Tab face material


My Soma Saker 1 tab which I really rally like is starting to show some wear on the face. I have changed the backing two or three times over its life but its still on the original Cardovan face.
The Saker 1 seems to be being fazed out as most shops are not stocking much of the range, and the ones that do have it want over ?30 for a face, when I can but a complete replacement tab for ?40.

Is Cardovan available to buy anywhere so that I can cut my own replacement face, or is there another suitable material readily available to reface my tab? I would really rather not go to the hassle of changing tab type and getting into the guess the sizing issue....


Active member
I use "hair on" cowhide which you can get off ebay as offcuts for a few quid and then cut your own out. Might take a bit of getting use to after cordovan but it gives a lovely clean release. It needs replacing more often though as the hair wears off eventually.

Timid Toad

Staff member
Fonz Awardee
I would recommend vulcolan. P*rris sells it. I comes in a square you can mark with a biro and cut with scissors. Beware that your cordovan may have changed shape over time.


Active member
A Google search will quickly turn up sellers of Cordovan leather but it is expensive.

I get mine from a couple of saddlers I know who always have offcuts in various thicknesses which are too small for them to use but which are absolutely perfect for tab faces. Look locally for saddlers or cobblers/shoemakers as these offcuts will generally be free.