Materials & Care

Leather and hardware

Headknife takes pride is sourcing the best materials directly from the oldest and most respected tanneries in the USA.

Natural Vegetable Tanned & American English Bridle
Leather is an organic material and no two hides are the same. Only the highest quality top grain leather is used in our products, meaning that it hasn't been sanded or "corrected" and the natural fibers remain intact and at their strongest. The uncorrected hides have unique characteristics that will add to the overall personality of each individually handmade item.

Natural Vegetable Tanned and English Bridle leathers will soften, darken, and shape itself to you with use and time.

Horween Chromexcel
"Chromexcel is the original pull-up leather; using time honored techniques and formulas that were developed nearly 100 years ago. Chromexcel is still produced in the United States using a bark retannage from a proprietary recipe, and then genuine hot stuffed with a secret blend of natural oils and greases.

Chromexcel is characterized by a rich pull-up in full aniline, hand rubbed finishes. Made to this day with old world craftsmanship, modern Chromexcel carries on a long history of superior comfort and durability."

Horween Essex
Headknife uses custom tumbled Essex from Horween for it's classic looks, softness, and strength. This tannage is marked by a high oil content and ages beautifully over time.

Metal hardware and zippers are solid brass or stainless steel, all sourced in the USA.


Caring for your leather

Leather ages beautifully with use and time. Just by using your leather goods regularly the aging process will benefit from your natural skin oils, sunlight, and handling.

While all Headknife products are shipped ready to wear, you can condition your English Bridle or Natural leather with Obenauf’s Heavy Duty LP or Fiebing's Aussie Wax and a soft cloth. Re-condition every 6 months or as needed.

If you'd like to speed up the aging process with your Natural leather, rub it with a bit of neatsfoot or mink oil in a soft cloth (a little goes a long way) and set it in direct sunlight for a day or two followed by a re-conditioning with the one of the products mentioned above.

Horween Chromexcel and Essex only require a simple rubbing with a soft cloth or sheep shearling to bring out their sheen and get rid of small scuffs. Chromexcel may occasionally form a waxy finish if not used for awhile; this is a normal trait from the tanning process and only needs gentle rubbing with a cloth to remove.

Please read the FAQs or email if you have any other questions.