Pigeon Tree Crafting
Founder: Isaac Paul
Ah belts. Belts are what got me into the world of leather. I was researching online for a new belt because of department store one had yet again, died and it was a rabbit hole! I learned about the kinds of leathers, leather tanning, leathercrafting, and so on. The first item my eyes (and fingers) gravitate towards upon stumbling upon a new leather shop is, you guessed it, belts.
Pigeon Tree Crafting
I forgot how I came across Pigeon Tree Crafting, but it was probably due to Isaac's presence on Instagram. Isaac loves denim and leather, as do I. What's neat about his shop is that many of his handmade goods use indigo dye... The same stuff on the jeans you are wearing! So leather + indigo dye= awesome products!
Yes, I have a boot addiction. Anyways, the belt's quick release buckle really helps keep the most used hole from damage. Add to that the tear drop shape of the holes, which are designed to make the buckle lie flat, and there is not much strain put on the leather. Having said that, the belt is made of vegetable tanned, full-grain leather and definitely feels like a solid strap so even without those (awesome) features, this belt would last! Some of Isaac's other belts are made with the famous Sedgwick Bridle Leather and look just as beautiful. If you are a fan of raw denim and quality leather goods, check out Pigeon Tree Crafting!
Horse & Oak Leather
Originally, the color of the belt I ordered from Andrew was Horween #8 Burgundy. However, he was out of that color :(. Andrew graciously offered a refund or a percentage off of a different color belt. That was awesome and I never say no to belts so I ordered a brown one instead. Great customer service!
While Andrew's belt has the same kind of buckle and similar hardware as Isaac's (both brass, PTC uses custom rivets and H&O has Chicago screws), the leather used for this belt is Horween's Horsehide, which compared to Isaac's bovine, veg. tanned leather, is vastly different (break down of leathers). For starters, it is much thinner, but that does not mean it's weak because it holds up a good pair of denim, pockets full and everything, just fine. *Update: Andrew reached out to me and told me that the leather used for this belt comes from Horse Butt Strips that are tanned for 45 days with the infamous Shell Cordovan before being separated. Interesting stuff!
The belt has such a smooth finish to it and feels soft. I haven't owned any horsehide items prior to this belt but it is unique in its own way compared to cowhide. One difference that isn't the greatest (initially) is that it does wrinkle quite easily at first. I did talk to Andrew about it and he said that as I continue to wear it, the wrinkles will change and help develop a nice patina. Horsehide is used in many leather jackets as well and wrinkling is just part of the breaking in period. Personally, it has grown on me and I can't wait to see it change overtime. Plus it feels cool to run your hand over it (I'm weird).
This belt goes so well with all my other brown leather accessories and shoes. In fact, it is perfect match for my Brown Thursday President Boots! I am interested to see how this belt changes and holds up overtime compared to my cowhide belts. Be sure to check out Horse & Oak Leather!
Good to Know:
For me, I sized in at 38" for PTC and 35" for H&O based on their respective measurement techniques. While my indigo belt is longer, both fit just fine and both methods of measurement seem pretty accurate.
More great American Leathercrafters have been found! Here's to many, many more! #findingcrafters
For my full list of leathercrafters so far click here. I literally find new ones almost everyday!
I'm on a mission. I want to find as many small leather companies and leathercrafters who live right here in the good ol' United States of America. The mission is simple, support these artists in anyway I can. Unfortunately, my budget doesn't allow me to buy something from everybody... But I would if I could! That's how amazing I think these folks are! As I (slowly, or I'll go broke) purchase their quality goods, I'll write a little blurb about each product and company. The journey has begun!
The bag itself is perfect for me. The strap can be adjusted to be worn on the shoulder or across the body. Add in the full-grain cowhide and brass hardware and this satchel should last me a lifetime! (They recommend not evening conditioning the bag for awhile and just letting it patina.) I can fit most of my accessories in there, including my water bottle and tablet, which is great for traveling. It also makes a good everyday bag if I am going to be out for awhile and I don't want to bring around my Duluth briefcase. The man bag (calling it that) will come in handy on shopping trips, city outings, and hiking adventures!
On to the Corter Leather & Cloth Indigo Travel Wallet (Special Edition 2016 yeah!). With my upcoming journey to Rome in October, I was looking for a good looking passport wallet. A bunch of the crafters make them but I decided on Corter because they have the cast iron key ring at the top. I really couldn't find another one like that. Also, the dying of the leather is just beautiful! From their website:
"We designed this tannage ourselves completely from scratch. Our signature Indigo Latigo is a latigo leather that is drum dyed through the core to be reminiscent of freshly oxidized indigo. It is then hot stuffed by hand with waxes and oils to be soft and ready to use. It will age darker over time, burnishing in spots of high wear and developing a deep blue patina."
Being a fan of denim, and having just gotten Pigeon Tree Crafting's Indigo Belt (will be in Part 2), I knew that this travel wallet was the right choice! Plus, the fact that they tanned this leather themselves makes it really special and unique.
The wallet arrived within a few days, and funny story, came right when I received my passport! Awesome. The passport pocket is a little snug but I know it will form to it with more use (plus I don't have to worry about it falling out...). There are two card slots for credit cards and the back of the wallet as an extra slot. The saddle stitching (Entirely hand stitched, no machine!) is perfect and the contrasting blue thread is a really nice touch. The snap button closure is brass (I believe) and doesn't have that "cheap" hardware feel like so many name brand companies use to cut corners.
The company's itself has a very informative website. For example, in their 'Materials' section, they break down and describe each type of leather they use. That extra mile some companies go to let the consumer know about their materials and crafting process I find really interesting.
I am very happy with my choice of a travel wallet and it will get a lot of use through the years!
Well, that's part one! I hope to keep finding these little leather gems that are tucked away under all that trash from department stores. There are still real leatherworkers out there! #findingcrafters
For my full list of companies so far click here. I literally find new ones almost everyday!)