Natural Old World Harness Leather from the Hermann Oak Tannery in St. Louis Missouri
Our Natural Old World Harness Leather
The Classic Old World Natural Harness Collection is a group of belts cut from Hot Stuffed harness leather that has been tanned at Hermann Oak Tannery in St. Louis, Missouri. This is a 4th Generation Tannery uses tree bark and other natural tannins to cure their natural leather.
Due to no dyes being used as colorant additives in this leather, the oils, tallow’s and waxes cause color shifting. The wax and tallow compound that makes this leather so durable and water repellent, gives it a unique color, but understand, it is not consistently even.
The primary use of this leather is for saddlery. Dirt, sweat, salt, and horse drool were hard on ordinary leather so a strong, weather resistant, vegetable tanned leather was invented for the horseman’s reins. This process has changed little in 140 years. Each hide still needs to be steeped for over a month in giant pools of bark and root extracts. Then, the hides are added to giant wooden drums loaded with beef tallow, waxes and shin bone oils. With heat and centrifugal force, “hot stuffed” harness leather was made when these rotating drums finished the job. That was over a hundred years ago and not very much has changed in the process.
The undyed leather has color variations that make it a natural American beauty that is often copied, but never duplicated. We want our customers to understand that your new belt can be returned if it does not meet your satisfaction. That is how Shep Hermann runs his tannery and that is how sure we are about this leather.
We had this gorgeous leather made in a limited edition chocolate as well. It has all the waxes and oils and is a true classic chocolate. If you’d prefer this version, please tell us in the note section of your order.