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Great Leather Blog

News and information related to Great Leather leathergoods and it's customers, as well comments and photos related to leather care, repairs, and restorations.

GREAT LEATHER'S Trumpet Mouthpiece Case - New!

Dena Hamilton - Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Here at Great Leather we just designed and created a leather mouthpiece case for trumpets/coronets/flugelhorns. This one holds two mouthpieces. It's compact, built to last, and the leather is gorgeous - of course! This unique style is perfect for protecting and transporting a trumpet players most prized accessories. Watch for it! It will be in the shopping cart very soon. You may call for yours before that at our shop here in Illinois, USA. 309-465-9216


 

Great Leather teams up with trumpeter James Knabe

Dena Hamilton - Saturday, December 07, 2013
Met with James again yesterday- James Knabe

James is my new Great Leather client liaison for trumpet players! James tours the country performing, teaching lessons and master classes, coaching artists in their performances, careers, and marketing, and gives product demonstrations for Harrelson Trumpets, Patrick Mouthpieces - and now Great Leather! 

James and I are really excited about our new partnership! We're already working on some new products for trumpet players and we'll eventually be developing leather accessories for the rest of the brass section as well! Stay tuned!!



 

Making the Great Leather Drumstick Bag

Dena Hamilton - Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Thought some of you might be interested in why a Great Leather handmade leather drumstick bag is so much better!  (and costs more:)

First we start with some pretty expensive leather and quality materials. Then - we put each one together with a lot of thought, skill, and care. 

So many of you are asking for a less expensive version though, we are checking into manufacturing. You may want to get yours while they are still being made one at a time!  

Check it out!


 

The Difference in Leather Jackets

Dena Hamilton - Tuesday, October 08, 2013

HOW TO CHOOSE A LEATHER COAT

The leather itself is, of course, the biggest factor.  Most of what is on the market today in smooth leather is lamb or cowhide and these are almost always your best choices. Pigskin is not common in smooth leather, as it is usually tanned for suede which we don't recommend. (Click here for or more on suede.) Deer, elk, and moose are commonly made into garments, but not usually found in the stores, and are difficult to keep clean. Only occasionally will you find new garments made of goat.  Most of these will likely will have a sprayed dye finish*. 

Lambskin is beautiful, soft as butter, and feels like a second skin on you!  There is nothing like a lamb jacket!  However, lambskin can be delicate.  Know that the least expensive of lamb coats may tear easily and the finish wear off quickly. Even so, if you find a lamb jacket you want for the style, fit, or feel - then buy it!  Take it home and spray it with Aquila , or other water repellent for leather, and purchase some Tenderly to apply when it's time, and keep it moist. This will help keep it clean and looking nice. When the color begins to fade, since lamb is almost always vat dyed, it can be redyed by Leather CARE Specialists and made to look new again. 

Cowhide is much tougher and the finish lasts longer. If you don't want to be concerned about jumping in the car or truck, being careful with the seat belt, or shoving your gloves in your pockets, you should buy a cowhide.  New tanning processes are delivering some “lambtan” cowhides that are very close to the feel of lamb.  If you prefer the luxury of lamb but need the practicality of cowhide you should consider these.  Labels will still only say “100% Leather.”  Ask your clerk to be sure of what you are buying. Keep a cowhide coat conditioned properly and you should have it to enjoy for a great many years. 

Next, look for vat dyed leather as opposed to sprayed finish leather.

*Sprayed Dye Finish
Sprayed finish hides have not been dyed in vats during the tanning process, which allows for color penetration all the way through the skins. An example of sprayed cowhide jackets are your brightly colored sports leather jackets. Your less expensive casual coats may also have a sprayed finish. You can know a sprayed finish by checking the garment at the stitching needle holes, or at corner edges (collar tips, for example, where the leather has been pulled  to turn). If the “paint” has been added after the tanning process there will be places where the finish cracks and you will see light colored flesh showing through.

Sprayed finishes are usually less desirable as they indicate extremely mass produced imports of questionable value, whereas a vat dyed jacket will allow new dye to penetrate and the jacket can be made to look new again in the right hands. 

(An exception to the rule - some USA made WWII jacket replicas on the market  that are made of expertly tanned and sprayed leather.)

Check the leather panels. Does the leather  have some body to it, a good moist look, and do the panels show consistency in cutting from the best sections of the hide?  Take a fold and see if it feels smooth when you move it back and forth between your fingers. Check for quality skin (see the photos below) Very thin places should give themselves away. Also, skivers can leave hairline cuts that go almost though. You can usually spot these from the outside.

Check the panels at the pockets, elbows, and stress points for strength. If they seem thin or stretchy, look for a different jacket.  The upper outside arms are one of the most common areas that we receive at Leather CARE Specialists for repairs.  This area is susceptible to tears, so make sure these panels feel strong without weak spots (see photos).

The underside of a quality skin.
The underside of a poor quality skin. 
The flesh is very thin in spots and will give way to any small stress.  This is an animal that was treated poorly, handled roughly, and, if only for this reason, you shouldn't buy it.

Check the other materials and construction details.  If the thread is dull, it is probably all cotton. You should be looking for bonded nylon to hold your coat together. Cotton wears wherever it rubs and you will end up with seams where the top thread is completely gone. Also, look to see if the stitching is back-stitched at the seam ends, and tight (indicating correct tension on top and bottom threads).

