Some Shabbos table aficionados have come to appreciate the advantages of leather challah covers: hefty, durable, rich texture, easy to clean, distinguished to name a few. Both PU leather and genuine leather have become increasingly used by challah cover makers. In recent months we've seen a big influx of new designs - from bread-and-butter designs imported to Israel from China, to superb craftsmanship from Mexico and even a few out of Lakewood, New Jersey.
Based in Modi'in Israel, ANAEL has introduced a number of very simple designs, mostly using white and light blue.
Their product line is also quite affordable.
Based in Lakewood, New Jersey, Waterdale Collection, which specializes in lucite Judaica, has begun exploring the field of PU leather challah covers, as well. As you may expect of a designer accustomed to lucite art, their challah cloths also tend to have high luster, adding brightness to the Shabbos table.
Kaftor Vaferach is a fairly small operation located in Jerusalem, where they do all of their design and production work. Though best known for their velvet embroidery, they have ventured into PU leather, both with tallit bags and challah cloths.
They utilize earth tones to create a homey feel with relatively detailed patterns (right).
Gamuza, which operates in Mexico, has an extensive collection of genuine leather products with top-notch craftsmanship. Some of their designs are very stark, and stand out for their use of scalloped edges. Others employ fabulous sketches of Jerusalem scenes.
Art Judaica now has a dozen ultrasuede and faux leather designs, mostly using two colors and minimal design elements. Their product line is made in China, making prices very affordable.