Enstone Leather: part two

You might remember that I recently posted about the wonderful Enstone Leather, who’s simple yet elegant products are hand made in a tiny workshop in Oxfordshire.while increasingly commonplace stateside (as well as the bigger names like Tanner Goods, you find a whole plethora of artisans hand-making all kinds of excellent contemporary leather goods once you start looking) it’s not quite so common over here. Sure there are leather workers but all too often their work is a touch fiddly and lacks that clean functional aesthetic. This two is my problem with much of the artisanal accessories in the states: they may be very beautiful and are, no doubt, made of the finest materials, however they are very style specific. I’m a fan of a good concho wallet, don’t get me wrong but sometimes you want something that speaks it’s truth a little quietly, something a little more understated.

Anyway with this in mind and my old wallet falling apart at the seams it seemed the perfect excuse to treat myself to some new hide for my back pocket! I love the plain look of the standard Harrow but the thought of change jangling around in my pocket and the full knowledge that I would inevitably end up accidentally spilling it everywhere at some inopportune moment led me to decide on the Harrow with built in coin holder. I also chose to go for the tan leather as I felt there was more potential for it to develop character through use.

Decision made I contacted Lloyd at Enstone Leather to make my order. He said there’d be a few days wait while he made the wallet, (making as he often does to order). He also explained how my wallet would be one of the first made in a new batch of hide he’d recently acquired and was excited about as it should age especially well. Lloyd is a lovely chap and clearly passionate about what he does, always a good sign in my book! So order made I waited excitedly for my wallet to arrive. A week and a half later a small carefully wrapped package arrived. Inside beneath a layer of bone coloured tissue paper was this:

wallet2

It’s one thing seeing a photos of an item but entirely another feeling it in your hands. It’s only then that one can judge the true quality of an item and I must say the Harrow does not disappoint. Plain it may be but simple it is not, not in construction at any rate. I’m reminded of shaker furniture,  be it the gentle curve on the card slots, the single gusset on one side of the coin holder or the pocket concealed behind it, that same utilitarian approach of form following function is present. The quality of the hide is also very high with a couple of different thicknesses utilised in different areas of the construction in order to keep the finished article slim enough to fit any pocket.

wallet 1

I spent the following few days showing it to lots of friends and colleagues, anyone in fact who would listen! One of these was so impressed that he immediately ordered both a Harrow bifold and a custom watch strap.

wallet3

For my own part I must admit it was a couple of days before I actually started using my wallet, reticent as I was to mark its crisp surface! I eventually got over this and it has now graced my pocket pretty much non stop for about a month and is beginning to develop some real character.

wallet worn 2

I’m looking forward to seeing how it develops further over time and will keep taking photos as it does so. In a short time It has already gone from this:

wallet4

To this

wallet worn 1

I’m expecting the Harrow to become an old friend, one that will be with me for years to come. I’ma also already planning what to get next from Lloyds wonderful selection. Enstone Leather make some trully great products and are remarkably reasonably priced. So, if you’re in the market for a new wallet, belt, key carry or what have you, and want some thing stylish without shouting about it, then Enstone Leather could be just what you’ve been looking for.

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