In the not too distant past, BestLeather received a hide of the Horween Leather Company’s latigo leather, in a chestnut color. Thinking of one of the best places we could take the hide to and develop it into something beautiful and functional, we immediately thought of Thrux Lawrence of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. We asked them to craft something fine from the leather so that we can showcase Horween’s latigo leather and something fine they indeed crafted.
Tanden Launder, the proprietor of Thrux Lawrence, took the project a step further and crafted something new for them, an ALL leather Thrux Pack. They craft many of their thick 24 ounce canvas and latigo leather Thrux Packs, which are beautiful and extremely rugged, and which they sell online and at their brick and mortar store in Coeur d’Alene, but they had yet to make an all leather Thrux Pack. This was a serendipitous opportunity to try something a little new.
HORWEEN LEATHER COMPANY
The Horween Leather Company was founded in 1905 by Isadore Horween. The company has remained in family hands (currently run by Arnold “Skip” Horween, Isadore’s great grandson) ever since and is now the last remaining tannery in the Chicago area, and one of the few remaining industrial tanneries in the United States. Horween’s first product was shell cordovan for razor strops.
After the invention of the electric razor and the subsequent reduced demand for razor strops, Horween recognized the need to diversify it’s leather portfolio. The result has been some fine leathers, and some tanning recipes that are still being used today, decades later (think Chromexcel).
Avid readers of BestLeather will be very familiar with the name Horween. The simple reason for this is that many, many of the leather companies whose products we review use Horween’s leather. And the simple reason for that is because Horween produces some of the finest (if not the finest) leather for consumer goods. Their Chromexcel and Shell Cordovan probably get the most attention in the realm of high quality leather goods, but one line of leather that needs a little more recognition is their Latigo line of leather.
ABOUT THE LATIGO LINE OF LEATHER
Tanden with Thrux swears by latigo leather. In my conversations with him he has repeated that latigo is the time tested leather, and of course he is correct. Latigo is a form or method of tanning leather. Traditionally tanned from cowhide, latigo is normally combination tanned, usually chrome tanned and then vegetable tanned, which is how Horween still does it. Latigo has traditionally been used for horse tack, namely for saddle cinches. The reason for this is the durable nature of latigo. It is tanned in a way that makes it more stiff than many of your luxury leathers, with less stretch, and as a result is more durable. This is the main reason that Thrux Lawrence prefers latigo, its durable nature.
Another benefit in using Horween’s latigo is that their leather is struck through. This means that after tanning the hide, the hide is then dyed with the color of choice, and they allow the dye to penetrate through the entire hide. Many tanneries simply dye the exterior of the leather, but when cut into you see either a blue strip running through the middle of the leather (in the case of chrome tanned leathers), or a light brown strip (in the case of vegetable tanned leather). For the purposes of luxury consumers goods, this is unacceptable. Striking the leather through is more time consuming and expensive, but Horween doesn’t take any shortcuts and that shows in their leather.
ABOUT THE ALL LEATHER THRUX PACK
Like all of Thrux Lawrence goods, the All Leather Thrux Pack is ridiculously tough and overbuilt, which is just the way I like it. This particular Thrux Pack uses two different colors and weights of latigo. Horween provided BestLeather a chestnut hide that is four to five ounces in weight. This hide was used in the construction of the main body of the Thrux Pack, as well as the internal computer sleeve and pocket. Thrux used a darker brown latigo leather from Horween that is eight to nine ounces in weight for the shoulder straps, the top flap and straps, the handle, and their signature bucket tray, or bottom of the bag. Eight to nine ounce latigo leather in an of itself is thick and extremely rugged. Thrux takes that thick leather and doubles it for the shoulder straps and handle. The result is one hardy backpack that is bound to last generations.
To combine all of this beautiful and sturdy leather, Thrux uses very durable bonded nylon thread. For this Thrux Pack, they used a white thread which contrasts nicely against the chestnut colored leather. Note the double stitching for increased durability on the shoulder straps as well as the bottom tray, another indication of attention to detail. The hardware used for the buckles is solid brass. The zippers used are oversized, solid brass, YKK Zippers. And the rivets used to further secure the leather are solid brass rivets and burrs.
I stated in a previous article written for BestLeather that solid copper rivets are the toughest rivets you can use for leather, but I was mistaken. As brass is a combination of tin and copper, which results in a much harder metal than copper, solid brass rivets are much tougher than copper. The use of solid brass over solid copper rivets is indicative of Thrux Lawrence’s approach to leather crafting. They use only the very best materials in the making of their bags and goods.
With a lot of thick, sturdy latigo leather, the All Leather Thrux Pack is going to take some time to break in and be comfortable. On the flip side, after you use the bag for work or travel, you know your kid will be able to use it for college and work, and their kid will be able to do the same. The bag is that well made and the Horween leather that durable.
BEST LEATHER CONCLUSION
The All Leather Thrux Pack from Thrux Lawrence is a ridiculously well made bag. The choice of using latigo leather from the Horween Leather Company is the best choice. Latigo is time tested, is very durable, and Horween’s latigo is struck through and beautiful. $990 may seem like a lot to put down for a backpack and it is. But this really is not any ordinary bag. The attention to detail, the use of the best possible and most durable materials, and the quality craftsmanship means this is an investment in an heirloom quality good. The use of Horween’s latigo means you’re also getting the best quality leather that is used by the best leather companies in the United States and beyond. BestLeather definitely recommends the All Leather Thrux Pack and could not speak more highly of Horween’s latigo leather.