What is it about leather that makes it so alluring? What is it about tanned and dyed animal skin that fascinates? Is it the texture? The smell? The feel? Is it the comfort in knowing it's the one product in this age of carbon fiber and high tech polymers that's still produced pretty much the same way as it was 200 years ago? Or 2000 years ago? I can't quite put my finger on why, but leather is almost sacred to me. Maybe it's because that wallet or belt or catcher's mitt was once a living, breathing creature and as you hold it in your hand you think about how special that fact is – or, maybe you don't - but I do and always have.
I still remember that first brand new baseball glove. Ah, the fragrance! The texture of real full grain cowhide. The stitching. The knots in the end of the lacing. No man made materials here, mister! I was born again! If there was a more perfect item ever produced for the benefit of mankind I couldn't imagine what it was. It was the gold standard of everything I owned. As I caressed it, I thought about not only how gorgeous it was but how utterly indestructible it would be. I knew I would be passing that mitt down to my kids and they would pass it down to their kids. Shoot,that hunk of hide would last 100 years at least! Well, It lasted one summer and then I lost it on some playground, somewhere.
Now, every time I hold in my hands a quality piece of leather I still press my nose against it and take a deep breath and I'm ten years old again and I smile inside and the world seems a little more friendly.
How about you? Ever think about when you first discovered the beauty of leather? Feel free to add your comments – we'd love to hear from you.