The Schwarz Saddle: The Leather
Many tanneries have come and gone, but the one that has stood the test of time like no other is Hermann Oak Leather (St. Louis, est. 1881). Their bark tanning process uses ingredients from sources around the globe. None have been able to duplicate the look, feel, and durability of Hermann Oak Leather.
The latigo I am currently using most is tanned in Chicago at another old tannery. Horween (est. 1905) latigo has a ‘hot-stuffing’ process whereby fat liquors and waxes are located into the fibers of the leather. It is exceedingly durable for the tie latigos and linings for back cinch and billets.
The smaller sides that are available to us nowadays dictates that we use at least 2 ½ sides per saddle and I calculate at least 20% waste on the leather I use. This combination of starting out with plenty of leather to choose from and allowing for a high percentage of waste allows me to make good choices on the quality of leather for the respective parts to be cut.