7 Best Leather For Wallets: A Complete Buyer’s Guide

Best leather for wallets

Wallets are by far one of the most popular leather products you would ever make. With a countless number of crafters making leather wallets each day, this article is going to help you with the best leathers you can use to make your leather wallets stand out of the crowd.

So what are the best leather for wallets? The best types of leather for wallets are:

  • Bourbon Brown Tooling Leather
  • Hermann Oak Tooling Leather
  • Dangerous Threads Veg Tan Leather
  • SLC’s Assorted Leather
  • Stonestreet Double Shoulder
  • Dangerous Threads Leather
  • European Leather Works 

Using a mediocre leather can spell disaster, ruin your well planned leather wallet and will ultimately not make your wallet stand out. We all know how getting the right kind of leather for your projects helps in the overall outcome of the project.

Subsequently in this post I will share with you a guide on what to look out for, and details on each of the leather listed above. Keep reading to find out more!

Buying Guide For The Best Leather For Wallets

Now that you’ve seen my overall list of best leather for wallets, I’m going to explain how you can tell when a particular type of leather is worth your money. There are several key aspects and perks you will want to consider for your leather and a few more that are nice to have but aren’t strictly necessary for a good leather for wallets.

The top qualities to look for in leather for wallets are animal source, tanning, the type or quality of leather, weight, and few more like dimensions, and color that are basically according to your preference.

These features will help you make the right choice for your leather wallet project. I’ll now explain how each of these factors can benefit you below.

1. Animal Source

While you can use all kinds of leather from all kinds of animal sources, the most common type of leather you would want to consider for your leather wallet that’s very easy to work with and offers substantially high quality are cow leather, sheep, and a couple of others like kangaroo, pigskin, etc.

The above mention animal sources of leather are highly versatile and can be used to accomplish all the techniques and finishes you would ever want for your leather wallet.

2. Tanning

Tanning is the process that turns raw animal skins into leather. The main thing the tanning process does is make the rawhide material into a material (leather) that will not decay or decompose.

While there are various kinds of tanning methods used to treat leather, the best tanning method you would be looking out for in your quest for the best leather for wallets is vegetable tanned leather also known as veg tan leather. There’re also the very common alternatives of chrome tanned leather or oil tanned leather that’s also good.

Vegetable tanned leather is great for leather wallets because of the kind of versatility it will offer your work. Vegetable tanned leather can withstand all kinds of leather work techniques like carving, tooling, etc and makes it very easy to accomplish.

Vegetable tanned leather is especially great for wallet because vegetable-tanned leather reacts well with all kinds of metals since coins and certain types of cards will have metal parts.

3. Type or Quality of Leather

There are about 4 basic types of leather quality for you to consider and these include full grain, top grain, genuine leather, and bonded leather. The top most quality types of leather you would want to be looking at for your leather wallets are either the full grain or the top grain leather.

You can however, consider genuine leather or bonded leather if you want to make a practice project to test out a new design or measurements. You would want these alternatives because full grain and top grain leathers are quite expensive and you wouldn’t want to waste a lot of money and leather on test projects.

4. Weight or Thickness

Leather weights and thicknesses are measured in ounces(oz) and when making leather wallets, what you will be looking at is leather thickness around the weight between 2-4 oz for the exterior and a 1-1.5 oz leather thickness for the interior pockets.

With a 2-4oz leather for the exterior you would be able to do some real good tooling and carving work on your wallet.

This weight range is just about the leather thickness you will need to give your leather the workability in design, durability, and comfort for your end users.

Best Leather For Wallet Reviews

Here are reviews of the best leather for wallets. These are presented in no particular order;

1. Bourbon Brown Tooling Leather – (Best Budget Pick!)

The Bourbon Brown Tooling Leather sourced from Horween Leather is a great choice that’s going to provide you with the qualities that is ideal for a leather wallet. It’s wrinkle-free, feels smooth, soft, and has a certain waterproof properties.

The Bourbon Brown Tooling leather is a 4.5-5 oz full grain cowhide leather and it’s a special kind of chrome tanned leather which is nothing like the other chromed tanned leather in the market. This is because this leather is much thicker, stiffer, and has a great feel to it.

