Fire Dog Leatherworks LLC is a small, firefighter owned business that offers durable, leather equipment designed to make emergency responders' lives easier. Every item is handcrafted in the USA, using thick, full-grain leather. While our products are geared towards Firefighters, we also make custom items for Emergency Medical Personnel, Law Enforcement, and civilians. Special requests are commonplace for many different professions and hobbies.
The creation of every item starts with some of the best, full-grain leather by Wickett & Craig. The leather we use is top quality latigo or tooling leather depending on the item. It's sourced from North American cattle and tanned in Pennsylvania. The latigo is drum-dyed and hot-dipped with oils and tallow which make it weather resistant and flexible. If offers a nice balance of durability and visual appeal. We offer it dyed either black or brown. Tooling leather can be dyed to your specification.
The excellence is in the details and each aspect of the leatherworking process is performed in accordance with best practices. All edges are sanded, dyed, burnished, and sealed with 100% bee's wax. High stress joints are securely stitched. All hardware is nickel or chrome-plated steel to resist rust and we only use DOT Durable brand snaps for our projects unless otherwise specified. Finally, all items are rubbed with Neatsfoot oil and/or sealed with a moisture-resistant finish once complete.
When it comes to sewing, we offer both machine lock-stitching and premium saddle-stitching done by hand. All work is done with high-quality thread imported from Germany. Sewing by hand using a saddle-stitch provides superior durability over machine stitching but is time and labor intensive. It also allows us to use a much thicker thread compared to a machine lock-stitch which creates a very unique look.
Our belief is that leather equipment should be tough, weather-resistant, and traditionally styled. While we offer acrylic painting, we always prefer to emphasize the natural beauty of the leather. We want our items to wear-in with the character that comes from hard work. Our goal with each item is to produce utilitarian good looks and functional equipment which you can hand down to your children after a long career.
Obtaining Measurements: Radio Straps, Bunker Suspenders, Belts, and Dog Collars will require measurements as we custom fit the items to your specifications. In order to help you, we have put together a PDF which contains instructions on how to most accurately collect these. Please read the instructions carefully before ordering and if you have any concerns, contact us. We're happy to help.
If your item fails because of a mistake we made or a defect in the construction (integral, non-cosmetic stitching breaks, a fastener pulls loose, defective snap, etc.), we will repair or replace the item as warranted for the life of the original purchaser. We reserve the right not to cover any item which is suspected of being used inappropriately, neglected, poorly maintained, or intentionally abused.
As leather is an animal product, even new items may have minor scuffs, wrinkles, scars, or cosmetic blemishes. This is part of the character of full-grain leather. Additional marks and wear from use are also to be expected. Acrylic painting of characters may wear, crack, or fade with use. These kinds of issues do not warrant repair or replacement.
These items do not have NFPA approval or hold any type of certification from any safety organization. They are not designed or intended to be used as life safety devices and should not replace any personal protective equipment or associated parts.
It is the responsibility of the purchaser to use any items obtained from Fire Dog Leatherworks LLC in a safe manner that is consistent with any relevant safety rules and/or regulations.
Additionally, your department may have Standard Operating Procedures or other regulations which do not allow the use of unapproved items. You should always obtain approval from your superiors and/or safety officers before using any item which was not issued directly to you by your organization. We take no responsibility and assume no liability if you use our items in violation of established safety standards, department policy, or in an otherwise unsafe manner.
Fire Dog Leatherworks LLC does not perform any transactions (including gear measurements or delivery) on local 'B' shift days. You may place orders through this website and they will be processed the following day. Off-duty personnel may pickup items from our workshop by scheduling ahead of time.
We accept cash, money order, and most major credit cards. We use Square Inc. to process credit card payments. Receipts are issued electronically by default (text or email.) If you prefer a paper receipt, please let us know.
We will notify you once your item has been completed. Turn around time varies depending on the current waitlist but averages about 2 weeks until most orders are complete. The item can be picked up directly from the workshop.
Items that require shipping will be charged a flat rate of $9.50 or you may check for lower rates on our online store.
Sales on all items are final. Please pay careful attention to the sizing instructions above and make sure the spelling is correct on any stamping requests before submitting your order. If we send you an incorrect item or do not make it according to the specifications you provided when ordering, get in contact with us ASAP and we will replace or refund your purchase.
We use your information to make your item, receive your payment and get it to you. Outside of these purposes, we value your privacy and don't share any of your personal information. We use Square Inc. to process credit card payments and provide receipts. You can view their privacy statement here.
We get a lot of questions regarding the proper care of leather equipment. This is understandable; quality leather is an investment and can last a lifetime if maintained.
Both moisture and dryness damage leather. This might seem strange until you consider what keeps leather pliable and resilient: oil. Tanned leather contains oils (both natural and additives) that allow it to flex without cracking. When water is allowed to penetrate the leather, it can wash out these oils. Over time, the repeated cycle of getting wet and having the water evaporate off can leave the leather brittle and dry. This in turn leads to cracking and eventually total failure as the fibers breakdown (also known as dry rot.) If you add in the heat that is trapped under your gear and the salt from your sweat, the effect is accelerated. All leather will fail this way if not cared for.
The equipment we make has some built in protections against losing its oils. First, we only use top quality, full-grain leather. Cheaper grades of leather or leather that has been sanded down for cosmetic reasons loses its oils faster. Before the tanned hides are even shipped to us, they are treated with natural greases, oils, and tallow that is pressed deep into the leather. This is time consuming (and therefore expensive) for the tannery to do but it gives you a very durable, pliable, and long lasting piece of leather from the start. After it gets to us, we do a few things that help build on this foundation. All edges are burnished and treated with bee's wax. This helps seal the edge fibers from exposure to the elements. Next, we give the item a coat of Neatsfoot oil to protect its surfaces. Lastly, we use a different type of wax to treat both the front (the grain side) and the back (the flesh side.) These combined treatments give the item very solid resistance to moisture and dryness. That said, even the best quality, most thoroughly treated piece of leather will eventually become damaged if neglected.
Some very basic maintenance every few months will keep your leather in top condition. Here's a few indicators that its time to clean and oil your leather:
What do we recommend for keeping everything in good condition?
That's it. Leather care is not complicated or time consuming, you merely need to look it over periodically, oil it every now and then, and keep it free of excess dirt and contaminates. If you take these simple steps, your leather will last your career and beyond. As always, if you have any questions or concerns about maintenance or leather care products, just contact us and we'll assist you.