Leather Wrapped Pipes

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tarak

Preferred Member
Jun 23, 2013
1,527
1
South Dakota
What's the deal with leather wrapped pipes? Is it purely aesthetic, or does it serve a purpose? Pros and cons?
Looking for any insight.

 

alex87

Member
Jul 30, 2012
194
0
I doubt there is any real benefit from wrapping a pipe, except for protecting it. I think it is just for aesthetic reasons....I like the look though. Can't see a positive result regarding smoke quality AFAIK.

 

cortezattic

Preferred Member
Nov 19, 2009
14,793
2,430
Chicago, IL
:rofl:
I always assumed that the leather was a dressy way to cover pits and ugly, but serviceable wood.

The leather would also have some insulating qualities, but I'm not sure that is an advantage.

 

papipeguy

Preferred Member
Jul 31, 2010
15,799
7
Bethlehem, Pa.
Those became popular with GI's returning from Europe after WW II. Most, if not all, were made in France and as Cortez notes the leather, usually pigskin, covered less than A grade briar. I think there is a certain charm to them and a sporty look.

 

gtclark

Preferred Member
Oct 3, 2013
512
0
I always assumed that the leather was a dressy way to cover pits and ugly, but serviceable wood.
That's what I've always assumed as well. I actually have an old "Longchamps" leather wrapped pipe, but I've never smoked it. I've thought about unwrapping to see what the brier is like underneath, but once that cover comes off, it's not going back on - the leather appears quite tight, and is sewn on "just so". If there's interest, I might be persuaded to unwrap the thing photo document the whole thing in the interest of exploration and discovery :puffy:

 

papipeguy

Preferred Member
Jul 31, 2010
15,799
7
Bethlehem, Pa.
I would not unwrap the pipe. You can safely assume that the cosmetics of the briar underneath is not as pretty as it's stained cousins. Enjoy it for what it is. Wear a herringbone tweed jacket with elbow poatches and light it up. You'll look chic and quite the gentleman.

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
26,958
1,622
It's "a look," and somewhat appealing. I remember these from childhood. My dad never smoked one, but I saw

them around, on the commuter train platform, etc. Personally, I am sufficiently enchanted with all the various

finishes on briars, plus cobs and clay, that wrapping a pipe in leather seems like gilding the lily, but it's a nifty

variation, just not for me. No! Don't unwrap the pipe. It's a period piece. Leave it be.

 

gtclark

Preferred Member
Oct 3, 2013
512
0
Personally, I don't care for the look, but you're right about it being a period piece. I actually found a post on another forum where a Longchamps was unwrapped to reveal heavily pitted and filled brier - just as we suspected! My curiosity has been satiated for now, I suppose. Here's the link: Naked Longchamp

 

metalheadycigarguy

Preferred Member
Apr 26, 2012
2,577
1
Washington State
I always assumed one, it covered up flaws in the briar, two, it helped insulate the pipe and at the same time kept it cooler to the touch. Personally I've never cared for the look.

 

lincolnsbark

Preferred Member
Apr 11, 2013
641
0
I have one I inherited from my grandfather but the stem is stuck in the shank and I cannot remove it even with leaving it in the freezer. It is a leather wrapped african Meerschaum.

 

vlodko

Junior Member
Sep 25, 2013
99
1
I am afraid beside the aesthetic reasons the main idea is really to cover something. One of leather covered estate Medico, which I bought for my experiments has a long neat crack over the all bowl. But no problem for this manufacturer - they have covered and sold the pipe.

 

pitchfork

Preferred Member
May 25, 2012
3,846
17
I forget now where I read it (it may not be online), but Longchamp came up with the idea immediately after WWII when good briar was impossible to get and the leather was meant to cover flaws. Anyhow, they sold well and were soon after stocked at many US overseas bases. There was some kind of personal connection here that facilitated this arrangement, but I forget exactly what it was.

 

4dotsasieni

Preferred Member
Jan 6, 2013
756
0
I always worried that the leather cover would result in the pipe overheating - but, what the heck, if it's already cracked under the leather, what's the difference?

 

snagstangl

Preferred Member
Jul 1, 2013
1,185
31
I have long champ that smokes well, Leather intact. I know I saw a picture somewhere that someone had removed the leather and it was still pretty good briar. While I got the impression that the walls of the pipe were thin before getting one, and the leather made it look more filled out. But upon inspecting mine when it arrived the walls were 5/16's think, so more thana quarter inch. Oh and I unscrewd the stinger with little problem.

 

smokertruck

Senior Member
Aug 1, 2013
423
0
i have one 50 years old smoked the old erinmore in it exclusively - now 50 years later having not smoked it , it still had the flavor from the erinmore when i drew on the empty pipe - used some latikia in it & killed the flavor - bad move - but now i smoke todays erinmore flake in it - pipe still smokes nice back to the erinmore - example of a pipe meant for a particular blend.
oh it looks nice with the darker tanned leather from the oil from my fingers - the stitching has opened but the leather is well formed to the pipe so still holds its shape

 

spud

Member
Apr 10, 2013
182
0
The leather wrapped pipes were made by stiching up the leather so it easily slid on the pipe, then it was soaked in water. When as the water dried out the leather shrunk to fit the pipe. Perfect fit every time.

Grand Prix, a leather wrapped pipe, is a brand name of Savinelli, they usually go much cheaper on the bay. If you buy one on Ebay you will get a very nice Sav.. for almost nothing.

 
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