Where to buy leather?


#1

Best place to get bulk, consistent leather? I know you can buy on ebay and such, but any other leads?
Thanks!


Glowforge shipping date, beta releases, and bonus materials
#2

Depends on the kind of leather. For unfinished, veg-tan (i.e. guaranteed laserable) tooling-type hides, http://www.tandyleather.com/en/ is fine. You’ll get WAY better deals if you go to their physical locations, though, and catch sales (you can also inspect the hides you buy, which is a good idea when you need consistent surface and thickness for laserability). http://hidehouse.com/ has some beautiful stuff, but don’t invest in it for lasering unless it’s a) veg-tan or b) someone else has tested it for lasering. For kangaroo leather (the bomb), you’ll have to import (it’s spendy). http://www.packerleather.com/leathers-for.html is where I buy mine.


#3

FANTASTIC advice. I’ve yet to work with leather and this really helps!!! Thank you! I’ll have to look around locally for suppliers!! Thank you!


#4

we have tandy leather here. they are nationwide so there might be one near you. I second @morganstanfield that it is way better to go look at leather in person if you can. So much variance, and Ive seen many cases where people bought online and had a piece with a hole right in the middle or a big dark vein or something.


#5

This is why I love you! You always know this stuff!
I had no idea they were anywhere near me. Turns out, two stores are close by.
Union City, CA #17 and San Bruno, CA #142


#6

Awesome! They are practically right in my back yard!


#7

Has anyone bought from aliexpress.com? I’ve heard that many of the eBay listings source from alibaba.


#8

No, and I wouldn’t. They’re such a huge company with zero specialized interest in leather that you’re likely to get stuff that isn’t what you want and might end up being a waste of money or worse. Various leather finishes can easily be mistaken for others, and it would only take one unscrupulous seller in the long chain between the Indian or Mexican tanneries (where most leather comes from) and you to put something laser-toxic in your hands.

As an example, I recently bought a large lot of hides off a seller in a Facebook group for leatherworkers. They were what I expected, so I looked out for other deals he had. He then offered a second lot of hides that I would have definitely guessed were veg-tanned (i.e, laserable) from the photos. I asked, and being a good guy, he told me that though they looked veg-tanned, they were actually chrome tanned with a lightly polished finish that was often mistaken for veg-tan.


#9

By the way, @JeremyNielsen, I don’t know if you saw my comment on the All about leather thread from Jan 16 or so, but you might find it helpful as you go through the buying process. I list some useful variables in kinds of leather that you’ll encounter when buying, and there’s some good discussion throughout that thread about laserability of various types.


#10

I love how they call the “local” store “Boston” when I guess it is closer to Boston than Concord NH (the next closest state capital) but it’s up near the NH bordering Dracut MA. But still not a horrible 40 minute drive, so that’s super useful to know. Thanks for sharing.


#11

I said it before, and I’ll state it again @morganstanfield is a plethora of great information


#12

@morganstanfield You, my friend, are a saint. Thanks!!! I’ll be taking a look!!! I think I found a local supplier too that I will be looking into.

@brandon_r I’ve ordered one thing from aliexpress it took forever to get here and the service was horrid.


#13

If you do a lot of googling you’ll find that there are some independent leather retailers and some tanneries in New England you can visit.


#14

BTW, @JeremyNielsen, at Tandy, you can buy into various discount levels, with or without a reseller’s license. I pay $35 per year for the Gold “membership” discount for 20% off all my purchases. If you buy even one or two good-sized hides, it’s totally worth it.


#15

You have a tandy in winnipeg!
They have some great sales, and to reiterate what @morganstanfield says, the memberships are definitely worth it if youre gonna be buying from there often.


#16

There’s one in Calgary too!


#17

Oh!! It’s a multi location place! That’s fantastic. I’ll be stopping by and looking into a membership!


#18

Oh ya! I just looked up Tandy and theirs one in the Vancouver area too (Surrey) Woohoo.


#19

This is exciting! Looks like Tandy just got a whole new set of customers!


#20

I vote for @morganstanfield as our local leather girl!