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      The Journal

      Welcome to The Harber London Journal.

      We curate stories about design, life on the move, gadget trends and business insights.

      Take a seat, relax and enjoy the reading!

      Genuine Leather

      How to Distinguish between Genuine and Synthetic Leather

      Finding quality leather can be a cumbersome and often confusing process. The market is, after all, full of leather look-alikes – cheap and synthetic quality leather that’s undergone low quality craftsmanship standards but looks practically as good as the real thing.

      Here’s what you can do to help distinguish fake leather from 100% genuine leather:

      How to Spot a Fake

      A genuine leather product will always boast natural quality that’s meant to last ages. Anything altered or “custom built” by man will never have the level of quality or timelessness real leather does.

      Always look for the words “full grain vegetable tanned” on your leather products, which states that the surface has remained untouched in order to retain the natural hide markings.

      You would generally want to avoid products with the “genuine leather” stamp as these typically feature leather splits borrowed from the underside of skins with an artificial grain pattern stamped on top, and finally a painted surface coated over to look remarkably similar to full grain leather.

      This can be very misleading as you’d be tempted to buy such products based on the look alone – however, understand that the hides will never be as soft or durable as full grain vegetable tanned leather, particularly one that’s handcrafted in Spain.

      How to Determine Leather Quality

      There are two factors that, more or less, determine the quality of leather goods: the tanning process and hide selection. Let’s discuss hide selection first, since you may be able to relate to it right away.

      Hide Selection

      The hide selection is all about the “cleanliness” of a leather good; e.g. how many natural marks there are on the hide. Leather finishes are usually graded and priced according to this hide cleanliness level, as well as the overall condition of the animal’s skin.

      Premium full grain vegetable tanned leather ages beautifully as it forms a unique patina over time. 
      As any noble woods, you may be able to appreciate some natural marks that are not to be deemed as defects but rather, a true statement of natural quality. 

      So when it comes to hide selection, 100% wool felt, a natural fibre harvested from sheep, boasts top quality. It is a renewable and eco-friendly material that provides you with traditional care and protection. Due to its properties, edges can be left raw but they won’t fray.

      Full grain leather is a highly saturated non-woven material that cannot be pulled apart. In addition, it has anti static and moisture resisting properties. It is also self-extinguishing, naturally repels soiling and feels quite soft to the touch.

      The Tanning Process

      Tanning refers to a process where animal skin is treated to produce leather that’s durable and adequately resistant to decomposition. Ultimately, if your leather product has undergone the right tanning and hide selection process, it should feel very soft and supple to the touch. The material should never feel like it’s made from anything that feels like rubber or plastic.

      Harber London offers quality leather products for men who settle for nothing less than 100% genuine, full grain vegetable tan leather. Check out our luxurious leather goods for men collection and satisfy your desire for fine quality leather goods. 

      “Full Grain” Vegetable Tanned Leather Goods

      Why You Should Buy Only “Full Grain” Vegetable Tanned Leather Goods

      As you may be aware, there are multiple methods of tanning leather. However, not every method is ideal, particularly when it comes to your health and the environment.

      When you plan on buying a quality leather product such as a weekender bag or wallet, it’s actually quite important to gain an understanding of the different types of leather that are available.

      On the subject of quality and genuine leather, nothing compares to full grain vegetable tanned leather from Spain.

       

      Harber London - Leather

      Why it’s Important to Check for the “Full Grain...” Label on Your Leather Goods

      The term “full grain vegetable tanned” refers to the layer of hide that’s been used to make a leather good. “Full Grain” refers to the outermost layer which comprises the most closely packed fibre layers. Simply put, it is the toughest kind of leather material you can find and ages timelessly.

      Goods made from this type of leather will always form a natural patina over time – you’ll start to see variations in colour and subtle scars, but it will never fray. This is why leather made from 100% wool felt and full grain cow hide will always have an uneven texture because it was, in fact, sculptured over a lifetime on open, green pastures.

      The “Vegetable Tanned” part in Full Grain leather refers to the cowhide which has been subjected to a tanning process that incorporates vegetable matter such as oak, in order to best preserve it. This natural tanning process has been around for several centuries, and any leather product that has indeed been made from full grain vegetable tanned leather will show signs of “breaking in” over the years. This allows the leather to stretch and relax more into a natural shape.

      This process stands out from other processes since those incorporate chemical solutions to break down leather fibres, artificially making them soft to the touch. In fact, one of the worst methods to accomplish this is known as chrome leather tanning, a process where toxic chromium salts are used to break down the leather fibres so that they feel soft.

       

      Harber London - Cable Wrap

      Full Grain Vegetable Tanned Leather – Timeless Beauty and Ageing

      Vegetable tanned leather ages timelessly – it naturally reacts to its surroundings as you use it, polishing up nicely and darkening in colour. 

      Most people, however, have not experienced using a full grain leather product as it is not as commonly used as, say, synthetic leather or “genuine” leather goods. Majority of mass-produced leather goods use top grain – which has the outermost layers sanded off, reducing durability – or genuine/bonded leather, which is a quick and cheap way of making leather goods; one which, unfortunately, does not last very long.

