BayTowneLeatherUSA is an Illinois-based Etsy store specializing in handmade leather goods including leather folios, sleeves, wallets, and belts all created by a single leathersmith – Roge. Roge (short for Roger) creates all his products by himself in a 18×24 foot leather shop behind his home. Due to this single-crafter business model, he is able to customize any of his products or create new items from scratch according to the customer’s specifications. With a perfect 5 star rating from over 200 reviews in the last two years, BayTowneLeatherUSA is one of the most reputable leather stores on Etsy and it’s easy to see why.
All BayTowne Leather products are hand cut and made with 5/6oz full-grain leather. This particular leather iPad sleeve is made of a single piece of natural vegetable tanned leather with a coat of Carnauba wax for protection. Everything from the shape, waxed stitching, and leather strap/closure method can be customized and priced accordingly. There really is no limit to the customization offered by Baytowne Leather. After seeing a tapered cover on another website, Roger was able to edit this cover to match at no additional cost. He also offers free 3-letter monogramming.
As a basic leather sleeve, it does its job. The strap is sturdy enough to maintain a tight closure at all times and can be used to clip on a stylus. The leather can be rather tight and stiff in the beginning, but stretches with time. If given notice, Roge now designs the sleeves to be slightly wider to accommodate cases. The thickness of the leather offers some shock protection to the iPad but is more functional as a barrier.
The natural vegetable tanned leather ages gracefully with time to leave a patina unique to the owner. This sleeve gained an unexpected tan-line after being left out in the sun and continues to tan even after eight months of use. On the other hand, if you aren’t one to wait for your own patina to mature, there is a hand stained “Antique Brown” option. Neatfreaks beware: coffee stains and oily handprints are hard to get out but still manage to make the sleeve look beautiful. On the other hand, the leather with wax coating is rather resistant to scratches and does not show scuffs easily. The delicate balance between raw edges and smooth clean lines adds a bit of sophistication to this rustic iPad sleeve.
The BayTowneLeatherUSA iPad Air Leather Sleeve is reasonably priced for a customized handcrafted iPad carrying case. If you are willing to wait a few weeks for a handmade, uniquely crafted case built to your exact specifications, this is the case (and the man) to go to. Make sure to order early around the holidays since a single leathersmith can only work so fast. If you don’t have an iPad, you’re going to want to find something to stuff inside so you have an excuse to carry this around.