It’s been awhile EC readers!
As the year is coming to a close, circuit finals, national finals and world finals are all starting to take shape. Contestants have been named and numbered, travel plans are being made and hopefully money has been saved for all the shopping! The NFR and CFR will showcase the fashions for the coming year and those of us hoping to find the perfect gift are just in luck.
For those who are looking for something new to rock but are too scared to try fringed boots or wild colored painted belts or something else wild and crazy I would suggest getting something made from rough out leather. It’s a new take (ok, ok it’s a circle back fashion) on leather goods.
It’s great for saddles, whether you are roping or running barrels, the rough out helps hold you in place. It’s a punchy and classic look on everything from belts to headstalls. Rough out leather definitely plays well with others; backstitching and as as everyone who knows me (or reads my articles on the regular knows) metals studs are my personal favorite pairings.
To touch on pairings, light colored rough out paired with dark grain side out leather looks amazing. Pairing rough out with high quality buckle sets, allows the buckles and hardware to be the star of the show. Coat’s Saddlery and Hooligan Designs are a few maker’s who’ve mastered the look of contrasting leathers and beautiful hardware.
Rough out is more durable than suede (yes both are leather). Suede is made from the under layers of a hide and is sometimes called split leather whereas rough out is made from the full top grain leather. The difference is in the durability and longevity. (read more on this here) A true rough out hide will outlast a suede one. Scratches, nicks and other damages that often occur with regular use of tack, belts or boots are not near as noticeable on rough out hides as they are on smooth out.
Cleaning to me is easier on a rough out items, it’s simply brush and go. You still need to condition the underside of the leather to ensure the longevity and avoid major cracking. I have a tutorial on cleaning and getting blue dye out of your saddle that can be found here.
If you love rough out as much as I do be sure to share your favorite looks and pieces in a comment below or on social media.