It is important to note that leather is a natural product, and each hide or skin is an individual piece. The size, coloration, quality and consistency of each hide or skin can vary quite a bit, and in some cases a certain amount of 'imperfections' can be expected to exist. While some types of leathers (and tanning processes) tend to produce more reliable and consistent results, not all types of leather are consistent from hide to hide. We do try evaluate all of our leathers to maintain the best level of quality we can overall.
While we stock a variety of leathers of similar weights, different types of hides and the varying tanning processes result in leathers that have somewhat differing qualities. Individual artisans may have different tastes in exactly which type of leather they may use for any particular type of project. It often pays to occasionally obtain a piece of a different type of leather to assess it for your own needs and preferences when creating miniature items.
Rio Rondo specializes in providing small amounts of premium leathers for miniatures crafters who often only need a small piece for a project, rather than purchasing an entire side or skin. All of our leathers are the best quality we are able to consistently obtain. Occasionally we offer scrap bags of odds and ends (to be found on our specials page) but all of the leathers we carry in our regular line are cut from complete sides or skins, and are not scraps or leftovers unless otherwise noted.
Leather Lace is the staple item of miniature tackmaking. Easily cut to the desired length and featuring uniform width and color, straps for halters, bridles, breastcollars, reins, harness items and more are no problem. Available in 5 standard widths of 1/16", 3/32", 1/8", 3/16" and 1/4". Our buckles and hardware items are scaled to accommodate the various widths we offer.
Colors include: Black, Brown, Rust and Natural
White available in 3/32" and 1/8" widths only.
Our vegetable-tanned tooling leather is the standby for all miniature western tack items, particularly saddles and breastcollars. Our 2-3 oz leather is thin enough to use for miniatures, yet retains all the qualities of larger scale carving leathers. You can stamp, carve and dye this leather to suit. Tooling leather is available in 8.5 x 5.5" pieces as well as in scrap bags suitable for making small projects or for practice.
Tooling leather comes in its natural (buff) color only. The consistency of the tooling leather we carry can vary from hide to hide, and there may be minor imperfections in some pieces, which can be tooled or stamped over and produce fine results.
Available in natural color only
Skiver, (pronounced "SKY-ver") is a paper-thin sheepskin leather suitable for covering small items. This natural colored skiver can be dyed to suit and will match the dyed colors on tooling leather fairly closely. Skiver is useful for miniature boots, covering the shoulders of western saddles and other similar items. It is the thinnest leather we carry on average (although some pieces of cabretta may be equally thin) and is the best choice for very fine items, or projects requiring ultra-thin leather.
Available in Natural color, sometimes black and brown are available.
Chamois is a particular type of leather made from sheep skins, which is buttery soft and very absorbent, hence its popular use to dry and buff automobiles. Soft and flexible, chamois is most commonly used for lining the undersides of miniature saddles, as its heavy 'nap'and buff coloration adequately represents sheepskin in miniature. And by the way, the "proper" pronunciation is "sham-WA" although many people (including our semi-redneck selves) pronounce it "sham-ee".
Our high-quality, luxurious Pigskin Suede is available in your choice of several different colors and is available in 4 swatch sizes. This fine and supple suede is ideal for doll chaps, costume items, suede seats, as well as colorful boots and protective leg gear. Vibrant color, consistent weight and quality from piece to piece are the hallmarks of this thin (1.5 -2 oz) leather.
This thin, 2 oz. cowhide works well for english saddles and costume tack items in larger scales. It has a smooth finish on one side (sueded on the reverse) but has more body and is a bit "firmer" than skiver, or pigskin suede.
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