Tooled leather, anyone?

  1. I wonder if anybody has a secret fondness for good old-fashioned tooled leather? I've long had a liking for this kind of thick durable leather, but always stopped myself buying any tooled bags because they were always so ... heavy. And generally unlined, with no pockets. Just a big heavy bag of tooled leather. I admired the design work ...

    However, I've just found a bag that is TDF, IMO. It's lined in pretty patterned cotton, has pockets galore, and is well-made. I like that the designs are on both sides of the bag. Yes, those of you who know me know that I fell hard for Hayden-Harnett and their soft supple yummy bags, especially the Inka big-clip hobo. Now, I'm downsizing. I don't "need" the Inka anymore, but will keep a few that I've modified, but now ... now I finally found a small enough tooled leather organizer bag that's been kitted out right that will allow me to get rid of all the extras - no wallet, no pocket-pc holder, no checkbook - it's all in one, and beautiful too. I've even got room to spare. The dimensions are
    8.5 X 6 X 2.5" (depth measured without front pockets), with a shoulder drop of 20 - 25.5", shoulder strap is adjustable.

    What do you all think? Anybody want to admit they like tooled leather? Gotta admit, it's not gonna scratch, I don't have to baby it, and it's for damned sure unique!
    red_tooled.jpg red_tooled_inside.jpg red_tooled_back.jpg
  2. Well, I guess it is not really possible to shallowly obsess about this kind of leather, that's for sure.

    Just thought I'd ask.
  3. Actually, I like tooled leather, but I'm picky about the style of bag that's it on! I guess because it can look old-ladyish on the wrong bag. I used to have a really pretty brown tote, but I got rid of it (and have been intermittently been kicking myself for years because of it!)
  4. I absolutely love tooled leather. It has a nice western look that I adore. But you don't see much of it. I was at a fleamarket-antique show recently and several booths had old-time tooled leather bags. They were priced at only about $10-$12. But they were small, unlined, and obviously in need of new straps. Women kept picking them up, looking at them admiringly, trying them on, then putting them down for the reason that I did--they were so small and battle-worn. I did see one fashionable-looking buying one though.

    Saw a tooled leather purse in a catalog recently that I liked, but bag-lovers on another board advised against buying from that particular vendor and said the bags were of questionable quality.

    So yeah, I'm with you, I wish tooled leather would make a come-back and some high-end bag makers would offer it.

    I love the particular purse in your message. Where did you find it?
  5. BigPurseSue, I found it on e-Bay. 2-2-Fabu, their 'own design'. I love the fact that it's lined ... and it has all the features I've been looking for. I found it at the right time in my life, I guess - I've been so worried about damaging my Hayden-Harnett bags, and after carrying one of my Inkas while traveling this past weekend and not being able to find ANYTHING in it when I needed it, I was ready for something more organized. (And yes, to whoever may ask, I even bought a purse organizer to fit in the bag, and it didn't work.)

    See, I'm one to go against the flow, I guess - big bags are still in style, everybody here seems to be going nuts for RM, and while I still like HH, I'm just ready to explore something different. And organized! And artistic and clever!

    fabae, I know what you mean about the 'old-lady' look. This particular design would look that way if it was on a bigger bag. Of course, some on this board may think it does anyway, but I don't care - .

    Relic/Fossil is doing a 'fake' tooled bag that looks like crap (and no, please, nobody take offense, that's JMO) that I looked at this past weekend ... I think Sundance or J.Jill has something too, not sure. I've not been impressed with their bags either; they photograph well but IRL are not nice at all.

    Tooled leather has never been 'in style' (maybe earlier in the century?) except at rodeos and small southern towns, I reckon - which is fine by me ... I'm a small southern-town girl at heart. Used to have a horse once, but that was a long time ago ... You'd never guess who has a complete stamping kit for leather and hopes to put her initials on her Coach bag one of these days ... when I get brave ... LOL.
  6. I didn't know what hand tooled leather was till I clicked the link.

    I see one on eBay I might bid on that has roses on it.
  7. I love tooled leather!!! It's beautiful!
  8. Yay!
  9. Thanks for the recommendation for 2-2-Fabu. I'll look for her bags on eBay.

    I think tooled leather suffered from an "old lady" connotation even in the '60s and '70s when it was hippie-chic. When I was in grade school in the '60s (yes, I is that old), I remember certain teachers, fifty-something, matronly, the ones who wore long crooked skirts over flesh-colored stockings with ankle-high lace-up shoes hauling around these HONKING BIG tooled leather monstrosities of purses. Omigosh they looked awful. And they were always stuffed full of papers and pens and all sorts of things to make a poor little kid's life misery.

    In retrospect I think those purses would have looked great carried by someone dressed stylishly and were they not bursting at the seams with crap, looking so obviously as heavy as a boat. But since then those big tooled leather purses have always connoted to me a certain fuddy-duddy approach to life.

    In the '70s every high school girl carried one of these:

    Blech! You can see why Coach made such a splash when we all went to college in the late '70s.

    Here's a lovely Isabella Fiore tooled bag on eBay:

    Northstyle has quite a few tooled leather bags, like this one:

    But I'm hesitant to buy from them as I've heard their customer service leaves something to be desired and quality is sometimes flagging.

    I almost think that a tooled leather bag is something that you want to see in person, like the Fossil one, in order to gauge its quality.
  10. Hmm, interesting. Thanks for the pictures. I like the concept, though I'm not yet won over by the floral/leaf/sunshine designs. Is that an important part of it? Something more abstract would be neat. I refuse to baby my bags, so I love the ruggedness.
  11. I don't get the "old-lady look". Tooled leather is readily noticable in the Southwest, and quite a few young gals are wearing it. It's the style out there. The bag you are obsessing about is gorgeous.
  12. india -
    hey are U?
    I LOVE tooled leather, esp. the older ones where the workmanship is so detailed and the "impressions" are deep - along with a patina that only comes with age. I can't tell you how often I have looked for the "perfect" bag for me on ebay - AND - always getting outbit. Indeed as others mentioned, there is a fine line between gorgeous and gaudy when it comes to these bags and the gorgeous ones that are in good shape are few and far between.
    Enjoy your bag - love the organization.
  13. As someone actually from the southwest (and young), I would have to disagree. I don't see it much here, and I do find that it's a bit too "western" for my tastes. Probably because I only see it sold in the same stores as cowboy boots and saddles. But the bag you have chosen is nice, I love the color!
  14. Loads of tooled bags on as well take a look
  15. i love tooled leather...i saw some tooled leather bags in shops in mexico that were made by the shop owners...didn't have time to look too hard but I really, really liked them!