Are the buttons sewn securely with no loose ends? Are the snaps secure?

Is the zipper sewn in properly?  A zipper that is set in too close to the stitch line (the zipper head drags or the head sticks) will result in faded worn edges. Also, if the zipper is not sewn in nice and flat, it will be problematic. It may split open, jam, or wear out quickly at the pin.

A quality lining will have a very tight weave and quilted linings should use “lock” stitches.

Lastly, the price. Most likely you'll pay extra for a good coat, but it will be well worth it, and now, you are equipped to pick one! 


 

GREAT LEATHER's Marketing Team!

Dena Hamilton - Monday, September 09, 2013
Dear Readers,
Here it is! A sneak preview of Great Leather's newest 1/2 page ad in DRUM! magazine. The ad will be featured in the November, December, January and February issues. Be sure and pick up a copy!

I would like to say a big thank you Johnny, Sean, Rich, and Jason (featured drummers/endorsers) - you are a huge credit to me! I am happy and honored that you not only love your stickbags, but have taken an interest in promoting the Great Leather brand. You're not only great drummers and great business men, but terrific guys.

Special thanks, Sean, for all your additional support and assistance through this ad process and ongoing efforts. You make work fun:-)  Eric Frank at DRUM! You did such a good job for us - as always.  Paul Hamilton, your tweaks and genius slogan "Great Drummers use Great Leather" made all the difference- LOL

I am blessed!
Dena
Owner, Great Leather

 

Bo Riddle Boot Maker- Songwriter

Dena Hamilton - Saturday, August 17, 2013

Just got back from seeing my friend Bo Riddle in Missouri. Bo is one of the world's finest cowboy boot makers! We talked shop- sewing machines, leather, cool new ways to do things, and then he pulled out his fiddle and a guitar for Paul and they played awhile. So fun!!!

Bo did custom boot fittings for Merle Haggard and his family the week before. Of course that news got Bo and Paul talking music shop, reminiscing about Eldon Shamblin and good times with some of the other timeless greats.

      

 

GREAT DRUMMER - TORBJORN SIEM - NORWAY

Dena Hamilton - Wednesday, May 01, 2013
NEWS FROM NORWAY!

My custom drumstick bag from Great Leather has finally arrived, and OH MY GOD what a beauty!  
On the bagde it says; Hand Made Especially For Torbjørn Siem! Ain't that something! Loving it :D


 
And another comment later - 
It's one of the coolest things I have ever seen:) Thanks!!

 

Radio Interview with Sean Deel

Dena Hamilton - Monday, April 22, 2013

Hey everybody -  If you missed Sean Deel's radio interview Friday you can still have a listen! It's a great chance to hear what all he's doing - and what a great supporter he is of Great Leather! 

One of his important details is about the upcoming clinic he put together with Jason Schmidt - be there if you can! This Friday April 26th. Check out the interview for more info.

Radio Interview with Sean Deel

 

Best Country Drummer- Rich Redmond!

Dena Hamilton - Tuesday, April 09, 2013

New word from Great Leather Drumstick Bag endorser Rich Redmond!

Hello friends! 

The 2013 DRUM! Magazine "DRUMMIE" Awards are upon us again. 

It's always wonderful to be recognized by your peers for working hard at your passion and life calling. Please feel free to vote for me this year, as I am gratefully nominated for "BEST COUNTRY DRUMMER".  Please also free to share info with friends or post in your social media world. 

Thanks so much for your endless support and belief! 

There are tons of talented drummers and percussionists represented. Vote for your favorites! 

Thanks!!!

http://www.drummagazine.com/drummies

 

REQUEST MODERN DRUMMER READERS TO POLL

Dena Hamilton - Saturday, January 12, 2013

Hey guys- and women drummers now also!


Great Leather drummer Rich Redmond is a Modern Drummer nominee!


This is a big deal for Rich and he has been such a great supporter of Great Leather, that I wanted everyone who might be interested to know about the time frame for the poll- February 15th.  Also, you can read the mail Rich sent me and hopefully follow the link:)

Thanks so much for any social media you send or share regarding the Great Leather Drumstick Bag and our drummers!

KR - Dena


Hello everyone!! 

     I hope everyone has ben enjoying the holiday season! I sure as heck needed a little r and r!! :)

I wanted to just reach out and let you know the Modern Drummer Magazine Reader Polls are open for voting. All of the nominees are incredible, very accomplished touring and recording drummers. They have also ALL had amazing 2012! Please choose your favorite…I just want to remind you that the polls are up. :) Voting begins on December 27th, 2012 and closes on February 15th, 2013. 

     You are receiving this invitation if you are a friend, colleague, teacher, student, sponsor or all of these! Ha! :):):)

     As always, it is very nice to be recognized for your hard work…When you LOVE your job, working hard is easy! Nonetheless, surviving and thriving in the music business is a full time job and it feels good to be recognized by the drumming community. Be sure to vote ONLY if you are a reader/subscriber of the magazine. THANK YOU!!! :)


Here is the link: 

http://www.moderndrummer.com/site/2012/12/modern-drummer-readers-poll-2013/#.UNyoJkK0Hud


Happy New Year!!! 2013! :)