Leather is the best material for wallets. It was the first material ever used for wallets, carrying everything from coins to IDs and at some point even meats. And, the vast majority of wallets in use today around the world are still made with different types of leather material.
But while leather wallets are commonplace with many people owning leather wallets, one question that many people ask is: why?
With so many new high-quality materials, synthetic fabrics, and manufacturing processes now available to us, why do we still continue to use animal hyde to make our wallets?
At Allett, we have been crafting fine grain leather wallets since 1995. So, we feel like we’ve got a pretty solid handle on being able to answer the question of why leather, hundreds of years later, is still the most popular and arguably the best material used to construct wallets today.
Why Leather Wallets?
Wallets can be – and have been – made with many different materials across their long, centuries-long history. There were wallets, money holders, and carriers made of everything from metal to plastic to different fabric, and many modern wallets are made out of everything from steel to carbon fiber to custom synthetic fabrics.
But leather remains at the top of its class.
That’s because leather, more than any other material, has some unique characteristics and advantages that make it the best material for wallets:
Leather can withstand abuse – Fine grain leather is one of the most durable “fabrics” on earth. No matter how much it is handled or how much friction it experiences in the pocket, it does not rip, it does not wear away, and it will not lose its shape. It can last for over a century before it starts to disintegrate, which means a wallet you buy now could theoretically be passed down for generations.
Leather is lightweight – Wallets need to be carried around with you throughout the day. Any excess weight pulls down your pants and feels uncomfortable in the pocket. Leather – even thick leather (although we use thin, Nappa leather here at Allett) is a far lighter weight than most other wallet materials outside of fabrics like nylon.
Leather ages like wine – Leather is one of the only materials that many people like more as it ages. Over time, it loses its rigidity, becomes softer to the touch, and even develops a patina that many people prefer to the initial color of the wallet. The longer you own your wallet, the more likely you are to appreciate it.
Leather moves with you – Because leather becomes more malleable over time, it is far easier to move with it. You can keep your wallet with you on jogs, walks, and more, and it will move and bend with your body rather than push into your skin.
Leather is attractive – Leather can be both classic and modern, and is always pleasing to the eye. Leather can come in its natural colors, or it can be dyed in unique colors like blue, maroon, and more. It is smooth, has the perfect amount of sheen, and – because it ages gracefully – tends to look better over time with more use.
Keep in mind, there are also different types of leather. At Allett, we use Nappa leather, which is a full grain leather from the topmost layer of the hide. It is the thinnest, smoothest, and softest leather available, but just as durable as “genuine leather.” And by using a thinner, higher quality leather, we’ve been able to design and construct the thinnest wallet out there that will last you many years. Read more about Nappa leather and other quality materials and technologies we use in our wallets.
Now, there are many other fantastic materials that you can use to make wallets. For example, our nylon wallets, are built with a special bluesign®-certified, weatherproof ripstop nylon fabric that is lightweight and will move freely with you for years to come. But there is no denying that the original is still the best. What do you think?
Check out our entire selection of handcrafted Nappa leather wallets, now available in new colors and styles.