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03 02 22

What is Traditional Harness Leather?

Learn about Traditional Harness leather, what type it is, how it is made, and what are the most common uses for leather crafters.

What Type of Leather is Traditional Harness?

Sides of Traditional Harness leather from the Buckleguy inventory.

Traditional Harness leather is a high quality, vegetable tanned leather that is often used for leather belts, handbags, and many other leather goods where a firm leather is ideal. It is well-suited to a variety of different products due to its durable yet beautiful natural finish.


Traditional Harness leather is a vegetable tanned leather, meaning that natural vegetable tannins derived from bark and plants are used in the tanning process instead of chemicals. It’s a tried and true process that’s been around for thousands of years, and it's still known for creating durable, beautiful leather. One of our favorite aspects of veg tan leathers like Traditional Harness is they get better with age!

See how to cut a piece of Traditional Harness leather to make a belt or bag strap.


This particular brand of leather is known for its unique blend of waxes, oils, and tallows, which are hot stuffed into the leather. The beautiful look and feel of traditional harness leather is achieved in part due to a process called jack glazing, during which the oils come to the surface. The result is a glossy yet natural finish, with the leather’s true grain still visible. On the back side, Traditional Harness leather is refinished and gum pasted, giving it a waxy, smooth texture.


If you had to guess the original use for this type of leather, there’s a hint right in the name. Traditional Harness leather is ideal for fashioning equestrian gear. But that’s not all that it’s useful for. This type of leather is becoming increasingly popular for fashion and apparel for good reason. It can be used for leather goods, belts, bags, accessories, and many other practical applications where both durability and a natural process are important.  

Traditional Harness leather is great for small, sleek items like wallets, money clips, and card holders


What do you think is the best use for this type of leather? At Buckleguy, we particularly recommend Traditional Harness by the strap for making belts, dog collars, and shoulder straps for bags. It can also be good in thinner weights by the panel for wallets, purses, and journal covers. Once you fall in love with Traditional Harness, try getting a whole leather hide and see all the projects you can yield!