In the leather industry, there is a lot of talk about "Italian leather." This broad stereotyping of leather is no longer applicable. Even a quick internet search will adopt the concept that "Italian leather" is supreme due to the craftsmanship of the leather worker and quality of the leather. So what is "Italian leather?" Is it leather from an Italian tannery? Is it a leather sofa made by an Italian craftsman? Is it a leather good made by an Italian company? In short, it's complicated
America has a long tradition of great tanneries: Herman Oak, SB Foot, Horween, Siedel, Tasman Leather
So is Italian better? Not necessarily. With America's amazing tannery traditions and a new wave of leather craftsmen, American leather should be thought of the same way as American wine. Sure, French wine (Bordeaux, Burgundy, Chateaunuef du Pape, etc...) denote a style that specifies a region that is typically associated with quality. But there is no guarantee and not all wines from a region guarantee supremacy.
What should you do? Get to know your craftsmen. Try to avoid a product that was mass-produced off premise. Sam and I could easily follow up on the hundreds of emails asking us to have a factory in China or Mexico produce our designs for pennies on the dollar. But we won't! Our craftsmanship is almost more important than the leather itself. And with plenty of great American tanneries, there isn't a better time to buy "American Leather."