Originally Posted by dopey
Why wouldn't Barenia be the first choice for all applications? In other words, when should you prefer bridle leather? Is it just color choices? Are there differences in durability?
Bridle leather is robust, really quite weatherproof given leather feed and comes in a reasonable colour range. It ages well but not to the same spectacular degree. Its beautiful when new as well as when old. Critically in order to really be bridle leather it is in the 3 - 4mm thick range. That means it can be used in a single layer which makes for a simple, long-lived product (decades is common) that therefore is reasonably affordable particularly over the years.
Barenia ages spectacularly as we've seen today. Its relatively boring when very new and can have an ugly duckling stage as its used. You need patience to get what Ive shown and its not great for people who want things to look like new for ages - it just won't. It only comes in 1.5 (wallet/watch straps) and 2.2mm (belts) versions so critically it has to be lined for nearly any application, particularly belts. Therefore whilst we certainly can and do make belts from it they have to be fully lined and stitched so they are expensive. The leather itself is also ruinously expensive and the only source is owned by Hermes
Its horses for courses I suppose. If you love leather, patination, hand stitching and the craft of leather goods Barenia is amazing stuff, rare, and deeply beautiful given some patience. You'd spoil it if you subjected it to some of the abuse bridle leather will put up with though and you wouldn't want given the price.
Hope that helps answer the question!