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Ekster® Journal | What is real leather craftsmanship?
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WHAT IS REAL LEATHER CRAFTSMANSHIP?

The beauty and allure of leather is not something new. It was revered by Pharaohs in ancient Egypt, and has been ubiquitously used over time as a versatile material as well as an undying sign of status and class. Its protective ability made it popular amongst foot soldiers of Ancient Greece and Rome; in medieval ages, it was used for its water resistance and ability to store perishables, but what about today? In an age of plastic and metal, why do we continue to use leather? Perhaps it is the quality of craftsmanship, of uniqueness – there is something beautiful in a handcrafted leather wallet, something inimitable and special.

A man's hands use a tool to cut leather in order to make a luxury handmade leather wallet.

Like a fine wine, leather only gets better with age. The genuine quality of top-grain leather ensures that each handmade wallet is unique, gaining distinctive marks as the leather ages, meaning premium leather wallets form perfectly to the shape of whatever pocket they are put in over time. Our Parliament wallet for example, is designed to mould perfectly to the pocket of the user within 2 weeks, preventing the flap from opening up and slimming down the overall profile with time. Working with the leather used in handmade luxury wallets, however, isn’t always the easiest. It requires strength and precision to transform a hide into top-grain leather, and immense craftsmanship and skill to take that leather and build a luxury men’s leather wallet. It also demands dedication to sustainable practices that ensure the betterment of all those involved in the production. While many assume that leather making is harmful to the animal kingdom, but this is not necessarily true! Our leather come from ECCO, who are committed to environmental protection and animal welfare. All our leather is a by-product of the meat industry and comes from bulls that spent their lives disease-free and well-fed. In the case of our production happy leather really is better leather, since the quality of a cow's life directly impacts the value and smoothness of the leather.

The most important part of producing luxury leather wallets happens during the tanning process, a method that can be traced back 3000 years ago to the ancient Greeks.
For this part, hides travel to one of ECCO's four Gold-Rated tanneries. During this stage the leather is dried and treated, permanently changing the structure of the proteins that make up the hide using tannins (hence the name tanning!). In the past, wholly organic methods of tanning were improvised using whatever natural materials could be found on hand, some of which might shock us today. In the dark days of the medieval ages, people would use bodily excrement such as feces and urine to tan their leathers!
Image of a man holding a leather hide, soon to be made into a handcrafted wallet.


Fortunately, leather producers today aren’t subject to such desperate conditions and are able to enjoy modern leather production that is safer for those who produce it as well as those who purchase it. ECCO works meticulously to create genuine top-grain leather in a variety of colors and textures using the most innovative and sustainable practices. Our leather wallets and other products are marked by softness and suppleness that only highly trained leather workers can achieve with a precise tanning method.

An image of rows of treated leather ready to become Ekster premium leather wallets.

But leather is only part of the story. How do you make the best handmade luxury men’s wallet? Modern craftsmanship to us means a nuanced mixing of old and new, bringing tradition and innovation together using everything available. While one appreciates the stylish design and smooth texture of the handcrafted wallets, it is the advanced technology packed inside that takes a premium men’s wallet from being a useful fashion accessory to a personalized high-tech juggernaut of comfort and security.

All our luxury men’s leather wallets and other leather products are available to be outfitted with a solar charged GPS tracking card and RFID scanning protection, making its high-tech capabilities unapparent until needed.

An appreciation for traditional methods, a commitment to sustainable practices, and an eye on the future of security and finance: now that’s craftsmanship.

How is our leather transformed into a beautiful men’s wallet? To get a better idea of what sort of thinking goes into our luxury leather wallets, check out this interview with our in-house design team. Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date with our next blog post which will dive deeper into our design process.

ABOUT EKSTER


Here at Ekster, we're in the business of making your life easier.

We started with upgrading the traditional leather wallet, making it easier to use and harder to lose. Now, we're taking on the rest of your essentials to make each day easier for you.

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