Dave Munson, of Saddleback Leather, has come on record to share a change they are making to using scarred and marred leather. Originally Saddleback Leather (SBL) has only used leather free from imperfections and occasionally a leather defect would sneak through and end up in Dave’s Deals. Now Saddleback is embracing the scarred leather they were formerly tossing out.
I think this change in leather usage is good for two reasons.
For one, after seeing much of what the leather industry has to offer I think it is fair to say that SBL products have been solid if a little boring. And not boring in a horrible way, but in a predictable way. Standardized construction techniques, perfect leather, and straightforward designs made for products that were obviously from Saddleback. There is nothing wrong with this except if you are looking for some variety. It makes a lot of sense on the business side. Now we will be seeing bags with their own character and personality.
The second reason is the elimination of waste in the SBL manufacturing process. This is going to benefit us consumers by allowing SBL to make a better profit margin, strengthening the company, and mitigating price creep as leather prices continue to rise globally with the cost of raising cattle. Last year saw one price increase at SBL, hopefully this will stave off more increases.
Scars do weaken the tensile strength of leather so I asked SBL if they were going to use scarred leather on any load bearing portions of products. I was referred to the new leather FAQ where they said “Any mark or scar that is possibly weaker than other areas, we cut out and throw away.”
I am excited to see more of SBL’s rough and tumble products. This looks to be a great transition in their product offering.