      At Harber London, all our premium leather goods are made from 100% wool felt and full grain vegetable tanned leather. Each product is thoughtfully hand-crafted by the finest Spanish craftsmen, offering remarkable functionality, yet minimalist design that boasts unrelenting elegance and style.

      leather desk mat

      Three Reasons why the Leather and Felt Desk Mat Should Be Your Next Buy!

      Harber London prides itself upon the quality and functionality of its products, which has allowed our esteemed clientele to attain benefits from our product range, as per their need and / or requirement. Our utilised materials including handcrafted premium Full Grain Vegetable Tanned Leather and 100% Wool felt, has allowed our products to be in a class of their own, with our expert craftsmen at the helm of making each one of our products a class apart.

      Since functionality also forms part of our philosophy, we continuously look to provide you with products which are likely to aid you in everyday living, whilst reimagining the structure of the product itself. In doing so, we have introduced the Leather and Felt Desk Mat, perfect for placing your computing devices upon it, whilst providing you with unique benefits, which are outlined below. 

      Protection

      The minimalistic yet innovative design has been tailored in such a way so as to provide a thick wool felt base which will offer you sturdy cushioning, whilst placing your laptop or other devices upon it. Not only does this allow for your device to have a cushion rather it also enables you to protect your desk surface along with your device from any scratches which could potentially occur, when the two come into contact without the base.

       

      Desk Mat - Harber London

      Leather and Felt

      As the name of the product suggests, the desk mat incorporates both leather and felt in its design, hence providing the best of both worlds. The padded felt allows for extra protection whilst the premium Full Grain Vegetable tanned leather, with its ageless design and look adds to the timeless look of your desk.     

       

      Desk Mat - Harber London

      Keeps Your Desk Tidy

      Now we all know how cumbersome it can get to sort out the cables which are linked to the various devices we have placed on our desks, whilst if you don’t sort these cables out your desk can end up looking untidy and cluttered. Therefore, the Leather and Felt Desk Mat provides a cable cut, which allows for your desk cables to remain untangled and all within one place. Not to mention, the former enables your desk to look clean and clutter less, provided you effectively utilise the cable cut.  

      The Leather and Felt Desk Mat is available in tan, black and navy colours, with the size options being medium or extra large as per your requirement (the dimensions can be viewed via our website).

      For further information on the Leather and Felt Desk Mat, along with any of our other products, you can browse our website (https://www.harberlondon.com) or contact us through our provided contact form.

      RFID Wallet

      Here’s Why You Need to Upgrade to a RFID-blocking Leather Wallet

      Who doesn’t love technology, right? The technological innovations we have enjoyed over the last few decades can be described as memorable, mesmerising and unforgettable – that is, until it starts to work against us such as RFID scanning technology.

      In case you are wondering, RFID is an abbreviation for radio-frequency identification – radio waves that can be used to capture information from the tag on an object, including driver’s licence, social security card, credit cards etc.

      Many passports are now coming with the same embedded RFID chips as credit cards, and if there is an “unsuspecting individual” within range, he/she can easily capture highly sensitive information from the cards snugly tucked away in your leather wallet.

       

      Your Credit Card Numbers are Yours Alone

      Credit card numbers are some of the most sacred pieces of information one might have access to. However, all it takes is one mistake, and the person standing next to you might have access to highly sensitive information within seconds.

      Most people today carry RFID-ready credit cards with them – after all, convenience and ease-of-use does not get better than making a payment simply by touching the card up against a scanner. Now, imagine if you lose your attention for just a second or two, while an individual with malicious intent stands next to you, pretends to look busy, and scans the content of your wallet without you ever noticing.

      Simply put, this really is a concern worth paying attention to. So the question is how do you protect yourself?

       

      Enter RFID-blocking Leather Wallets

      It has been just over a decade since RFID chips starting popping up left and right. For instance, passports have embedded chips that allow for scanning your photo and other relevant information. Apart from the common credit card application, even dogs are implanted with these chips for tracking purposes. We are surrounded by them.

      It pays to understand a little background on RFID chips – they work through radio waves. As long as somebody has a scanner that can pick up these radio waves, all they need to do is stand (or sit) within proximity, and they can access sensitive information right off your wallet.

      Lucky for us, the radio waves emitted by RFID chips can be easily blocked; a leather wallet with RFID-blocking capability encases your credit cards and other cards with sensitive data by introducing a protective material which disrupts radio waves. A well-constructed wallet that uses high-quality premium leather materials will effectively block all radio waves and prevent communication between an RFID chip and scanner.

      Leather Bifold Zip Wallets With RFID Protection by Harber London boast a super-slim leather bi-fold material that comes ready with RFID blocking protection. Keep all your credit cards and ID cards safe from skimming.

      Handcrafted using the finest Full Grain Vegetable Tanned Leather from Spain, the Harber London slim design leather wallet can easily fit 4-8 cards in the front pockets, along with hidden compartments inside to it comfortably tucked away in your clothes.