mill handmade – custom Japanese Wallet review, part 2.

In Part 2 of this review, I wanted to give you some follow-up with regards to the rather dramatic ageing of the leathers, especially Shonan Leather’s pit-tanned saddle leather.

If you haven’t already, check out Part 1 of this review first!

Let’s have a look at the patina development over the first week. Please right click and open images in a new tab if you wish to see the full resolution versions of the photos!

Day 0:

The Shonan in particular was a good example of the ‘natural’ colour of vegetable tanned leathers. The Butter was a little bit more finished, being somewhat darker and more yellow in tone.

Day 0, after one application of Montana Pitch Blend oil conditioner:

You can see that both the Shonan and Buttero have responded to the oiling with a change in colour tone, the Shonan’s reactivity being particularly impressive. Not only just the colour either, the grain on the Shonan has really popped too!

Day 1:

This was just before the first wear; the ‘dampness’ from the oiling had settled and the leathers are good to go!

Day 3:

The first couple of wears created the most dramatic changes. The Shonan saddle leather stains like nothing I’ve seen before, and has picked up indigo off jeans that have been washed a couple of times. Comparing them at day 0 and day 3, you wouldn’t it’s the same wallet.

Day 5:

By day 5 the grain characteristics have further emerged, with the colour continuing to darken.

Day 7:

By the end of the first week, it’s looking pretty incredible right?

The Buttero leather on the inner panels have darkened slightly to a light caramel colour, but the Shonan saddle leather has changed very dramatically both in grain, colour, shape and, to a lesser extent, shine.

The Shonan leather has molded very quickly too, producing the contours of the back-pocket already. The grain is picking up indigo very readily, and also developing a subtle shine. The colour darkening is simply awesome, having what I would call a terracotta colour at the moment, and likely to end up in a rich, chocolate brown in the future. This is the most reactive leather I’ve ever handled, and I’m really liking how it’s been ageing so far!

All in all, not only is the Japanese Wallet by mill handmade well designed and well constructed, the Shonan saddle leather that Rocky’s headlining is also an incredible material. The evolution so far is simply astounding – the Shonan leather really is a must try for all advanced leather enthusiasts!

Have a look at the mill handmade website and get in touch with Rocky if you’re interested!


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