What's the first thing you do when you
pick up a fine leather holster? If you're like most of us, you hold it
to your nose allow that wonderful aroma that only fine leather has. But
what is that aroma really and how does it get there. I mean, after all,
have you ever actually smelled a cow?
Quality leather holsters with fine hand boning are designed to
retain the shape of the firearm are typically handcrafted from
vegetable-tanned leather. That means it was tanned using tannins
(which is too technical a word for this blog but the word chemical will
do) and other more natural ingredients found in vegetable matter, tree
bark and the like. It gives the leather its brown color and makes it
supple in nature. It is the only type of leather suitable for use in
carving or stamping. It can also be oiled to improve its water
resistance, keep it supple and improve its lifespan dramatically.
There are many different types of tanning processes, from
aldehyde-tanned, to chrome-tanned to even brain-tanned, as well as
leather holsters that have been “painted” to achieve their look. So the
next time you pick up a holster, or any fine leather good, check it out
for that rich, quality leather aroma, if it’s there, chances are you
have a vegetable tanned and oiled work of art in your hands.