Nappa leather

What is Nappa Leather?

The Nomenclature.

The Napa/Nappa name of the leather has a unique history. The story goes that historically there used to be two native American nomadic tribes, namely – The Wappo tribe and the Wapin tribe. When the non-natives came and settled with the locals, they tried to pick up local words, and Napa is supposedly an English way of saying a native American local word, the actual meaning of which is now lost in translation. This word has also inspired the name of a county in California, USA. However, Napa County, north of San Francisco, is today better known for hundreds of hillside vineyards in the Napa Valley wine region.

What’s Emanuel Manasse to do with Nappa Leather?

Emanuel Manasse is credited as the inventor of Nappa Leather. He was born in Germany and settled in the USA. He moved to New Jersey and then to Napa, California in 1871. Manasse was a son of a leather tanner in Germany. It is likely that he learned the leather craft from his father. He was a leather tanner for the Swayer Tanning Company. It is here at the Napa-valley that he developed the Nappa leather. The leather was soft, flexible, and very well suited for creating fine leather accessories. Since the leather was developed in Napa, many went on to call it Napa or Nappa leather.

Manasse would later become a partner at the Swayer Tanning Company and lead a very rich and successful life because of the invention. The Napa leather would go on as a very well-known term in the leather world.

Meanwhile, the next time you ponder about Napa-valley, it will not just be about fine wine, but also about the birth place of one of the finest leathers known to man.

Advantages of Nappa Leather.

There are multiple advantages that Nappa leather offers. The first is that it is strong yet soft and flexible. It is also very stylish and elegant making it popular for premium leather goods and accessories and other goods. Nappa leather is likewise durable and long lasting. Nappa leather also does not absorb water or any other liquid quickly. You can therefore clean the spill just by immediately wiping the surface. And last but not the least, Nappa leather is also hypoallergenic. Perfect for those who have respiratory system problems.

Various uses of Nappa Leather.

The leather pundits claim that Nappa is the ideal type of leather for impeccable leather goods and accessories. especially for small goods. They describe Nappa leather as being “buttery soft”, a perfect surface touch to a leather item. Moreover, other than being comfortable to create styles and designs, Nappa leather is also durable and easy to maintain, something that is very convenient for customers. It is also easier to clean liquid spills. Napa leather also has a very luxurious look. That is the reason why it can be found on some of the most luxurious items. It is superior in quality and style in comparison to other leather types. Its various uses include – wallets, gloves, handbags, and lifestyle accessories.

At WALLETSPLUS, we have decades of experience in crafting finest leather goods with Nappa leathers for some of the most prestigious private labels and brands world-wide.

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Tools for Leather Craft

Leather crafting has been one of mankind’s oldest skills. From hunting for food to using animal hides for body covering, rudimentary tools were always man’s necessity. Early homo-sapiens used chiselled rocks and the likes for crafting leather. With the advent of technological progress, modern tools have been developed to make better, faster, and more economical leather goods.

However, it is important to emphasise that age-old tradition skills and craftsmanship of manufacturing hand-made leather accessories, remains the pinnacle of leather working. Learning which tools to apply and how to use them is vital for any student inclined into making new styles and designs of leather accessories.


If you intend to make small accessories like designer wallets and card cases, we recommend you use Vegetable Tanned full-grain leather to create a strong and durable product.


From synthetic to natural, there are multiple thread options available for leather crafting. Our personal favourites are linen threads which are run through a wax pot. Their high strength, low elongation, great sheen, and their resistance against effects of heat, light, and climate, linen threads are the most popular for leatherwork.

Cutting Tools

Professional leather artisans use standard cutting tools such as a utility knife, a rotary cutter, or a round knife. However, regular cutters could in cases be handy and applied. Special knives and box cutters are also used in most factories. Be mindful of your tools. Use them wisely and cherish them always.

Cutting Mat

For creating samples and prototypes of leather goods, a cutting mat is necessary. It helps you to make precise and clean cuts, and to protect your workbench. Cutting mats of different sizes, which are also self-healing are easily available at most stationery stores.

