All Mr. Lentz Leather Goods are handmade to order in my small workshop located in the Deserts of Southwestern U.S.A., ensuring the highest possible level of quality. To learn more about how each item is made, read this little story below about my process and watch the short shop video.
Watch how it’s done in the video below, or read on for the full story.
Now, there aren’t too many people makin’ wallets with as much care as I do, so I thought I would share the process with y’all. Keep in mind this applies to every item in the shop:
Every morning I wake up and brew a pot of Cowboy Coffee, you know – the grainy type with a bit of grind still left in the cup. Sippin’ on this, I enter my workshop and pull out a large ‘side’ of raw, full-grain, vegetable-tanned leather. Usually a roll of about 24 square feet, of leather smellin’ goodness. From this roll I will plan out the day’s cuts, which pieces will be best used for wallets, and where the most interesting natural markings lay. Then the cutting and punching process begins, shaping the wallet down to the millimeter using a series of sharp knives and precision cutting tools.
From there, it will be carried over to the Mr. Lentz logo branding machine, a beast of a tool that is capable of over a thousand degrees of heat. The brand is set in place and the logo is impressed on the surface…a sweet smell of singed leather fills the air with a puff of steam. Next, the wallet is carried over to the sequential number machine, where I first spray on a bit of water into place before adjusting the machine and pulling down on the lever to set the numbers deep into the leather. This number signifies the order in which the wallet or other leather good was made in the history of Mr. Lentz Leather Goods. It is sequential right from the start of my early work, and I have a book to account for every item and number marked.
If you chose to personalize your wallet, then I will heat up another branding tool, as well capable of over 1,000 degrees. The letters are hand placed into the tool in the old-fashioned typesetter’s way, then the wallet is again sprayed with a mist of water. Holding the branding tool above the wallet, carefully aligning the initials in place, then with a quick and brisk movement, the numbers are pressed and held into place as the tool brands the leather.
If you ordered the Western Brown version, your wallet will be taken over to another table where it is immersed in an all-natural vegetable based dye, created weekly by myself. It’s a secret shop recipe and allows me to dye my goods with good conscience. The dye is non-toxic and safe for me to use without gloves! After the wallet is immersed in the dye, it will then be pulled out and hand-rubbed down to even out the color. It is then set out to dry in the natural heat and wind of the Southwest’s desert air for several hours. Once fully dry, the wallet is brought over to be oiled and conditioned. I am proud to say that I make my own leather conditioner from all-natural materials as well. It is the same leather conditioner that I ship free with every wallet as a can of Spiff N’ Shine (also hand-filled!) The wallet is set on a table and rubbed down from side to side with a few layers of an oil-wax mixture. This process is then repeated on the backside and over again until the wallet has fully absorbed just the right amount as to be soft and pliable.
Once oiled, every wallet is hand-buffed with a soft cloth before each rivet is placed into the leather, one by one. The rivets are assembled together with several hundred pounds of force, creating a super-durable and tight fit… one that will last a long long time and guaranteed to hold for 100 years. The wallet is then hand hammered into shape, thus keeping its tightly made corners and folds.
Each wallet is then fit with a paper sleeve made from recycled materials, and attached with a free tin of Mr. Lentz Spiff N’ Shine. Then, finally – after a day or so of work – it is off to the postal service to make its way to you and your pocket. It will last you a long long time.
Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed hearing about all of the work that went into this purely handcrafted piece of leather goodness! When you buy from my shop, you are buying a quality made piece that is intended to hold up for a long time.
Now that you know how I make my goods, click here to learn more about the quality of materials I use.