RJ Leatherworks was started in June 2019 in Tempe, Arizona as a sole proprietor. After some success in Arizona, it was time for a change. Just prior to moving, we started RJ Leatherworks LLC in Fort Wayne, Indiana which happened to be the start of our next chapter in life.
Why did we start it in the first place? It was out of a desire to work with our hands, think outside of the box, and create functional leather goods that are designed and made right here in the USA. We were tired of seeing Genuine Leather products that cost a fair amount of money but never really lasted. The idea of spending our hard earned money on a leather product that would not last years was disgusting to us.
We use full grain leather, which you can find out more about here. Beyond that, we tend to use vegetable tanned, also known as just "veg tan" leather for most of our products. This allows us to change the color of the leather and make an impression on it, like our makers mark and your monogrammed wallet.
Other products that we offer are made out of Italian Leather, which is known world wide for being high quality with a superior feel.
We do not tan our own leather. This is simply because it takes a long time and a lot of space that we do not currently have available.
We are proud to say that we get our veg tan and bridle leather from American Leather Direct out of Bowling Green, Kentucky. Now where do they get their leather? Cahin Leather out of Mexico. We utilize this route because we know that Cahin Leather uses cattle from Canada and the USA for all of their tanning.
The goods that we make are hand stitched using a saddle stitch. This is the same stitch that is used in horse saddles to protect the rider and the horse. This is a stitch that you cannot get with any kind of sewing machine out there. It uses a single piece of waxed thread and two needles. We start with a backstitch to lock the stitch in, then move through the entire stitch line, ending in another backstitch. This requires that each hole is punched out by us, by hand. Within each hole, the thread is crossed over itself resulting in a friction hold. That means that if you pop or break a stitch, the other stitches around it will not come undone on their own. They will hold because of that integrated friction.
This means that each product that you purchase from RJ Leatherworks is made to last. It was made in the USA by us and customized for you. These products that you spend your hard earned money on are made to last.