Lined vs Unlined BDSM Leather Gear: What to look for and how to choose.

Exploring the world of leather can be exciting. While the timeless visual appeal is undeniable, comfort is also an important factor when selecting intimate leather lingerie or other BDSM gear. While certainly some forms of BDSM sensory play may include a variety of sensations beyond those associated with classic comfort, ideally your leather harness is a background and assistant that enhances the wearer’s sensory experiences, not the case of any grippy or uncomfortable feelings itself! 

Ideally your leather harness is a background and assistant that enhances the wearer’s sensory experiences

Depending on your particular sensory needs, careful consideration around the lining (or no lining at all) of your custom leather BDSM gear can be a key part of finding your level of comfort and impact your play dramatically. Different types of linings also open up the accessibility of BDSM gear by addressing sensory needs related to neurodiversity or sensitive skin. 

Choosing a Lining for your Leather Harness

Your choice of lining can affect the price, durability, and the overall appearance of your selection. The following three options are our personal favorites, and are available for almost any piece of custom leather lingerie in our inventory: 

  • Single sided or unlined leather: All our products start with thick, durable 8oz English Bridle leather. In unlined versions of products, the leather lingerie is worn with the smoother surface displayed outward, while the more textured, fibrous side of the leather is worn against the skin. We treat and buff our leather to make it as smooth an experience as possible, but the nature of leather is that the back naturally has some texture. The rough sensory experience is uniquely characteristic of unlined leather, which may be desirable in some situations - for example, improved grip against the skin, or for the sensory pleasure of feeling leather against the body. 
  • Double-sided leather: This style of leather is made up of two pieces of 4oz (or 8oz) English Bridle cow leather sewn together, with the smooth side facing outward on both sides. The end result is a material that is appealing to look at, while the sensory experience explores the silky coolness of the soft leather as it slides against the skin. This lining option is particularly durable, as it doubles the thickness of the leather harness, and is well suited to extra rough and tumble play with your partner.
  • Deerskin or Buckskin lined leather: This type of leather consists of a single layer of 4oz or 8oz English Bridle cow leather sewn together with a layer of deerskin leather. The smooth finish of the durable cow leather faces outward, while the soft luxurious texture of deerskin is worn against the body. This is our lining of choice for individuals with different sensory needs, as this lined leather lingerie provides the most sensual and silky-smooth wear experience. It is also an ideal choice for individuals with sensitive skin.

How Leather Quality Impacts How a Harness Feels

Whatever type of leather product you choose, your Sabersmyth leather gear is designed with durability and craftsmanship in mind. Each product we sell is created from handcrafted English Bridle leather, and goes through a thorough, multi-week tanning process at Wickett & Craig, a premium well-established tannery using traditional methods. These processes ensure the leather is nourished and conditioned using heat to enrich the leather with natural, unrefined oils - improving the overall flexibility of the leather and long-term durability. English Bridle leather is a traditional leather known for its smooth, supple, yet durable beauty, which makes it appealing for all sorts of products, from equestrian gear to high-quality bondage wear. 

After we receive the material, we bevel, re-dye, burnish, and condition each piece to begin the softening and breaking in process. The end result is a product that is softer, stronger, and more pliable, which is ideal for leather BDSM gear. 

With proper care, your Sabersmyth leather will only look and feel better over time. To keep your gear looking (and feeling) great, we also include a sample of our leather conditioner with every purchase.