Chisels and Hammers

Using diamond chisels, you can punch the stitching holes through pieces of leather. Such tools, which come in a variety of sizes, can help you punch perfect holes for hand sewing as. If you want to make them slide in and out of the leather smoothly, you can apply a bit of beeswax to these chisels.

Leather crafting requires precision work with hammers to deliver concentrated force to a location. Hence, to protect your kit against possible scratches or damages caused by punches and rivet setters, a plastic hammer could ensure clean strikes in basic leather work.

Miscellaneous Tools

Quality premium hand-made leather goods require experienced pairs of hands with an exceptionally creative vision. It is thus imperative to have all the different tools in your arsenal and use them wisely. You will need Stitching awl, Leather Stitching Needles, Leather Skivers, Edge Bevelers, Groovers, Edge Burnishers and Hole Punches too.

History of Leather

The earliest references to Leather – over 500,000 years ago – are found in the Hebrew Bible and Talmud. Leather was initially used as safeguard against weather conditions. Over time, Leather was slowly replaced by other resources as a source for garments. Leather constantly surrounded the day-to-day life of early Homo Sapiens. Leather was used primarily for sandals, helmets, shields, utensils, mats, and even skins for transporting water. Leatherhas always been used by men for protection, comfort, utility, fashion, warmth and even luxury or status symbol.

The Indian love affair with this resourceful material dates back almost five thousand years. The First documented evidence of Leather appears in the Hindu scriptures of the Vedas. The Rig-Veda has documented the use of Leather ‘Mashaks’ or sacks as early as 3000 B.C. Straps and bands were manufactured with Leather and bags, sails were also made of the same material. Legendry explorer Marco-polo also pens his testimony of the Leather manufacturing industry in the 1800s. In his accounts, he mentions that “The curing of hides and the manufacture of Leather were two of the most important of Indian industries.”

Indian exports of premium finished Leather goods started circa 1880. Currently, according to the Global Online Survey data, the propensity of millennials to purchase Leather goods through online platforms was almost twice that of Generation-X in 2018-19. The increasing working population and the rising disposable income have also driven market demand. Total Leather and Leather products export from India stood at US$ 5.07 billion in 2019-20. During April 2019 to March 2020, the major markets for Indian Leather products were US, Germany, UK, Italy, and France. During April 2020 to March 2021, products exported include Leather footwear component (US$ 197.59 million), Leather garments (US$ 295.56 million), and Leather goods (US$ 944.31 million).

At Walletsplus, we have ensured to carry on the millennium old tradition of manufacturing impeccable finished Leather goods. International private labels and brands can vouch for our uncompromising quality and delivery commitments. Being ISO 9001, 45001 and SEDEX accredited, we offer end-to-end production and export solution to our esteemed clients.


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What are Exotic Aquatic Leathers?

Fashion evolves fast. And now, the fashion-forward crowd has found ways to diversify and make the most out of the best available exotic aquatic leathers. Hagfish, Mahi-mahi, Arapaima, Stingray, Eel fish and others are commonly used for exotic leathers.

Wherever available, various fish species are used for procuring leather. However, aquatic leathers are no replacement to the age-old conventional bovine leather in terms of quality, durability, and variety of use. Aquatic leathers are now a days used sparingly for manufacture of fashion handbags and accessories and also used in the garment industry.

Aquatic leathers are easily recognizable due to their unique pattern. Such leathers have a pin-striped pattern on their skin. They are thin, yet strong because of the crossway fibre structure. Aquatic leathers are also easily dyeable and can replicate various colours.

However, the governments world-wide are responding to the calls to conserve exotic species and regulate the manufacture and sale of exotic, including aquatic leather products. According to the IUCN, each year, approximately 300,000 reticulated pythons are harvested from the wild in Indonesia and Malaysia to supply skins for the international trade in exotic leathers. In 2020, the USA state of California enacted legislation to ban the sale of many exotic leathers and leather products, including alligators and crocodiles. The bans went into effect on January 1, 2020 (alligators and crocodiles) and into effect on January 1, 2022, for caiman and lizards.

At Walletsplus, we abide by the law of the land and international guidelines, like SMETA and do not promote commercial use of skins of endangered species.

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