Japanese Classic Selvedge from RPMWest


Denim has a rich history, both as fabric and as pants. Serge de Nîmes, was the original name fort the fabric, translating to “Fabric from Nîmes,” a City in southern France. Traditionally dyed with indigo, this material was first made in to pants in Genoa: The French word for which is Gênes, and the origin of the word Jeans. Today, both Denim and Jeans are a global industry that reflect the complex trade practices of globalization, although some of the best denims tend to come from Japan.  Some of the best jeans are made in the USA from that Japanese import, and that’s exactly what RPMWest did with this pair.

Continue reading Japanese Classic Selvedge from RPMWest

Karvt Skins to protect your tech

Today, technology is– necessarily– disposable. Doubling in speed and power every 18 months or so means that a replacement will be worth it sometime in the next few years for traditional computers, smartphones, and even tablets. But if you can extend the life of your device by keeping it in good shape, that means holding on to it longer– and having a better replacement when it finally is time. Doing so minimally and beautifully is the idea behind a line of products from Karvt. Continue reading Karvt Skins to protect your tech

Albatross Leather Goods Postal Bag and Wallets

In the days before the Civil War, there was no internet. There was no telephone. There was no radio, there was no telegraph. There were men, horses, and leather bags, riding from point to point ferrying messages back and forth between offices that sorted messages and put them in the next rider’s bag who was heading in the right direction. This simple method allowed a previously impossible feat: A message could leave St. Joseph, Missouri and arrive in San Francisco a mere ten days later. Some bags used for similar purposes in the 1890s and early 1900s still exist today, and Albatross Leather has launched and successfully funded a Kickstarter Project to recreate bags in this tradition.

Albatross Leather Clasp and Stitching CloseupTechnical Specifications

Albatross Leather Goods Postal Bag

Materials: Leather, Copper and Brass

Measurements: 15 inches wide, 12 inches tall, 5inches deep. Non-rigid, semi-amorphous.

Weight: 3.7 Pounds (1.7 kg)

Price: From $239

Albatross Leather TrademarkThis particular postal bag is the same style used by postal workers in the 1930’s and 1940’s. A slightly larger version was regularly used to transport as many as 30 kilograms (almost 70 pounds) of paper and parcel at a time, and Albatross CEO Eric Heins assures me this reconstruction will do the same. Albatross is using North American steer hide from a source that preferred not to be named– but given the quality of the leather, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the same leather inTanner Leather Goods store in downtown Portland Oregon. With one exception, an historically accurate split-leather divider on the interior pocket divider, the entire bag is made of full grain natural tanned leather. DSC_0248

Speaking of historical accuracy, the leather strap on the postal bag is made of a single layer of full-grain leather specially cut to resist stretching. Albatross tested a few postal bags and did not observe any stretching over 2 years of use. While certain other high-end bag makers use polyester strips in belts and straps to prevent stretching, Heins says Albatross uses stronger leather that grants immunity to this problem. I’m not sure any leather is capable of preventing 100% of stretching, but a small amount would not be game-breaking. Even “no stretch” polyester strips can stretch a percent or two, but if the strap or any other part of an Albatross Leather product fails, the 3-generation guarantee should have you, your kids, or grandkids covered.


DSC_0241Natural tanned leather starts it’s lifecycle almost more pink than tan. As it ages, it progresses to tan before becoming a deep bronze as the oils oxidize and intermesh more with the leather’s naturally occurring collagen. The result will be an increasingly dark color that continues to progress to the deepest bronze. At all three stages, the leather makes the perfect material for purses. I personally might feel a bit self-conscious carrying the natural leather bag around at this stage, but a few hours in the sun should burn out the pink and progress it to tan quickly enough for the bag to become the perfect shade for a men’s messenger. And over the years, it will only grow more appealing for everyone,

Albatross Wallet Age Progression
ame leather. New on left, 2 years old on right, sun-exposed in the middle. Image courtesy of Albatross Brand Leather.

Wefty actually  has a natural tan wallet like this from another producer, and if enough of you ask I’m sure I can convince him to get off his lazy butt and share some pictures over on our Facebook Page. Of course, Albatross also has wallets covered, too.


Albatross Leather Goods Bifold Wallet

Materials: Leather

Measurements: 3.5 inches wide, under 9 inches long open, 4 1/4 inches long closed.

Weight: To be determined.

Price: From $39

DSC_0253With 8 card slots and a cash compartment, this is a serious wallet made of full grain natural leather and saddle stitching. The wallet doesn’t currently lie flat when open or closed, but as the leather stretches I’m sure it will come to. The design is actually to ensure that the wallet has plenty of room for flexibility, and the wallet’s ability to open smoothly.

DSC_0249I’m impressed. And at the prices Albatross is offering on their Kickstarter, it’s no wonder they’ve amassed a sizeable following and secured over $25,000 for their brand’s launch. You can still snag a postal bag for $239, and a wallet for $39 for the next few days. They also are doing pretty neat bottle opener belt-hook keychain. Prices are likely to be higher after the Kickstarter ends when Albatross launches it’s online store, so I’d suggest you check them out now– Their project closes this week.



Bolt Action Bourbon Pens

My Brother, Dad and I share a lot: from our irreverent sense of humor, our inability to walk away from facebook arguments, and especially our love of whiskey.  So last Winter, Dad gave me a gift: a Bolt-Action ballpoint from Bourbonpens.com to match one I previously gave my brother. And rather than wait for Matt to send him one, he bought himself one for good measure.  After including it in my everyday carry or for eight months now, I’ll say it: this is my favorite pen. Continue reading Bolt Action Bourbon Pens

Everyday Carry: What’s in your pockets?

Every morning when I get ready for the day, this is what I plan to bring with me.  If I’ve left something behind, I’m going to have to turn around and go get it. This week, instead of an in-depth-analysis on one thing I carry or use, I’m going to give you a quick review of the stuff I have with me for everyday carry, in approximate order of descending size.

Continue reading Everyday Carry: What’s in your pockets?

Rugged Material’s new Mission Brief Kickstarter

Somehow, I missed it the first time around. Last summer, Rugged Material raised a respectable $84 thousand dollars to get their oil-tanned leather bags going. Now, they’re a full-fledged company selling bags made in the USA in the sub-$300 price range with a lifetime warranty. Creator Tyler Condie reached out to me a few weeks ago about their latest project, a second Kickstarter to raise funds for expanding into Horween Chromexcel leather. Here’s what we thought. Continue reading Rugged Material’s new Mission Brief Kickstarter

Plastc Card gets Shipping Dates, changes business model to incorporate subscriptions

Long, long ago, my mother had an idea: What if one credit card had all your cards on it? I remember her telling me how convenient she thought something like that would be. Well, she wasn’t the only person to have this idea: At least three companies have launched already, and a fourth has just announced shipping dates: 7 months later than they originally claimed. Plastc is trying to make it up to backers with a few interesting offers, and  here’s my take on those. Continue reading Plastc Card gets Shipping Dates, changes business model to incorporate subscriptions

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