This braided leather vest was custom built with 4 oz. moccasin cowhide. Braiding is used for the seams, edges, back yoke, and the tops of the pockets. It has a large brass zipper (YKK #10). I drew the pattern for it using a vest that the buyer sent me.
When I say 'built for rugged use' I'm talking about the fact that the leather used for it is thicker than the garment leather (around 2 oz.) that many vests are built with ...and the fact that it's cowhide. I pretty much assume that if a label says 'made with leather' it's not cowhide. Leather braiding like I do is really strong no matter where it's used - I know, I've been doing it for over 40 years.
I've built hundreds of these vests - you can see over 50 of them on my vests home page. While they are all braided, that's pretty much where their similarities end. Each buyer tells me what they'd like ...and then I ask the questions to complete the details about it.