mill handmade – Elliot wallet (scaled edition)

Rocky at mill handmade has been hard at work over the past few months, not only producing more complex wallet builds but also he has made upgrades to the Elliot wallet, which is one of his first designs.

Check out the original Elliot wallet review from 2016Β here, or have a look at the review for the larger Japanese wallet here.

Rocky’s just sent over one of his latest Elliot wallets, featuring the updated specs and also a playful twist. Keep in mind the regular Elliot wallets that you can purchase from mill handmade doesn’t feature the experimental design featured here – I’ll explain further. Let’s have a look!

 

Design

Similar to the original design, the Elliot wallet remains a card wallet in function. It can hold a few cards, some notes and a handful of coins – suitable for light carry, but not designed to replace full sized wallets.

Overall, the current Elliot wallet design differs from the previous version by being slightly larger (8.3 cm x 11.1 cm), possessing a full lining and featuring a snap closure. The new wallets are thus more substantial, and practically easier to use.

You’ll notice that this particular wallet here is not the usual one piece outer design. Instead, Rocky has made a scaled version of the Elliot wallet here – just for fun – and the aesthetics of the outer is quite different from the regular version of this wallet.

The scaled version features six scales of various leathers (in this case natural or tan vegetable tanned leathers), with a separate flap that is a single piece of leather. Compared with the Elliot wallet I reviewed last year, this one is much more playful!

 

Leather

The leather scales, from top to bottom, in the photo below are:

Buttero veg tan, Hermann Oak veg tan, Greenhalgh veg tan kangaroo, Horween reversed shell cordovan, Shonan veg tan, and Wickett & Craig veg tan.

The flap is made out of Hermann Oak natural veg tan leather, and the lining consists of Perlinger shrunken calf from Germany.

All of these leathers have been introduced on this blog at some point, but together they represent most of the top natural vegetable tanned leathers in the world; this wallet should be an interesting exercise in comparing leather evolution!

The shell cordovan is combo tanned…but let’s not be overly pedantic ;D

 

Construct

As per the original Elliot wallet, the newest versions are entirely handmade, of course. Hand cut, hand saddle-stitched, hand burnished…there’s nothing quick about the construction of this wallet.

The saddle-stitch utilises waxed Lin cable threads. This time around, the stitching is also accompanied by edge creasing, which is also present on the scales.

Prym snap fasteners are plated solid brass, from Italy – very smooth in operation.

The full shrunken calf lining, in part, holds the scales together. The scales are hand-sewn around the edges of the wallet of course, and to the flap too, but are additionally glued to the lining. The tension created by the folded shape keep the scales in line too, with the scales overlapping by around 5 mm.

The shape of the inner edge has been modified, looking aesthetically smoother than the deeper curve featured on older Elliot wallets.

All the edges are hand burnished to a smooth polish; the contrast between the shrunken calf and the natural leathers makes for interesting edges.

 

Opinion

All in all, the newest versions of the Elliot wallet by Rocky at mill handmade contain several welcomed upgrades, both aesthetic and practical.

The slightly larger size and modified inner edge makes card retrieval that much easier, and the textured lining (shrunken calf for my wallet, there are other choices) means that coins are held more securely. The full lining extending to the flap, in my opinion, adds more elegance to the wallet too.

I especially appreciate the addition of the snap fastener. In my eyes this change cements the Elliot wallet as a card wallet rather than just a card case. Rocky’s handcraft continues to grow in sophistication, and minor detailing upgrades such as the nicely creased edges add greatly to the overall smoothness of the wallet.

The appearance of the wallet sits somewhere between fine leather goods and heftier, workwear inspired leathers. In overall thickness and ruggedness, goods from mill handmade are certainly somewhat different compared with most other leather makers I have reviewed on this blog – the aesthetics are sleeker, more streamlined. Rocky’s crafts will combine well with denim jeans, but will also work with a suit and tie.

Please do keep in mind that the scaled version of this wallet is a proof of concept, hobbyist experiment kind of deal. If you’re not a fan of the scaled design, do have a look at the regular version of the Elliot wallet, which features only one single piece of leather on the outer.

Once again I’m impressed by Rocky’s continued exploration of some of the finest leathers in the world. Given that customisation is the name of the game, the Elliot wallet could feature some very strong combos: Want European? Imagine a Baranil outer with a Minerva Box lining! Sticking with workwear roots? Try Hermann Oak with Badalassi’s Pueblo.

To conclude, it’s nice to see the continued evolution of mill handmade. At AUD $115 these new Elliot wallets are great value if you’re looking for minimalist, hand-stitched wallets. It’s perfect for travel and also suitable for people who carry mostly cards or pack lightly.

Check out more of Rocky’s work at the mill handmade website.

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