Some notes on the leather used at Louise Goods - and some helpful advice when selecting a color:
Natural - Wickett & Craig, Penn., USA. Used for: wallets, keychains, the occasional bag. A true natural vegetable tanned leather, which will darken with age. A niche choice; has a cult following similar to raw denim. Basically, if you know, you know. Keep in mind this pink color will not be around long - it really does begin to darken within the first week or two, and the speed of color change relates to how much sun it sees, how much you touch it, and if you oil it regularly (you can, but don't lose sleep over it). No two pieces will age the same - if you and your friend both bought a wallet in this leather, in a year or so, they'll look different. If you're into the experience of the journey, this is the leather for you.
Chestnut - Wickett & Craig, Penn., USA. Used for: wallets, keychains, the occasional bag. A classic. Safe for gifting, safe across genders, this rich chestnut doesn't get old. You really can't go wrong with chestnut. Depending on what part of the hide your piece winds up being cut from, you can get some beautiful glimpses of the grain, and the high/low nature of the aniline finish really stands out in this color.
Oxblood - Wickett & Craig, Penn., USA. Used for: wallets, keychains, bags, trays. A gorgeous alternative to dark brown leather, and a great option for someone who already has their black & brown bags established in their personal collection. Cutting into this particular leather feels...delicious. There's something about the way this color is pigmented that's sets it apart from the others....it's particularly saturated and rich. A pleasure to work with and a pleasure to carry!
Olive - Wickett & Craig, Penn., USA. Used for: wallets, keychains. Am personally obsessed with this stuff - this green is really something else. It's a beautiful alternative to the standard brown/black options of leather goods, so if you're looking for a gift and want something a little more bold for a classic personality, this is a great option. (Also a great option if you aren't sure if the person would prefer brown or black!!)
Black - Wickett & Craig, Penn., USA. Used for: wallets, keychains, bags, trays. You can't go wrong with a black leather wallet, honestly. A staple for many, this particular black leather has a gentle sheen to it, and will patina noticeably, with the oils from the leather rising to the top to bring even more natural shine to its surface. If you need a black wallet, there is only one option here, and it's a no-brainer.
Honey - Wickett & Craig, Penn., USA. Used for: bags & trays. This is the best-selling color in every bag it's offered! We'll be releasing a lot more of the bags in this color over the next few months, along with the Oxblood. The Russet looks fantastic with any wardrobe, but if you're used to wearing a lot of black or are a somewhat dark tonal / monochromatic dresser looking for a statement piece, this is an excellent choice.
Mustard, Emerald, Cherry, Violet, & Royal Blue - Conceria Walpier, Italy. Used for: keychains. The bottom line here - the Italians have nailed jewel tones in vegetable tanned leather! This stuff is breathtaking. Go with your gut on this one when selecting a color...Emerald has historically been very popular, but they're all beautiful, and Beka, who is writing this, is personally obsessed with the Mustard.
For a few notes on leathercare, head here!
Re: Thread --
I've used a variety of threads over the course of my career as a leatherworker and am a big fan of Ritza 25, aka Tiger Thread. This is a flat polyester braid that functions a little differently than a traditional 3-4-5-6-7 ply twist, in that the filaments of the thread are actually braided together instead of just twisted. It's harder to break these stitches at stress points because of the nature of the thread construction. For unseen stitches with less pressure points, I am currently using Vinymo, which is a tiny twist with a slimmer profile. This contributes to flatter pockets, which keeps the profile of the wallet nice and slim.
And last, but certainly not least, hardware:
We use a lot of brass. Brass is an alloy that can have different ratios of copper/zinc which can change the warmth of the color of the brass. I work hard when sourcing hardware to keep the brass matching per piece, so I work with multiple sources to ensure that it looks great on the finished product, be it a backpack or a keychain. Brass is also great for folks with nickel allergies!
I frequently pair copper rivets with brass hardware - mixed metals can be really beautiful and this is no exception. Copper rivets are also technically stronger than the brass and nickel "jiffy" rivets, but this is kind of like comparing a Ferrari and a BMW - one may be marginally fancier/stronger than the other, but they'll both get you where you need to go without the wheels falling off (or your rivets popping off).
For zippers - Riri, 100%, unless otherwise specified in a one-off piece. Riri zippers are really smooth, the teeth are well-polished, and the zipper pull options are really high quality.