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Whats the Story Behind Handmade Leather Goods by Turek Leather Works?

Whats Our Story? We're Glad You Asked We are Turek Leather Works. Makers of really well crafted handmade leather goods. Our products are simple, well designed and crafted by hand using the finest materials available to withstand the test of time.   All our products are entirely hand crafted by us in our workshop in rural Illinois. We have been selling to a steadily growing number of leather aficionados around the world. Our goods are sought after by many individuals with a passion for high quality, hand crafted leather goods.

Why Does This Matter? In a world filled with disposable goods, single use items, we understand the yearning for something real. Something built with purpose, to be used and not thrown away or discarded after a few years of use. Something that will get scratched and dented, but still work. Something that will last for generations. That’s why Turek Leather Works uses high quality, chromium tanned Horween leather in all our goods. That’s why we saddle-stitch with braided, waxed nylon thread. We get it...You could get something from a leather shop in the mall for half the price. That product was most likely made by an unskilled, underpaid child working a 16 hour day in a Chinese factory. Your handmade leather good was made with my calloused hands on an old, stained wooden workbench. Quality takes time, we care about the end product. This is tough to find in today's world. We know that you'll appreciate what goes in to our leather goods.

What is the Process of Making High Quality Leather Goods? The process of creating our leather goods is simple, use the finest material available and hand craft each product. Alas, there is more to it than meets the eye. This is a look behind the scenes of what goes into the process of creating the World's finest quality leather goods.  

Design  We design each product that we sell for extreme longevity and usefulness, while maintaining a a great looking product. We spend countless hours designing and prototyping each design to ensure that it  functions perfectly and will make a great addition to your every day carry. While Ecclesiastes 1:9 teaches, "What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the  sun", we strive to maintain a unique product line. You can be assured that our products are quintessentially ours and not a blatant reproduction of another available product.

Selection of the Leather There are countless types of leather. Each type has a purpose and application. Our primary supplier of leather is from the Horween Tannery in Chicago, IL. Horween has a history of producing the finest leathers available. Horween Chromexcel leather, which can be found predominantly in our product line is a very unique leather. Chromexcel is a combination tanned leather that undergoes at least 89 separate processes taking 28 working days and utilizes all 5 floors of the Horween facility to produce. Chromexcel leather with its ruggedly beautiful aesthetic and its durable quality lends itself beautifully to small hand crafted leather goods.                                                                               

Cutting the Leather After a visual inspection of the leather to ensure there are no defects and the leather is of the desired quality, it is time to cut the needed leather. Each piece of leather used in our leather goods, is cut by hand.  We feel this adds to the quality and timelessness of our products.     

Burnishing the Leather Burnishing is the process of smoothing (slicking), dying and polishing the edge of your leather to produce a fine, glossy edge, generally in a contrasting or complimentary color than the main body. Unburnished edges of cut leather have a sharp unrefined look and have a tendency to fray and look worn faster than a burnished edge. While this is also a finishing process after the leather good has been stitched, we add this step here as well because interior pockets of wallets and other edges are not able to be burnished once a product has been assembled. We use a special blend of waxes to ensure a beautifully finished edge on each product. Please keep in mind, not all of our leather goods require a burnished edge, and each product description will state if the edges are burnished.

Stitching The Leather All of our leather goods are stitched by hand, using the saddle stitch method of stitching. Saddle stitching is a superior stitch than that of machine lock stitched goods as the entire line of thread could potential unravel allowing the two pieces of leather to separate. Where as in a saddle-stitched piece, the thread will not unravel and the leather piece will remain together.


One of the challenges of hand stitching is that it is a time consuming process. As an artisan crafting products that I feel will last a lifetime, this process is well worth it. Hand stitching is what separates a hand made product from a mass produced one, the subtle detail that the maker places in each piece is impossible to replicate by machine.     

Finishing the Leather As each piece is nearing completion, the finishing process will take place. The final product is once again visually inspected for any possible defect and is discarded if any is found. The edges of the completed piece are then burnished to a beautifully smooth edge.

Final Inspection / Delivery Once ordered, every leather good we produced is again inspected to ensure that it meets our expectations for quality and is then prepared for delivery. Turek Leather Works appreciates every customer. We know the customer is buying into something that will last a lifetime, and their order is a bond with our shop. Every leather good is shipped with a unique note of appreciation from Robert Turek, owner of Turek Leather Works.

 Thank You We know there are many of you out there who truly appreciate timeless, functional and well made leather goods just like we do. We evolved out of a love and passion for an elegant style and products that not only look great, but are built to last using the best leather available. All of our products are made by American artisans in a manner that ensures each item made for you and not mass-produced. Your Turek Leather Works products will stand up to abuse and wear and develop their own character over time. Thank you to all of our customers, for without you we wouldn't be here. We appreciate that you've embraced our ideals of crafting the finest handmade leather goods at an affordable price!