Wallets are the perfect introductory leather piece. They are reasonably priced, easily customized, and vary with hundreds of styles and materials. Buying a leather wallet for the first time, or before dropping a large sum on a bag, allows potential leather connoisseurs to experience leather, decide what they do and don’t like, and base future leather endeavors off of a small, reasonable, and practical purchase. Believe it or not, the BestLeather staff still enjoys reviewing leather wallets – especially when they’re really good ones. The J Michael Ashland Mini Leather Bifold Wallet is an ideal example of a classic, timeless design with a few great tweaks.
J Michael Ashland is a father, designer, and minimalist leather worker. If there is one thing that sets him apart from his competitors, it’s the fact that he uses no power tools. You’d think his operation would be based out of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania (Amish country for those of you who aren’t aware). But actually he is a fellow Oregonian with a passion for traditional leather working. He has designed and built several production items to assist him in his by-hand leather business.
The Mini Leather Bifold is constructed using supple brown Horween Chromexcel leather and Tiger thread. Tiger thread is regarded as one of the best threads for hand stitching because it is bonded, waxed, UV coated, and not suitable for machine use. J Michael, and many others, believe this method is the finest for quality leather goods, and his products have yet to prove him wrong. He chose to leave a little room in his wallet construction, allowing for maximum storage yet keeping the wallet’s lean imprint. The two inside sleeves have plenty of space for storing your essential cards. However, with the minimalist in mind, the mini wallet is significantly slimmer than the regular J Michael Bifold Wallet, the big brother to the Mini Bifold.
The J Michael Ashland Mini Bifold was purposely designed to be a do-it-all wallet. J Michael has provided me with a few comments on the function and build of his product: “To minimize the size by one inch, the cards are horizontal. The right pocket holds five cards, and the other side may hold two. The leather is flexible and the pockets are purposely a little wider and taller. For people who enjoy flat cash/minimal carry this might be a good option.”
I enjoy wallets with refined, sleek construction. The Mini Bifold is 3.25” x 4.125,” the perfect size for use in a front or rear pocket. I typically keep it in my back pocket simply due to the amount of cards I carry. Someone who doesn’t carry as much as I do will have no problem placing it in their front pocket comfortably.
On a regular basis I carry my driver’s license, military ID, two debit cards, a rewards card, a gift card, and time card for work, as well as any cash I happen to have. The wallet performs seamlessly, and every time I pull it out in front of someone, they comment on its beauty and modern appeal.
Showing off my leather products is always fun. I have received numerous compliments on various leather goods I currently own, but the J Michael Ashland Mini Bifold has broken records in terms of comments and admiration. It is safe to say this wallet is incredibly appealing to men of all ages. It is obvious that a lot of time and passion went it to the making of this wallet. It is a classic build that offers great storage, a slim design, and a lovely shade of brown. The Tiger thread contrasts attractively with Horween’s brown leather. The wallet comes in this brown color as well as an all black version, which is just as stunning.
I have been able to use my Mini Bifold for quite some time now. I appreciate every single thing about it and look forward to watching how it ages and holds up. If you are in the market for a classic, timeless wallet design, and want to support a 100% handmade in the USA leather operation, the J Michael Ashland Mini Bifold Wallet is a perfect piece. Priced at $60.00, the wallet is a bargain. Head over to J Michael’s website to check out his other high-quality products, and don’t forget to participate in the J Michael Ashland Giveaway – you might score a nice package of goods worth $235!