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Why Write on Leather?

October 23, 2012

While we certainly believe in the value of writing on leather at DCT Leathers (with our popular and extensive line of leather desktops for home, office, or restoration projects), we understand that its use as a writing surface is not the most widespread. Sometimes, we do get the question: why do people prefer to write on leather?

To get a general sense of why leather desktops gained esteem in the past and are still cherished by many, it is interesting to look at their history. Nowadays, many leather-topped desks are inspired by the “President’s Desk”, officially known as the Resolute Desk. Still an iconic piece of the Oval Office, its presidential history dates back to 1880 when it was given to President Rutherford Hayes by the Queen of England. An American vessel had found an abandoned ship and returned it to the Queen. She subsequently had wood from the ship, the HMS Resolute, crafted into a desk to give as a gift to the U.S. Most of the Presidents, with only a few exceptions, in American history have chosen to use the desk, either in the Office or in residence.

The prestigious history in part helps explain why replicas of the Resolute Desk abound and why many people, from Presidents of the United States to bestselling authors, choose to write on leather.  Ultimately the choice to write on leather is one of preference, much like writing by hand versus typing, or keeping a physical appointment book versus the calendar in your email. What are some of your preferences? Do you prefer the look? The feel? Or, strength of the leather? We’d like to hear from you!

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