Cow, cow, cow….. stingray?! When everyone else is pulling out their boring leather wallet, only those in-the-know will be able to identify the unique texture of one of Tom Barrington’s signature designs.
Tom Barrington began leatherworking during his time in the US Navy but only turned his love of creating his own leather goods into a business in 2011. At only 3 years old, his Los Angeles-based company produces an assortment of goods from key rings to belts and bracelets with his self-designed stingray leather wallets consistently being one of the top sellers. Tom Barrington has a special focus on exotic leather designs after learning from his own experiences as a consumer and strives to blend style, quality, and color into a world dominated by shades of brown and black.
First the technical. This particular Stingray Wallet is the bi-fold with ID holder and 9 slot design. The wallet is manufactured through small boutique studios around the world which focus on hand constructing fewer quality products instead of mass-production. Made of genuine Dasyatis Pastinaca stingray originating from South East Asia, Australia and sometimes New Zealand, it measures 4 1/4″ x 3 5/8″ x 1/2″ with 2 cash compartments and 2 additional hidden pockets below the credit card slots. The outer stingray leather is chrome-tanned and then spray-dyed to coat the natural calcium beads of the skin which do not readily absorb dye like cowhide does. Whereas many stingray wallets have a painted white “eye” over the sanded tubercles of the skin, Tom Barrington chooses to leave the tubercles unpainted to accent the natural texture of the leather. He additionally uses a proprietary technique which allows him to create a small stitching channel directly through the calcium beads to avoid using traditional turned edge construction where leather is wrapped around the edges of the calcium beads and having to grind off the edge of calcium beads to make stitching easier. Machine stitching is employed instead of glue with additional stitch rows placed in the high-use areas such as the gusset and cash compartment for additional strength. The interior is a buttery Napa chrome-tanned cowhide.
The 9-slot wallet is a basic design for maximum utility. For those wanting a smaller build, there are other options available on store website. Some may complain about the stiffness or roughness of the leather, but that is the nature of the beast…literally. What are your hard bones and teeth made of? Calcium. So with hundreds of polished calcium beads creating the unique look of stingray leather, the leather is expectedly tough and sturdy. If you nuzzle it against your face, you won’t get that soft calfskin feel of other wallets, but you will get a nice micro-bead exfoliation – two products in one! One downside of the calcium is its inability to hold dyes so long-term wear and tear will eventually rub some color away. The upside is that it doesn’t hold conditioners either so maintenance for this wallet is low.
Now for the fun stuff. This wallet is all about the look. Keep the wallet closed and the subtle texture of the leather might make people do a double-take. Then when you open the wallet, BAM! The flash of color (other colors are available) will definitely grab someone’s attention. Unfortunately, it may also draw attention to how much (or in my case, how little) money you actually carry. Tom Barrington is not afraid of color and the contrasting cobalt blue is just enough to keep this wallet looking luxurious and professional, yet stylish. The absence of a painted white “eye” also keeps the wallet looking classy and clean.
The Tom Barrington Stingray Wallet is a worthy exotic addition to anyone’s wallet collection. You may be able to find similar stingray wallets for a lower price online, but the extra touches of the unique edge stitching technique and natural tubercle grain on these wallets really give that extra polish and finish to set them apart. For those who want it quick, the wallets are fulfilled by Amazon and are eligible for Amazon Prime Free Two-Day Shipping.