Leather goods made the right way.

Is Leather Waterproof?

by Jenna Vellinger  

Is Leather Waterproof?

The prevailing wisdom, if you ask around, is that fine leather goods and water do not play nicely. And, while this certainly isn’t bad advice for the vast majority of leather goods on the market, proper leather care isn’t a one-size-fits-all list of do’s and don’ts. After all, do you think your great-grandfather would have tolerated a pair of boots that couldn’t keep his feet dry? 

Though not all types of leather have the characteristics to recover after getting wet, some hides are specifically designed to take on water.

For over a century, the Horween Tannery in Chicago, Illinois has produced leathers specifically designed to endure whatever life throws your way. With a recipe dating back to the early 1910’s, Horween’s signature Chromexcel leather stands unmatched in its ability to take moisture, as well as daily wear and tear, in stride.

Horween's Chromexcel Leather

Here at Clayton & Crume, we handcraft each of our goods to the highest possible standard. This process starts with the very best raw materials we can get our hands on. Our absolute favorite of which is Horween’s full-grain Chromexcel leather.

The process of creating a Chromexcel hide takes nearly 6 weeks from beginning to end, utilizing at least 89 separate steps. One of these operations, and arguably the most critical for Chromexcel’s unique characteristics and beauty, is called “hot-stuffing”. This is where the tannery uses pressure and heat to saturate the leather with a proprietary blend of natural oils and waxes. Hot-stuffing ensures that the leather remains supple over time, and safe from water, all while continuing to develop a truly unique and beautiful patina.

Yes, You Can Get Our Goods Wet

Leather is a natural and permeable material, and as such it could never be 100% waterproof. Rather, we like to refer to our time-tested and durable goods as being water-safe. While we wouldn’t suggest sending your Money Clip through a spin cycle, or your Rocks Glasses through the dishwasher, we want you to be confident in knowing that if you get stuck in a downpour, your Classic Tote or Kentucky Belt will weather the storm just fine. And if you’d like to take a dip in the ocean while wearing our leather Sunglass Straps — no problem. 

We make our goods to be used and enjoyed. It’s inevitable to have a little bourbon spillage on your Rocks Glasses or Coasters. And of course, condensation will form on the outside of our leather Kooze when paired with your favorite, ice-cold beer. But we promise, our leather can handle it.

True story: One of our customers dropped their shades and leather Sunglass Straps to the bottom of a lake one summer and then recovered them two years later! He uses them to this day, and reports that they’re still in perfect condition. 

Tip: Caring for your leather goods

If you’re wondering how to keep your leather goods in the best shape after getting wet, here’s a quick tip! Simply set them out to dry on a warm, sunny surface before tucking them away.

Rocks Glasses: Our leather wraps slide off the bottom of the glasses for easy cleaning. Wash the glasses by hand or on the top rack of your dishwasher. If the leather wraps are wet, just set them aside to dry before sliding them back on each glass.

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