Leather and Care

By purchasing my leather goods you are also stating that you understand that leather is an organic material. It can show scars or other marks of the animal's life and all the leather hides are not looking similar. These marks and variations are what makes leather a beautiful medium as every mark tells a story and gives your leather product a unique identifying mark.

Full-grain leather

Full-grain leather is the top layer of the hide. The vertical fibers of this part of the leather make it the strongest and most durable part of the hide, it will not crack or peel, tear or puncture. The grain pattern is tighter and consequently resistant to moisture. Part of the beauty of Full Grain leather is its unique appearance: every piece tells the story of the animal. All markings and irregularities are preserved: scars where the animal has brushed against a barbed wire fence or cactus, insect bites, even brand marks or wrinkles. As anyone who has owned Full Grain Leather will know, it becomes more beautiful with age, developing a rich patina as the years go by. It is the only type of leather which ages in this way. It is, in short, the best leather that money can buy, which is why it is the main leather used by Chisel & Mallet for the making of our products.

Top grain leather 

Top grain leather is not the top layer of the hide but the second layer. The surface of the leather has been removed by sanding and buffing to remove the ‘imperfections’. This gives the leather a more uniform appearance. Top Grain leather has gone through an extensive process of sanding, buffing, stamping, and dyeing to achieve a uniform appearance in which all-natural markings have been removed.


By purchasing these handmade goods from Chisel & Mallet, you understand the nature of handmade goods as containing slight variations due to the maker being human. As they say, it is the subtle imperfections of handmade that make it perfect.

Each Chisel & Mallet product is passionately made with immense patience. The materials we select to work with, the making techniques - all come together to make an object that will last you a lifetime. If you take good care of it, it will age beautifully.

The leather we use will develop a wonderful patina with daily use. 

This happens as it reacts with sunlight, takes on a lot of oil from daily handling and absorbs nicks and scratches over time. But it also picks up dirt or grime over time. Cleaning and conditioning helps maintain it in top shape.

To maintain its rich luster and make sure it functions at the top of its form, it does need a lot of care when compared with its synthetic counterparts. Just like your leather shoes need conditioning, the same is the case with your full grain leather wallets and other small goods.

Do's and Don't's you need to remember with your leather product.

  • Use your leather product as intended. For e.g. If you own a wallet designed to hold four cards, and you decide you really must start carrying more cards, please choose from one of our other designs. Exceeding a product’s specification can greatly reduce its life.
  • Don’t expose it to heat. Leather dries up and can crack if left in high heat environments for extended periods of time.
  • Don’t try to test if it’s waterproof. It’s not. While the exterior of the leather has some resistance to water, if leather stays in water, it can shrink and may lose shape.
  • Show the leather some love! Every 6 months or whenever the leather begins to look faded or dry:
    • Wipe the leather down with a soft, clean and damp cloth to get rid of dust and dirt.
    • DO NOT clean with household cleaners like bleach/Clorox/Colin etc.!
    • Apply natural leather balm with a clean soft cloth and lightly apply it on the surface of the leather in a circular motion. Remember a little goes a long way.