For those wondering about the sizes that are available, the Bourbon comes in 6×12, 10×10, 12×12, and 12x24inches. Needless to say, Bourbon brown has also made sure that they’re offering a wide range of nice natural earthy leather colors.

Pros:

  • The manufacturers uses the first layer of cowhide leather meaning very durable.
  • Perfect for all kinds of tooling, carving designs, and sewing projects.
  • Highly waterproof and stain resistant.
  • Apart from wallets you can also use it for handbags, belts, harnesses, etc.
  • It has a matte feel that will make the wallets have a nice soft grip to it.
  • It’s very affordable.
  • Comes in a wide variety of sizes and colors.

Cons:

  • May produce some scratches especially when not properly finish.
  • Has a chemical smell.
  • It will require a bit of skiving to get it down to the required thickness for wallets.
  • Chemically tanned.

If you’re interested in this leather, you can check it out over here on Amazon for its current price and any additional information you may require. Currently, there’s a 5% off coupon available!

2. Hermann Oak Tooling Leather – (Best Veg-Tan For Wallets)

Hermann Oak is a company that participates in the manufacturing of a lot of amazing unmatched high quality leather from the United States. So, their leather was an obvious addition for me and I’m really excited to include it in my list.

This leather from Hermann Oak is a natural vegetable tanned cowhide leather from the U.S. domestic steers and is tanned in St. Louis, Missouri, United States.

This Hermann Oak Leather is 3-4oz and is the perfect weight for leather wallets. This leather is sold by square feet with their single shoulders ranging from 5-7 square feet and also offer sides varying from 20-24plus square feet with rolls having about 5 sides.

If you want a perfect single shoulder leather, Hermann Oak offer 2 grades of leather that is the craftsman grade and B grade. The craftsman grade comes with a lot of character while the B grade is cleaner on the surface. But in terms of durability, workability, and tannage they’re exactly the same.

Pros:

  • It’s a natural vegetable tanned leather.
  • When rubbed, it come to a nice burnish easily.
  • It will develop a nice patina as the wallet ages.
  • The B grade will have NO blemishes or imperfections.
  • This leather has a lot of body and holds up shape very well although it’s quite thin.
  • Produced in U.S
  • Comes from the U.S domestic steers.

Cons:

  • Their craftsman grade will have some surface imperfections.
  • Their leather cuts although in square feet will not come in perfect shapes.
  • Comes in only one shoulder color (khaki).

If you’re interested in the Hermann oak vegetable tanned leather, you can check it out over here on Amazon for additional information.

3. Dangerous Threads Leather – (Best Top Grain Leather For Wallets)

The next leather is another tooling leather from dangerous threads. With that said, this leather is a 3-4oz vegetable tanned top grain leather, and in case you are trying to find out the animal source it’s cow.

Now much like the best leather for wallets in the market, this one comes in a standard size of 2-square feet, 12×24 inches and it’s a nice one piece cut.

Make sure that it will suffice your project or better still buy 2 or 3 multiples so that you don’t run out and have to go through the trouble of finding a compatible piece of the same project.

The really good thing about this leather is that it’s natural undyed veg tan cowhide leather and so gives you unlimited latitude with what you could do with it.

Pros:

  • Because it’s top grain leather it’s has little to no blemishes and it’s with the most perfect leather surface.
  • It’s well protected and so will be able to withstand most of the day to day bodily oil transfer on the wallet.
  • Has a wide range of applications apart from making wallets.
  • Also great for wet moulding.
  • It will develop nice patina with time.

Cons:

  • Comes with a slight chemical smell
  • It’s more prone to stains

If you’re interested in this leather, you can check it out over here on Amazon!

4. SLC’s Assorted Leather – (Best Oil Tan Leather For Wallets)

Let’s take a look at another good quality leather you can use for your leather wallets that everyone will absolutely love and appreciate. This leather is sourced from a company known as Springfield leather company.

Now for those who don’t know, Springfield leather is basically a company known for creating and marketing some of the finest leather goods and have contributed immensely to the leather work industry.

This leather is a cowhide leather which is treated using oil tanning and this pick is the perfect leather weight 3-4oz for your leather wallets and you wouldn’t have to skive or trim the leather down any further.

