Messenger Bag Prototype

This post is a little different than my usual "info about a kind of leather" but I thought I'd share a brief post about a bag I'm developing.  The prototyping process and what goes into the design process. I've been making "box" corner totes for a few years now and last year we came up… Continue reading Messenger Bag Prototype

Ten Lessons Learned With North Star Leather

Loving this blog series. Here’s a post about our company.

Leathercraft Lessons from the World's Best

What is your name, your leather craft business, and where are you located?

Mike Batson our business is called North Star Leather, we’re located in the very rural town of Ruby, South Carolina.


What types of leather goods do you make, or what is your role in the leather craft business?

All sorts of small leather goods: Wallets, Checkbooks, ID Cases, pouches, coin purses, handbags- over 150 individual “stock” items not counting special items for specific customers. We’re 90% wholesale and much of our business comes from private label manufacturing. Besides our own line, we produce lots of items as swag, promotional, or classy packaging (ie embossed leather pouches, keychains, bracelets, etc).

We also do all sorts of cut components and such (leather backing for uniforms, flag tabs,etc). I do bracelet and keychain blanks in natural veg that other crafters finish. We do leather patches for a lot of companies…

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The “Grades of Leather” hierarchy you’ve probably read about is a Myth

  You've probably seen them around, articles that talk about the 4 grades or tiers of leather; from best to worst: Full Grain, Top Grain, Genuine and Bonded.  You'll find them on fashion major blogs, in one of the most repeated Reddit TIL posts of all time, and in general comments whenever someone asks a… Continue reading The “Grades of Leather” hierarchy you’ve probably read about is a Myth

Vegetable Tanned Leather: Much more variety than you think.

If you're like most people, when you hear the words "vegetable tanned leather", a specific picture pops into your mind (unless you're like the confused/disappointed people who call me every couple months who read "veg-tan leather" as "vegan leather").  Most people I talk to, even many who work with leather, think that veg-tan is that… Continue reading Vegetable Tanned Leather: Much more variety than you think.

Hey man! Where do you get your leather?

Easy... From cows.  The end....             Actually this is one of my most frequently asked questions...but the answer isn't always simple because it depends greatly on who's asking and why.  Sometimes the question is from someone wants to get into leathercraft so they know where to buy.  Sometimes they want… Continue reading Hey man! Where do you get your leather?