I suspect this is not going to be well received unless I explain the reasoning. The cow’s leather we use at the moment is strong and becomes beautifully soft once used for a while however it does have its limitations. I use worry beads all the time and have been concerned that long term usage of ordinary leather might result in it eventually breaking. I have been hunting for some time to try and find a “super” leather that is nice to the touch but stronger that cow’s leather. It turns out that Australia had the answer. The weather is incredibly dry there so the moisture level in the leather is extremely low. This creates a leather that is many times stronger than cow’s leather.
In addition to its strength it also has the feel of suede when new so is also much nicer to the touch than cow’s leather. Both these positives I am sure will not overturn some people’s thinking that poor old “Skippy” has had his life taken from him to produce leather products. I have to admit to having my own doubts until I researched about the farming of kangaroos. It turns out they are not farmed at all. In 2010 there were 25.1 million kangaroos in the wild but one year later this had risen to 34.3 million. The Australian government knew they had to do something to stop the kangaroo population taking over the farms in Australia. Now each year a head count is estimated and from this a certain number of wild kangaroos are hunted by licenced shooters for their meat and leather. It is strictly governed by state and federal legislation.
So using kangaroo leather is far more ethical than cow’s leather as the animals have to be culled. This way no kangaroo dies for the sake of it with large parts of the kangaroo being used. So to summarise kangaroo leather is stronger, feels nicer and is not farmed, it is the efficient use of the culled animals that have lived wild. With these facts I have to say I prefer kangaroo leather to that of cows’, unfortunately it is five times the price, probably down to the transport costs of shipping it across to the other side of the planet. I am afraid we cannot do much about this otherwise the quantity of leather produced would not be utilised.
Having used some worry beads strung with kangaroo leather I can tell you of another benefit. Whilst out I was always nervous of using my leather worry beads just in case they became caught on something and broke. I become attached to sets quite quickly and could not stand the loss. I have found with the kangaroo leather I feel confident to leave them in my hand. Whilst I am out I move the stones slowly down the cord and this keeps me calm. I have tried breaking the kangaroo cord and even at my size I have been unable to do this.
If you want to use worry beads all the time I would strongly recommend you try the kangaroo cord, it is well worth the small extra cost.
The English Worry Bead Co