Wickett & Craig x Filson – American Made Leather

Mankind has used leather for clothing, footwear, armor, and tools for centuries, and since 1867, Pennsylvania’s Wickett & Craig of America has specialized in tanning the most durable and beautiful leathers available. Their long heritage of quality makes them the perfect partner to supply Filson with the leathers to continue our 123-year legacy of manufacturing unfailing goods.

hands rolling large pieces of leather stacked on a table
man stretching leather across a wooden and metal framework in a tanning shop

After removal from the tanning solution, the hides are split to the desired thickness, dried and dyed, then fat-liquored with oils and waxes. Bridle and Harness Leathers, such as those used in Filson luggage, are also hot-stuffed, meaning they are literally stuffed to the core with nourishing waxes and tallows. This creates a rich, deep color while making the leather even more durable.

“Wickett & Craig's Bridle leather is the best in North America.” - Jeremy Bennett, Filson’s Manager of Product Development

After 153 years, Wickett & Craig has perfected the art of vegetable tanning leather hides, which from start-to-finish takes roughly six weeks. In comparison, 90% of the leather on the market is chrome-tanned, which takes a third of that time due to aggressive chemical processes. Both Filson and Wickett & Craig believe the results of vegetable tanning are worth the investment. The use of eco-friendly, natural ingredients minimizes the potential for negative environmental impact. The end product is a deeply lustrous leather that’s incredibly durable and only gets better with age.

With 29 years of experience at Wickett & Craig, starting on the factory floor, Vice President of Sales & Operations Matt Bressler offered a few quotes that summarize their mindset in producing the best leathers available…

1. “Never be complacent.”
2. “Not all business is good business.
3. “Never misrepresent your product.”
4. “Give all you have every day and the rest will take care of itself.”
5. “If it was easy, everyone would do it.”

man with red polo shirt and black pants stands with hand on large stack of pieces of leather

Matt Bressler, Wickett & Craig's Vice President of Sales & Operations

Vegetable-tanned leather is a key element of Filson’s Rugged Twill luggage which has reliably served our customers for decades. It’s resistance to stretching makes it ideal for straps and handles. Because it stands up to scrapes and scuffs, we use it as skid-plates on our luggage. Our proprietary Weatherproof Leather is treated during tanning for permanent water resistance that’s in the leather, not just on the surface.“Wickett & Craig’s bridle leather is the best in North America. I’ve handled hundreds of variations of veg-tanned leather and not many compare. The balance of firmness, strength, and core-fiber density really sets it apart from other leathers on the market,” says Jeremy Bennett, Filson’s Manager of Product Development for leather goods.

The experts at Wickett & Craig use deliberate, time-honored tanning processes to produce the absolute best leathers available, and Filson is honored to call them our partners.

Veg-tanning is a natural, labor-intensive, eco-friendly process that produces leathers of superior quality.
wickett and craig x filson black leather bags with olive straps sitting on top of wooden box
behind the scenes: with wickett and craig tannery image of man in shop apron throwing large gray length of unfinished leather on a pile

TUES, 6/2 – 8AM PST | 11AM EST

Wickett & Craig is the oldest vegetable tannery in the USA — we’ve worked with them for over 25 years because their English Bridle Leather is the best in the country.

Join us for a behind-the-scenes tour of the tannery and get a look at Wickett & Craig’s natural, eco-friendly process — from pre-tanning to dyeing and conditioning to finishing, grading, and shipment.

Broadcasting live on @filson1897 from the Wickett & Craig Tannery in Curwensville, Pennsylvania