The type and quality of hardware used in leather goods plays a key role in how long the piece will last. Here in the Mr. Lentz Leather Goods workshop I mainly use solid brass hardware with a nickel plating. I rivet everything in place, simply because it will resist wear for many times longer than stitching alone. I also have a variety of stainless steel buckles and accessory parts. These are pieces of hardware that are made to last. Specifically – most of the hardware I use also plays a role in the saddle industry where items have to stand up to the weather as well as some serious abuse. Read on below to learn a bit more about all types of hardware used in leather goods.
The answer is simple: rivets are metal and will last exponentially longer than stitching alone. The abrasion resistance of a rivet is extremely high when compared to a stitch. A lot of people don’t realize how much abuse a wallet will see over its lifetime. In fact I would venture to say that a wallet is the most heavily abused leather goods item that anyone will own in their lifetime. Typically wallets will be carried in the pocket and subjected to constant rubbing against pants material. They will be sat on, thrown on tables, and handled frequently every day. Clots for credit cards are opened and closed thousands and thousands of times. The cash area is opened and handled numerous times per day. This tiny piece of leather needs to be held together in a way that will last.
Even the best stitched wallets using the highest grade/thickest thread, will fail at some point. Abrasion takes a real toll on those thread fibers. One will pop and the rest will go with it.
My leather goods all feature solid brass rivets with a nickel plating. Solid brass is the highest quality of metal you can use with leather due to its durability and non-rusting qualities.
Solid Brass and Stainless Steel
All of the hardware used in my shop is Solid Brass or Stainless Steel, with the exception of a few keychain parts not available in those metals. There are in fact a variety of metal choices out there and many mass-producers will cut corners and go for the cheaper ones. So, be careful when shopping around – there’s a reason why that leather briefcase price is too good to be true.