Mitchell Leather Factory
The Finest Leather Goods, Made in the USA Since 1968

Horween's Dublin Leather

Whenever I'm asked which leather is my favorite or which I would use to make a briefcase for myself the answer is consistently Horween Dublin. So what is it that makes Dublin such an easy choice for a leather worker like me who makes briefcases every day for a living? To understand you have to first learn a little bit about how this special leather is made.

Above: Classic Briefcase in Italian Brown Dublin

Dublin is a full grain, aniline dyed cowhide that is primarily vegetable tanned and then infused with a special recipe of oils and emollients that is the very same as has been used in Horween's premium Shell Cordovan for more than 100 years. Dublin also contains a hard wax which gives the hide a slightly firmer temper and a crackle effect that is quite lovely if you like that kind of thing- and I most certainly do. Because it's a veg tan you might expect it to be stiff as a board and generic looking the way that most others tend to be, but it's quite the opposite. This is a leather that is aesthetically complex with a multitude of color variations due to the oil-pull-up effect, something Horween is famous for. Pull-up occurs when oils are moved within the skin which happens wherever the hide is bent, stretched or pulled. You can see this in numerous places on the briefcase pictured above but perhaps it's most pronounced on the edge binding which has lightened considerably due to being stretched and stitched onto the seams of the bag. Dublin also strikes the perfect balance between firm and soft and has less propensity to stretch while retaining just the right amount of “give” and malleability. But perhaps the most surprising thing about Dublin is that it combines high tensile strength with lighter weight than most other leathers. For example, our Classic briefcase in Dublin typically weighs at least ½ pound less than the same case made from CXL.

Above: Classic Briefcase in Cognac Dublin

When designing and building the ideal briefcase you want it to be strong, light weight, not too firm, but not too soft, and beautifully natural in appearance. Dublin is all of those things. While aesthetics are always a matter of taste, those who like a leather that has a slightly rustic
look with lots of character that only gets better with time, will absolutely love Dublin. If you prefer something that starts out a little more pristine, formal and polished, you may lean instead toward Horween's also excellent CXL. I might also mention that Dublin is also the very best belt leather I have ever encountered and don't get me started on wallets, watch bands, etc....