J.W. Hulme Co. | Leather Bags & Luggage

Hand Buffing Leather

Chuck Watt, our very own leather buffing expert, shares how we buff each piece from our American Heritage leather collection.


The leather arrives at our workshop from the tannery without the final process completed.  After the bag is made it spends some time at the buffing table.




Step One


Step 1:  “First you start up the buffing wheel and buff a small section to test out how much wax you will need.  You start buffing around the edges to get that worn appearance. You add wax as needed and stop using the buffing wheel when you get the desired darkness and luster”


Step Two


Step 2: “Then you heat it up with the heat gun, usually set around 660 degrees, to lightly melt the wax and let it soak in to the leather”


Step Three


Step 3: “After all of that, you hand rub the bag with a soft cloth to give it a nice shine.”


Before and After


  1. iK says: August 24, 201112:22 pm

    Beautiful! Out of curiosity, does the buffing and waxing change any of the characteristics of the leather other than look? In other words, does it make it weaker, stronger, or longer lasting?


    • iK says: August 24, 201112:26 pm

      I’m also curious as to what leather you use to start with (tannery and type)? Is this leather available in your selections as well, or only as the American Heritage version?

  2. mbaxter says: August 26, 20114:15 pm

    Buffing the leather does not change the strength of the leather. It is only a finishing technique. We currently do not offer our American Heritage Leather unbuffed, but we would be willing to accommodate a special request.

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