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Why we decided to go Leather!

Posted on Dec 21st 2018

As you have no doubt seen from our social media over the past few months and our most recent email, we have introduced a unique range of full grain leather aprons and accessories to our catalogue. This has been something we have been developing over a number of years and we are incredibly proud of the range we came up with. Therefore, we thought we would share with you why we decided to go leather in the first place. We shall explain the advantages of leather as a material from a practical perspective and then offer our humble opinion on where we think a leather apron looks best from a stylistic point of view. After all, leather aprons have become so popular in recent years due to both of these reasons with some people needing the protection or breathability it offers, others loving the leather aesthetic. What cannot be argued is that our range will certainly deliver on both fronts.

Why Leather?

Leather has been used as a material for clothing since c.2500 BC. Leather tanning and production is widely regarded as one of the oldest, continually practised industries in the world. That longevity does not come around because of poor quality and results. Leather has numerous physical properties that make it such a sought after material for garments and accessories and below we have highlighted our two main reasons we believe this:


Now this would have been particularly true over 50 years ago, however with the market now saturated with cheap, poor quality or imitation leather the reputation of the material has been damaged recently. Put it this way, if a “full leather” product seems too cheap, it’s because it is! Nonetheless, full grain leather remains perhaps the toughest natural material to make garments from.  We have built our reputation from our quality and our full leather range is no exception. The hides have been carefully treated to ensure they are fire resistant. Full leather is also resistant to dry abrasions and water, chemical, dust and fungal attacks. This not only maintains the integrity of the leather but also makes sure than it looks brand new for a long time. We are confident each of our full leather aprons and accessories will last years if not decades of daily use.

It is important to note that the occasional small scratch will occur, but somewhat paradoxically this is a sign of the quality of the leather and similarly to denim fading, adds to the character of the apron and is something to be appreciated.


Leather is a natural material, and behaves as such. This means it breathes and allows air molecules to pass through the fabric and keep the material ventilated. This is not an instant process however. The leather fibres store significant quantities of water vapour or perspiration which is later dissipated when not in use, if stored appropriately and not in a sauna! This has numerous advantages for the wearer in contrast to a cotton or polyester apron. Not only does it increase the durability, as mentioned above, but also makes sure the clothing and body behind the apron does not become stuffy and too sweaty. This is one of natural leather’s unique benefits and cannot be underestimated.

These factors illustrate why leather is such a practical material to use but what about the style? These can be categorised into two main aspects; leather apron as a premium product, the absolute best of what’s on the market. Alternatively as something to compliment your venue’s environment and image.

Leather is Quality:

As you may have seen from our Leather Aprons page, this is not a budget product. Buying a full leather apron is a statement, regardless of your industry. It’s the Swiss Watch of aprons; exclusive, expensive and exceptional. We at Oliver Harvey certainly know how much chefs enjoy standing out from the crowd and therefore it is our job to make sure they have all the finest options to do so. Our full leather and back strap aprons provide exactly that. With their stunning look, unsurpassable quality and functionality this is an apron truly designed to stand out.

Leather Aprons to suit your venue:

A bib length full grain leather apron is fantastic for the individual but is a serious investment if you are buying for your front of house team. The image it would project on your customers would be permanent and speak volumes about the culture of your restaurant, hotel or café. However, if you want to the same strong impression, without the expense then why not try one of our full leather short waist aprons? These maintain the practical properties of the material and the stylistic quality whilst also being easy to use and more accessibly priced. You can also develop a unique look for your team using our optional leather pouches in a range of 6 distinct colours.

We feel our leather waists are perfectly suited to two types of venue in particular. The rustic country and the post-industrial urban. The history and nature of the material lends itself to a rural environment, particularly during those quintessentially British summer festivals, barbeques and events. The colouration and style also lends itself to trendy urban venues such as cocktail bars or brasseries. However, the beauty of a versatile, premium product such as our full leather range is that they can suit almost all environments and we look forward to being made fools of when one of our customer’s seamlessly puts our leather waists in their Michelin starred restaurant.

Overall, leather has a number of distinct advantages over almost all other apron fabrics. Its durability and breathability ensure that it delivers from a practical perspective time and time again and its high quality feel and appearance combined with choice stylings means it really is a statement product. Our leather aprons are also personalisable through engraving or embossing and simply get in touch with us (at sales@oliverharvey.co.uk) if you wish to explore these options. We hope you all like them.



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