The Safariland Group Blog

The Nose Knows When Looking for Quality Leather Holsters

May 27, 2009 at 10:28

Leather Holster What's the first thing you do when you pick up a fine leather holster? If you're like most of us, you hold it to your nose allow that wonderful aroma that only fine leather has. But what is that aroma really and how does it get there. I mean, after all, have you ever actually smelled a cow?

Quality leather holsters with fine hand boning are designed to retain the shape of the firearm are typically handcrafted from vegetable-tanned leather.  That means it was tanned using tannins (which is too technical a word for this blog but the word chemical will do) and other more natural ingredients found in vegetable matter, tree bark and the like.  It gives the leather its brown color and makes it supple in nature.  It is the only type of leather suitable for use in carving or stamping.  It can also be oiled to improve its water resistance, keep it supple and improve its lifespan dramatically.

There are many different types of tanning processes, from aldehyde-tanned, to chrome-tanned to even brain-tanned, as well as leather holsters that have been “painted” to achieve their look. So the next time you pick up a holster, or any fine leather good, check it out for that  rich, quality leather aroma, if it’s there, chances are you have a vegetable tanned and oiled work of art in your hands.


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