded scraps of top, full and split leather that's been bonded and laid over some backing(as in upholstery leather).

Did you know? --  Hide glue is made from animal hides that have been repeatedly heated in hot water to produce glue liquor. The liquor is then cooled, dried and granulated.  Hide glues is used by luthiers to make violins and other string instruments. It is very strong when cured, but becomes soft when heated, which makes it easy to disassemble the instrument for repairs.

Vegetable tanned leather is leather that's tanned using natural vegetable tannins derived from bark of oak, fir, birch and many other trees, shrubs or roots. Which bark is used depends on what color of finished leather is desired. Even tea is used in some recipes! This kind of tanning process is the most original and each tannery specializing in producing high quality vegetable tanned leather has their own "hush-hush" methods and recipes developed over many years. Vegetable tanned full grain leather is the most versatile leather that not only provides quality and strength, great feel and look(it will patina with time to an attractive sheen), but also offers a craftsman a variety of ways it can be dyed, tooled, finished or shape-molded to produce quality leather items that will last for generations.

At Tishok we only work with 100% Full Grain leather. Our leather is made by some of the oldest tanneries in the United States that still specialize in traditional tanning techniques. These leather hides retain the actual skin side imperfections that the animal acquired throughout its lifetime. These imperfections (other leather workers call them "marks of beauty") include slight blemishes, insect bites, scrape scars, stretch marks etc. On the other hand, the hide also reveals desirable and gorgeous natural grain which is similar to wood grain. This grain pattern is unique to each hide and even varies across the hide itself. On some parts of the hide it is more pronounced then on other areas. The tannery sorts these hides into various grades depending on the amount of imperfections and prices them accordingly. Grading systems vary, but usually it's ether a letter grading or number grading. Here at Tishok, we use only the top graded hides with minimal amount of imperfections. However, it is still a natural product with imperfect skin side where minor marks or blemishes are a part of the product.

Another element of quality is thread used to stitch leather products. The thread used in Tishok products is a waxed, high strength braided polyester thread called Ritza 25 or Tiger thread(it has a picture of a tiger as part of their logo). Regarded as a gem in leather-working community it prevents popped or rotted stitches. Polyester alone dries fast, but the waxed surface of the thread repels water to further increase its water resistance. It's also abrasion resistant. Its vibrant colors are a pleasing visual compliment to various colors of leather we use in our shop.

OZ vs MM vs IN

While shopping for handmade leather products online you might come across a measurement system that uses ounces to describe thickness of a given product. Don't let it confuse you. It's actually simple to understand.

One ounce of leather equals to 1/64 of an inch. Therefore, if your belt is 8/9oz it will equal to 1/8th - 9/64th of an inch(8 X 1/64 =.125 or 1/8th of an inch. Similarly, 9 x 1/64 = .140625 or 9/64 of an inch. Or 3.2 - 3.6 mm.

A chart below shows the equivalents of Ounces to MM and Inches:

Ounce

MM

% Inch

Decimal Inch

1

0.4

1/64

0.016

2

0.8

1/32

0.031

3

1.2

3/64

0.047

4

1.6

1/16

0.063

5

2

5/64

0.078

6

2.4

3/32

0.094

7

2.8

7/64

0.109

8

3.2

1/8

0.125

9

3.6

9/64

0.141

10

4

5/32

0.156

 

If you have any questions about our products or leather in general email us at info@tishok.com