It’s also available in 4-5oz and 5-6oz thicknesses. The fascinating thing about this leather is its beautiful assorted array of browns and earth tones. This oil tan leather is 8-9 square feet piece that makes it also perfect for bigger leather items like bags, clutches, and many more.

The great thing about using this oil tanned leather for your leather wallets is that you will be able to make very affordable highly waterproof wallets because the tanning method used uses chemicals and takes a much short time of 24hours.

Pros:

  • It’s waterproof and stain resistant.
  • More soft and supple feeling when touched.
  • It’s very affordable for its size of 8-9 square feet.
  • Comes with little to no blemishes.
  • Excellent sales and after sales services.
  • U.S made.
  • Have a beautiful leathery look.

Cons:

  • Colors may be chosen at random so follow up with a call or email for a precise color choice.
  • Leather is chemically treated.

If you’re interested in this leather from Springfield leather, you can check it out over here on Amazon!

5. Stonestreet Double Shoulder – (Best Large Size Leather)

Now if you’ve been scrolling through and looking for a large size leather you could use for a variety of leather wallets, here’s what you’ve been looking for.

This leather from Stonestreet is a double shoulder cowhide vegetable tanned premium B grade tooling leather. It’s an ideal 3-4oz which is perfect for the interior and exterior of wallets and can withstand stamping, embossing, carving, etc.

If you want the perfect double shoulder leather, that’s a single piece large size, premium grade, full grain vegetable tanned leather with even thickness and color you can use to make a good number of wallets and still have some extra for other projects, then this leather from Stonestreet is a great choice for you!

Pros:

  • This leather takes Dies and water nicely.
  • Large size about 10-12 Square Feet.
  • Easy to Carve.
  • It’s naturally tanned.
  • Full grain leather.
  • It will patina nicely with time.

Cons:

  • Comes with some amounts of imperfections

If you’re interested in this leather for your wallets, you can check it out over here on Amazon for additional information on pricing and shipping.

6. Dangerous Threads Leather – (Best Veg Tan Side)

This is my second feature from the Dangerous Threads and this is their large size leather. It’s a natural undyed vegetable tanned leather which is about 3-4oz and is over 20plus square feet. This leather is very Grainy on both sides with a nice natural light tan color.

If all you want is a large side top grain leather that is veg tan and comes from cowhide, then this leather will be a perfect fit for your wallet.

Pros:

  • It’s pleasantly firm hand.
  • It has really nice even in thickness.
  • It’s priced less than what out there on the market.
  • It has great consistency for splits.
  • Come with little to no blemishes.

Cons:

  • It’s prone to stains.

If you’re interested in this leather for your leather wallets, you can check it out over here on Amazon!

7. European Leather Works – (Best Extra Large Full Grain Side)

If you’ve been reading through this article and keep saying that great but it’s simply not big enough, then this 22-26 square feet leather is what you’ve been waiting for. To describe this leather in brief, it’s one of European leather work’s large size imported veg tan leather.

It’s a full grain leather made from the side of natural cowhide imported from Europe and it’s 3-4 oz, the ideal weight for leather wallets. With an extra large size, this leather is also ideal for belts, harnesses and also great reinforcement material for heavy duty items such as utility belts, tool belts, sofas, gun holsters, etc.

This is a very attractive extra large full grain leather side with uniformity in color and thickness throughout the cut.

Pros:

  • EWL renders this leather with unique treatment that helps the leather to retain its shape without the aid of synthetic stabilizers.
  • Natural vegetable tanning process.
  • Comes with a bit of character that will help make each of your wallets unique.
  • Even thickness.
  • Handmade.
  • Extra large.
  • Uniform color.
  • Suitable for both large and small projects.
  • Patina with time.

Cons:

  • May come with a bit of scratches or cuts.
  • Prone to stains if not well finished.

If you’re interested in this leather, you can check it out over here on Amazon!

Conclusion

After going over the top 7 best leather for wallets, you should be well versed with the main characteristic features. Whether you prefer a veg tan leather, full grain, chrome tan, large or extra large top grain leather, etc, there’s likely something on this list for you.

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Kwabena

Hi! I’m Kwabena, the owner and founder of Favored Leather. I’m a huge Leathercraft enthusiast and I’ve been that for almost 13 years now. I'm excited to share my experiences and all the new stuff I learn each day about leather craft, leather cleaning & care, and everything in-between!

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