Our leather is full grain, and tanned here in the USA unless noted. Full grain leather is the highest quality of leather you can get. Full grain leather has not had the top separated to hide flaws; neither have any polyurethane products been smoothed over the surface of leather to hide natural imperfections.
Full grain leather will show its beauty unabashed. The markings acquired by the animal throughout its life are intact, which honor the life of the animal it came from.
When taken care of, your full-grain leather will last a very, very long time.
For more information on the different types of leather, and common leather terminology, visit our "Leather 101" page here.
The purpose of this blog is to showcase (and celebrate) the unique and wonderful variation leather has, and to help you get to know our leathers and the unique characteristics they possess.
We hope this will help represent the colors and textures well, and that it will be a useful tool in knowing what kind of unique variation one can expect.
The following 3 lined segment is true for all leathers:
The larger the "pebble", the more pliable the leather will be.
The texture does not only depend on the kind of leather, but also the part of the hide the piece was cut from. There will be a certain percentage of each hide that has texture, and a certain percentage that is on the smoother side.
We do not guarantee that we can match your request in the order notes, but we always do our very best with what we have in shop.
1. Creme Leather
In the above image, you see the three most common textures of our Creme leather - we used Creme Brûlée as the example, because it is light in color and easy to see texture. Theses texture variations apply to all three Creme leathers: Creme Brûlée, Chocolate, & Black Beauty.
Creme leather can also be very smooth, although it is not very common for the entire piece of leather to be perfectly smooth.
The above pictured textures are true throughout the Black Beauty and Chocolate leathers as well.
***updated leathers will be posted soon***
3. Mr. Darcy Leather
Notice the lighter colored short lines that are this piece of Buttered Rum. These little lines are natural scars in the hide that occurred long before this piece became leather. These are considered natural variations, because they occurred naturally, and not during production.
Above are examples of natural leather variation in Mr. Darcy Burgundy, Toffee, and Buttered Rum. The lighter nuances in color are completely normal, and are part of the pull up quality in this particular leather.
What is pull up? Watch this video for a short demonstration.
Above is an example of range markings (scars). Scars usually appear on leather as lighter lines, darker lines, small dots or blotches. The lines can be on the thick side, or they can be so thin they look like hair-lines.
This piece of Buttered Rum has a bit of a texture to it - what some people refer to as "elephant wrinkles". Although characterized by it's somewhat shiny surface and impressionable nature, not all Mr. Darcy leather will be perfectly smooth.
These beautiful markings we call "fat rolls". It is fairly common to find piece of Darcy with this glorious marbling effect.
& 4. are examples of smooth, "creamy", pieces.
This is the color of the Hide when it is brand new (5). Over time it will darken, just like all leathers. The Buttered Rum turns into a "toasty", honey-brown over time (6).
These lines are not "defects" (7), but rather beauty marks. These markings can be found throughout the Mr. Darcy line, in the Toffee, Burgundy and Black, but will vary in between lots.
4. Pemberley Collection
The Pemberley leather is supple and glossy, with a soft hand and luxurious texture. The texture can vary from tight pebbling to larger pebbling, and the color will vary as well, depending on what part of the hide your notebook is made from.
Character notes - applicable to all Pemberley colors:
the larger the pebble, the more pliable the piece will be.
the color will vary by lot, but it also depends on what part of the hide your leather was cut from.
Above is the Pemberley leather in Aubergine. Notice the varying texture and color variation! The Aubergine varies from deep plum to violet. This color is very similar to the now retired "Carie Harling's Violet".
The Odyssey Collection is made up of an adventurous group of characters including the above pictured "Siren", as well as "Penelope", "Poseidon", and "Athena" (scroll down for photos). These notebooks start out with the Mr. Darcy leather, which is known for it's smooth texture and impressionable qualities. The pieces are hand-picked for the upmost color and natural range markings. We then further enhance the leather by hand, making sure to use processes that compliment the leather's natural variation.
The finished product is a soft, supple piece of leather that has that "loved and lived-in" feel. This is the perfect choice for adventure and art journaling. These journals have stories to tell and miles to go.
Odysseys come with an array of different markings - no two will be alike.
Depending on the piece, the color will vary from buttery yellow to light brown.
You are free to include a note on your order requesting certain characteristics, but please keep in mind we aren't able to guarantee we will be able to fulfill your request. (See our blog on "Comments, Requests at Checkout".
Common color variation
Variation in interior pockets
The notebook on the right in this photo is shown with black elastic and dark edging. If you would like a different color of elastic, please include that in your notes. We have black, white, and brown.
Color and texture variation: the texture an Odyssey has is completely dependent on the leather itself. If the leather doesn't want to wrinkle, it just won't.
Poseidon is a regal, jet-black character with varying texture, but not a lot of color variation.
This notebook is extremely soft and pliable. Some might call it "floppy".
The natural texture of the hide allowed this piece to become wonderfully wrinkled.
The Poseidon will have dyed black edging/stitching.
Ranges in several shades of dark burgundy.
The natural variation in the hide allowed numbers 3 & 4 to become beautifully wrinkled (a highly sought after look).
Dark edging and/or dyed stitching is to be expected.
Pyrographic engravings are burned into the leather (you can also request no engravings).
Smooth, vegetable tanned full grain leather with a purely natural finish.
Darkens and patinas naturally over time.
The above pictured Patina is brand new. The leather is creamy beige, with varying leather variations. The feel is soft, but not floppy. This leather is typically very smooth to the touch.
The above pictured Patina notebook was done in Mingliu font with a Medium engraving. The notebook (at the time the photo was taken) was made about 3 months ago, and as you can see, the honey brown Patina has started to set in quite handsomely.
7. Rustic Tote - what kind of "natural variation" can one expect?
Rustic. I love that description. Many things come to mind when I hear that word:
a cozy cabin up in the boonies (away from city lights and wifi!)
natural, raw wood grain
the smell of fresh-cut Cedar...
And of course, Chic Sparrow rustic totes! These bags are year-round, life-long companions. The leather is thick-cut, completely full-grain (of course) and smells heavenly.
Here are some characteristics you can expect to find when you receive your new Tote:
natural range markings (barbed wire, small scars, moles and freckles)
Variation in color (more common with the Rustic Brown Tote, Vintage Black is even-toned black)
Variation in texture (some are more pebbly, some are more smooth)
Here are some things you should not expect:
Scars or cuts that go all the way through the leather and/or are not natural to the hide
Cattle Branding - you may be used to seeing cattle branding on some of our pouches and tumbler bags, but they are seldom found on our Tote Bags.
Rustic Totes are made with pull-up leather. For a quick definition of "pull-up" check out this video.
Because of the high oil-content, you will find that the leather changes color as you bend, squish or roll your leather.
You may notice scratches and nicks accumulating as you use the bag, but many of these markings can actually be massaged out.
1. Warm the leather with your hands
2. Massage the affected area very gently with your hands/fingers
Thank you for reading, I hope this has been helpful to some extent. We will add more leathers and photos as they become available for demonstration. If you have a specific question regarding leather variation, feel free to submit an inquiry to our customer service: