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Lovely nubuck at Bill Amberg

11 August 2010

The addiction to lovely leathers continues. Consistent readers will have seen previous posts on the construction details at Bown, Alfred Dunhill’s north-London workshop and the oak-tanned bags at Bill Amberg. Other non-bag favourites include a thick winter jacket from Loro Piana and a recent acquisition in the sales – a deep-purple summer jacket from Bottega Veneta (70% off at Harrod’s!). There’s just no way to resist the big panels of soft leather you get on bags and jackets.

But while I’ve also been a fan of suede for some time (brown unlined jacket from Kilgour, bought in the post-Brandelli sales), nubuck was a recent discovery. I have the Lodger tennis shoes in nubuck, but nothing above the ankles. Nubuck is similar to suede, both in feel and process, as the cow skin is sanded down to achieve the soft surface. But nubuck is made by sanding the external, skin side of the leather, while suede is the flesh side. The result is that nubuck is finer and tougher – as the skin or grain side has a tighter fibre structure.

On a bag like the Metropolitan Magazine model from Bill Amberg, pictured above, this means that the surface has a velvety feel but is much more practical to use in a day bag. I acquired it recently in the sales (50% off at £155, still one or two left I think) and it was a departure from the norm, none of my other bags including black leather. It will hopefully prove useful in accessorising outfits where there is black leather elsewhere.

The lining is blue canvas and it features an external zip pocket as well as the main compartment. The top band and strap are bridle leather, as much of Bill’s stuff tends to be. There’s other great stuff in the Bill Amberg sale still, including the canvas summer bags at some very cheap prices. Apologies that I keep writing about things acquired at the tail end of the sales though. It does create rather a rush.