As I mentioned earlier this week, I recently visited a Tandy Leather Factory store for the first time. Holy craft supply mecca! They have two locations in the Houston area – the one I went to is a small store in a rather dismal strip mall populated with a few bail bonds shops, an exotic wig store and some uniform and medical supply retailers. Don’t be deterred, it’s awesome.
First, they have the nicest, most helpful employees. One spent at least an hour with me explaining all the different types of leathers they sell and what their applications are along with teaching me the basics of dying and riveting. It was riveting, ha! Really, though, it was a huge help. There’s a lot going on in that small store and without the guidance I was completely lost.
I’m going to include lots of pictures because I found the store really inspiring, but most of the images are pretty bad. The little camera I had in my bag is much better for video than still shots.
Obviously, they sell a lot of leather. I saw mostly cow but also deer and pig skins which are thinner. There was chrome-tanned leather (which is a lot of the colorful leathers above) that are already dyed and are nice and flexible.
Most leather crafting is done using vegetable-tanned leather because you can carve and stamp it. It’s stiff and tan-colored but can be dyed to many different colors.
Look at all those different dyes and finishes!
Most of the leather is sold by the hide, but you can also buy many precut shapes of vegetable-tanned leather as well as kits to make belts and other things.
Even if you aren’t interested in leather, I recommend a visit to check out all the hardware. This is a wall of rivets and some other items- the wall on the other side of the store was just as full.
Pyramid studs, anyone? They sell them by the 100 pack and 1000 pack. All of the prices seemed very reasonable and there’s a discount club and wholesale pricing available.
And spikes! The employee thought I wouldn’t be into the spikes (I guess I don’t look like a biker chic), but he was wrong.
Tools, thread, zippers.
I LOVE these clasps, and I bought one.
I just know HonestlyWTF could turn this western hardware into something totally amazing.
But I have no idea what anyone would ever do with these creepy chicken claw things. Ew.
Not to worry, they are redeemed by the awesome free scrap bin!