Leather, Stitching Style
What type of leather does Boondocks use?
Boondocks uses thick, full grain, vegetable tanned water buffalo hides.
What is full grain leather? What is vegetable tanning?
Full grain leather is the best quality leather you can buy. It is from the top of the hide, where the fibers are intertwined and tangled, resulting in extremely high strength.
Top grain leather from just below that. People use it to avoid the outer layer of the skin, which could have scars on it. It isn't too bad.
Genuine leather is from even lower on the hide. When you see the word "genuine", you may be inclined to think that it simply means that you're looking at real leather. And sure, it may be. But coming from an even lower layer of the hide, its fibers are much less intertwined and closer to being flat. That means it isn't as strong as full grain or top grain. So you probably want to avoid it if you are looking for good quality leather.
Then there is bonded leather. Watch out for it. Particles of leather are glued and mashed together. It may even be stamped in an effort to make it look like full grain. Sort of like a fast food hamburger bun. You know, the white bread that is stripped of basically all of its nutritional value with some seeds thrown on top to give it the appearance of a healthy, whole grain bread.
Vegetable tanning is the process of tanning hide by infusing plant extract. Organic compounds are taken from bark, branches, leaves, and sometimes fruits. An age-old way. It is better for the environment and human health than toxic alternatives.
Why water buffalo? Why not cow?
Water buffalo skin is used to protect against crocodiles, lions, and tigers. There is actually a video online showing a water buffalo calf walking away after an attack by multiple lions and a crocodile. That is a great example of the protective quality of water buffalo skin.
Besides that, cow leather is nice, but so common! Who doesn't own something made of cow? Water buffalo is exotic (for a lot of people). When you combine a rarer animal with a rare, less-practiced sewing style, you get a rare, exotic product that very few people own.
Is the leather waterproof?
It actually seems to enjoy the water. It might have something to do with the fact that water buffalo are practically amphibious. If your leather gets rained on or submersed in water, it should be fine. You might want to coat it with extra oil that can repel water if you are planning on exposing it to large amounts of water. Mink oil or something similar should be sufficient.
The leather will likely darken with age somewhat as it is exposed to oils, water and whatever else it touches. This is of course quite noticeable on the light leather colors especially.
Water buffalo don't live in the ocean, though. So salt water is a different story. If you expose the leather to salt water, you'll probably want to soak it in fresh water for a while afterwards. It isn't recommended to take it into salt water, so do so only if you must and at your own risk!
Why do you hand-stitch? Wouldn't it be faster to use a machine?
Hand stitching is superior in strength compared to the typical machine stitch.
The handmade way is reclaiming the popularity it once had. It is not only the way of the past, but it is the way of the future.
Why do you use hemp for the stitching?
See Versus for an explanation.
What colors are available? What do they look like? Is it possible to combine multiple colors on an item?
Tan, Red, Red-Brown, Dark Brown, and Black.
It is possible to request a custom combination of colors for an item. For example, you could ask for a dark brown Nomad Backpack with a tan drawstring and black shoulder pads. To do so, simply place your order, then contact Boondocks through the contact form to specify what you are looking for.
Why are the edges burnished? What do they look like?
Burnished edges look much nicer than unfinished edges. They are smoother and rounded. Plus, they close up the leather, protecting it from dirt and water. The following photo shows a burnished edge (upper layer) compared to a raw edge (lower layer).
What does "Boondocks" mean?
See The Name for an explanation.
Where is Boondocks located?
Boondocks is a Canadian company based in Ontario.
Do you plan on offering any more products than what are on the site?
Yes, of course. Boondocks has plans for tons of different products. Follow Boondocks for updates!
Does Boondocks do custom work?
Yes! Contact Boondocks to discuss your idea and work out a deal.
Why should I spend this much?
Cheap items rarely last long, function as well, or look as good as more expensive ones.
Some people may think that they are getting a "good deal" when they buy something that is extraordinarily inexpensive. Strangely, though, they don't give much consideration to the fact that the item they are buying could need multiple replacements over the next few years, costing them more money than they would have spent if they had purchased the higher quality alternative in the first place. Plus, Boondocks offers a comprehensive 150 year warranty on all of their items.
Considering those points, the fact that all of the materials used to make each Boondocks product are very expensive, and that a great amount of effort is necessary to craft each item, the answer is obvious.
So invest in your future. Buy nice or buy thrice!
When will my order be made and shipped?
Since all Boondocks products are handmade, production times are longer than most companies. They also partly depend on the amount of orders that have been sent, and the complexity of the items that need to be made. Of course, a bag takes significantly longer to make than a belt. Expect smaller bags to be shipped 5-7 business days after order placement. Larger bags should be ready to ship within 8-10 business days. Belts will usually ship within 1-2 days. If you need your order by a certain date or you would prefer a shipping option that is not listed on the website, please notify Boondocks by email.
Can I send an item back or exchange items?
Understandably, leather is a very personal thing. It has a particular feel, smell, and style. Perhaps you intended to give someone some Boondocks leather as a gift, but you weren't aware that someone else had the same idea. Or maybe you discovered that an item of a different size would be more suitable.
You can exchange an item within 5 days of receiving it if it is in the same condition as when you received it.
Boondocks items cannot be returned because they take a huge amount of time, energy, and resources to put together.
Bags can be exchanged for other bags of the same type (like a small Nomad for a large Nomad, or a red-brown Boonie for a black Boonie) and belts can be exchanged for other belts.
Boondocks also offers a 150 year warranty on all of its products. Read more about it here.
To set up an item exchange, contact Boondocks.