Leather Bags, Made in Chicago

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Naked Leather

Naked Leather

While slightly provocative, this is very appropriate leather terminology. Naked leather describes leather that is tanned in way that shows all variations and imperfections in the hide. This is the kind of leather that gets us excited! Oh jeez…

More important than what this term describes is what it implies about its antonym. Most leather is clothed, wearing makeup or more realistically, painted. Of the three components of leather evaluation (look, smell and feel) we use our eyes first. Many producers of leather goods want visual consistency. We want the opposite, character.

Aniline Leather English Tan


The quest for leather with character traces back to a quintessential aspect in the tanning process called Aniline. Aniline is the use of dyes instead of pigment for coloring leather. For more on the Aniline process please read here. The end result of the Aniline process is similar to staining wood vs painting wood. When you stain, you see all of the natural beauty and grain structure of the wood. When you paint, you see the paint only.

Aniline Block


We buy all of our leather from our Chicago neighbors, the Horween Leather Company. Horween has been making fully aniline leathers for over 100 years. Aniline tanning is not the easiest nor is it the cheapest or fastest way to tan leathers. It is without question, the best way and the only kind of leather we will use.

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