We love leather goods so much we wrote a love letter that we post on almost every leather product we sell. And odds are, the people buying leather love it for the same reasons we do. With any leather product we sell, there are some special guidelines due to the nature of how it changes and wears you need to take into consideration. Most of it is straightforward and you probably already know it, but we have to bring up so we’re all on the same page. Unless specifically noted, all leather goods you get from us can be returned like normal so long as you don’t bugger them up. The quick rules to NOT bugger them up are:
- Be Careful. Leather can wear, patina and tell its own story with time and use - and will start doing so as soon as you start handling it. So until you determine you are keeping it, handle leather gear with thought and care. If you put any wear on it, it cannot be returned.
- Inspect before Use. Inserting something into a leather product (like a knife in a sheath or a gun in a holster) can easily scratch, mark or stretch the leather. If that happens, you cannot return the product.
- Check Fitment and Style Before Wearing It. Belts cannot be returned if the belt has been threaded into the buckle or the post has been inserted into a hole. Products with belt loops (holsters, sheaths, etc) cannot be returned once you have threaded a belt through the loops.
To expand on these points:
- Like everything we well, any used leather gear cannot be returned, period. If you handle it and scratch it, dent it, or mark it up in any way, it cannot be returned. Handling with oily hands, or putting it on a dirty workbench, will probably stain the leather. So please handle with care. If you drop it, scuff it, or mark it, it is yours.
- For gear that is a container for some other object (knife sheath, gun holster, card wallet, etc), if you stick said object into the product, you might not be able to return it. See, leather changes and reacts very easily to pressure. Odds are, the first time you stuck that knife in the sheath, or the gun in the holster, or cards into the wallet - something internally got scraped or scratched up, or started molding the gear to the object (changing the shape to the EXACT item you put in it). When YOU bought it, you were expecting a new, unmodified and undamaged item. That is what you got, so if it no longer fits that description, it cannot be returned. Please Note: Most leather gear is formed using a object that is a duplicate of the item expected to be put in it. That means, for a sheath or a holster, the leather was formed around an item that will have the same ridges, bumps and angles as the knife or gun you are going to put into it. There will be marks and indentations on the interior that reflect where the mold example has pressed into the leather, and that is normal. There is a difference between these molding marks, and scratches and scrapes from putting gear in and out of the leather, and you should expect some of the former on a new product.
- Some leather goods require a break in to be optimal. Leather stretches and forms to whatever you put in it, making it a great sheath and holster option. However, since everything varies a bit, leather goods are built to be smaller than normal so the leather will form a perfect fit to your gear. Read the break in details below. If you break in a leather product, you cannot return it.
- If the product you purchased threads through something (or can have something threaded through it), like a belt for instance - as soon as you put that belt on and thread it through the buckle, it will have bent and creased the leather and form of the belt. BEFORE YOU PUT THAT BELT ON, test it the following way:
Thread belt through your belt loops, but DO NOT thread belt through buckle. Once around your waist, overlay the tail end OVER the buckle to see where the belt lays in regards to the buckle. You will be able to see the holes and where they line up with the tip of the post meets the buckle. This will give you a close gauge of how the belt is going to fit and what hole you will be using. REMEMBER, if you plan on wearing that belt with accessories, keep in mind how much room it will take to accommodate that (such as IWB holsters, or gear threaded on the belt). As soon as you thread the belt through the buckle or insert the buckle post into the hole, it is considered used and unable to be returned, period. It will take exactly ONE time of putting it on to do this, so don't think "I can do it once just to test it out". You wouldn't buy sneakers or boots all creased up from someone else walking in them, so we can't sell a belt that you have creased or bent.
- As soon as you thread a belt through belt loops, those loops will start stretching. When they stretch, they will no longer be “new” and ready to fit to the belt they will sit on. Additionally, it will likely mark/wrinkle the leather once the bend and stretch. If you insert something into the loops/holes, it is considered used and cannot be returned.
We know some of this sounds harsh, but if you handle the goods with care and use your noggin from the get-go, you'll be able to examine and inspect everything to decide if it’s the right fit and style of gear for you. We have been selling this stuff for a long time, and have been buying it even longer. We know what the customer wants and expects of a new leather product, and we know what it looks like when something comes back with any amount of wear. Help us get you the gear you want, and get that gear to other customers, by following these guidelines.
Leather Break In and Cleaning
Most leather goods requires a little break in to get going. The good news is that most gear will break in with normal use, and will start building its own patina and character. However, some gear is meant to have a VERY tight fit out of the box to perfectly allow fitment to your gear. Things like holsters and magazine carriers most commonly need break in.
First, determine if you need to do any special break in. Remember, if it’s pretty close out of the box and needs to be a TAD looser, consider just carrying/wearing the item a bit to naturally let things break in. If you try to force the break in and go too far, your fitment might not be as perfect as it could be. Once broken in, leather doesn't like to get smaller.
If you do need to break in something, it's very easy. We will be using a holster as the example, but this method works for most leather gear. First step is to make sure the gun you are using is safe and unloaded. Then, simply take the gun and insert it into a plastic zip-lock bag (the bad that your holster shipped with is perfect). Once in the bag, insert the gun into the holster (it will be tight). Then, you just have to wait until it’s “right” for you. It depends on the gun and your preferences. Sometimes it just takes a few minutes, an hour or two, and sometimes it takes 24 hours. What you are doing is stretching the leather to the shape of your gun PLUS a very small extra bit of room (the thickness of the bag). Let the gun sit in the holster for 15-20 minutes, then check fitment minus the bag. Repeat as necessary to get it to feel snug but easy to remove. Remember, it’s easy to keep stretching out, but you can't always go back - so don’t overdo it!
Lastly, NEVER use leather conditioning products on any formed leather goods. Holsters, sheaths, whatever. These conditioners can and will change and ruin the form of the holster (they are designed to soften the leather - the opposite of what you want for a rigid shape-holding piece of kit). Using these products on formed leather goods will void the warranty. To clean smooth-out leather, use a slightly damp cloth to remove dust and debris. Compressed air is helpful to blow out debris from the holster inside and out. A light application of Renaissance Wax can be applied to smooth-out leather to help clean it up. For rough-out leather, use a medium stiff brush to clean dust and debris from the surface.