Cowboys and Indians: Tell us about the genesis of the Remington Tanner Collection. Tanner Dipple:We started playing with some leathers and started creating this look. We did a couple of pieces in this top-quality antiqued leather, and everyone wanted them. They really started to take off, so we kept designing more and more pieces with these special hand-dyed leathers. The pieces were so popular that we decided to create a collection. Right now, the collection includes chairs, swivel chairs, recliners, and sofas. The demand for it has been incredible. So, we’ve kept expanding into that line and adding into the collection because it’s doing so well.
Cowboys and Indians: How do you describe the look and the leather?
Dipple: It’s pretty much about the leather: showcasing the leather, the best of the best of leather that you can’t just get anywhere. The pieces already look like they are perfectly patinaed 20-year-old leather chairs and sofas. The look is vintage, distressed, and luxuriously soft, but it’s new. We call it antiquing. Over time, the leather will develop even more of a patina. We start with super-thick, full-grain white leather hides from a fourth-generation Italian tannery. The white hides are actually upholstered onto the furniture and then dyed by hand and then hand-antiqued to give the leather a unique warm and worn look for classic-looking leather sofas and chairs. Even though these pieces are new, they are full of character like heirloom pieces that have been lovingly used for years.
Cowboys and Indians: What makes these pieces timeless in design and craftsmanship?
Dipple: The idea when we first started the collection was to focus on the quality, design, and comfort with no price point in mind. The goal was to create the very best and I can confidently say this is the very best leather furniture line in this industry. It is fully American made in an American owned and operated factory. To be considered timeless, it first has to withstand the test of time; it has to hold up. The design needs to be transitional into multiple styles, and not go out of style over the years. Quality leather is timeless and very versatile.
Cowboys and Indians: Not all leather is created equal. What’s the difference between hand-dyed and patina leathers and leathers of lesser quality? What exactly makes this leather so superior?
Dipple: These are artisan leathers that beautifully evoke a real timeworn quality. Every piece of leather is finished by hand, so every piece is unique. To get a little technical, pure aniline leather crusts are fully and carefully upholstered to the piece, and then a base color is created with multiple applications of waxes and oils. This is worked by hand by skilled leather artisans. After drying, the finish is expertly built up to achieve an aged patina in a way that mimics the aged qualities that time, wear, and frequent care would have accomplished naturally. The hand-coloring and hand-finishing are really an art — that’s what allows these new pieces to have a quality antique appearance.
Cowboys and Indians: Talk a little more about the importance of using artisans.
Dipple: Not everyone has the eye or knowledge or ability to construct a high-quality piece of furniture. The vast majority of furniture is mass-produced; most manufacturers have profit margin in mind instead of the quality of the furniture. You’re seeing fewer and fewer true artisans in the industry — it’s like a dying art. The pieces in the Remington Tanner Collection are made in small batches, not on a mass scale. There is lots of work by hand. The dying is by hand. It’s a long process — not like most leathers that are dyed in a big vat where the hides just soak in the dye. This is a slower, harder process that is both a skill and an art.
Cowboys and Indians: What’s the story behind the name of the collection? Is “Remington” evoking the famous artist Frederic?
Dipple: My dad’s dairy farm was named after my older brother and me, which is Remington Tanner; the farm is still there in Dublin, Texas. The name was just a perfect fit for the collection, so it was fun being able to revamp a name that was part of my life growing up. Then I moved to Fort Worth. I went from a very little cow town to a very big cow town.Cowboys and Indians: Where does your inspiration come from?
Dipple: My inspiration is usually from seeing a piece of furniture from somewhere and kind of liking certain elements of it and then modifying it from there. It takes a lot of time. I consider comfort, design, and quality. There’s a lot of trial and error involved, but it’s fun and exciting to finally get the end result.
Cowboys and Indians: What’s currently your favorite piece in the collection?
Dipple: I truly love them all because so much time and effort go into each piece, but every time I design something new, I say that’s my new favorite. All the pieces are great because they’re both timeless and transitional. The quality of the furniture makes them great for families. These pieces are tailored to the American family and meant to be used.
Cowboys and Indians: How can people make good decisions when buying furniture?
Dipple: There are all kinds of things to consider and check to make sure you’re getting a quality piece of furniture. When you come into our store, we educate on the different types of leathers and construction methods. Salespeople elsewhere might throw around the term “eight-way hand-tied” and “top grade” or “top grain” leather, but there are ways a consumer can check these statements without taking the sofa apart to verify whether it actually is of good quality. Always ask to see the leather swatch — to see the back, sides, and edging to get a good idea of look and feel of what you’re getting. And make sure it’s truly made here in the USA. Check labels, ask questions, do research, because many products these days are imported from overseas and just assembled in the USA or can come from Mexico or Canada.
Cowboys and Indians: What’s your go-to piece of furniture at home?
From our January 2022 issueCowboy Indians Magazine Article.