Custom leather coasters are an excellent corporate or holiday gift that’s both detailed and bound to impress.
They can be given to clients and employees who will enjoy using them in their homes and offices.
Leather coasters are functional because they absorb moisture from condensation and spills, protecting furniture from stains and watermarks. They also serve as a barrier against heat, which can damage fine furniture.
But that's not all there is to know about custom leather coasters and their functional benefits.
Below, we discuss five interesting leather coaster facts that'll make you the star of any dinner table conversation:
- The history of coasters
- How they got their name
- Their diverse uses
- The various other materials that can be used to make coasters
- Their customization possibilities
Table of Contents
1 - Coasters Have Been in Use Since the 1700s
Coasters were first used in homes in the mid-18th century. They held wine bottles and decanters and made it easy for luxury homeowners to move the bottles around the dinner table once their helpers had retired for the evening.
Later that century, coasters became popular in bars and man caves where they acquired the name "beer mats." Beer and ale drinkers used them to keep dirt and bugs out of their drinks.
Coasters for domestic use became popular in the mid-20th century.
Today, you'll find custom leather coasters, or those made of cardboard, soapstone, and wood, sprawled out on dining tables at homes, restaurants, and other food establishments.
Several individuals and companies made significant contributions to the popularization of drink coasters. These include:
- Friedrich Horn, a German printing company that produced the first cardboard beer mats in 1880.
- Robert Sputh, a German-based business that manufactured the first beer mats from wood pulp in 1892.
- The Watney brewery introduced beer mats to the United Kingdom in the 1920s.
- The Quarmby Promotions Company began mass manufacturing beer mats in 1931.
Germany played a significant role in the introduction of drink coasters.
Today, companies from around the world can customize drink coasters to be used in the office, boardroom, or home of their most loyal clients.
At Popov Leather, I produce high-quality leather coasters that add a touch of sophistication to any pub, restaurant, or bar. You can order a batch of custom leather coasters to be used at your establishment or gifted to your most loyal clients or employees.
2 - The Name “Coaster” Was Borrowed From Ships
As discussed above, coasters made their debut as round, shallow trays that held wine bottles and decanters on the tables of wealthy and prominent individuals in society.
Most were made of metal, and some of them even had tiny wheels that made it easy for them to "coast" around the table and dock at the "harbor" of any interested guest.
This concept was very similar to how ships navigate and dock at various harbors for drop-offs or pick-ups.
Hence, the name was coined, and it stuck around even as coasters became smaller and more stationary over the years.
The term “beer mat” would have been suitable, but unfortunately, it excluded the other beverages that can be placed on the small mats, including tea, wine, coffee, juice, and soda.
As a result, “coaster” became the universally accepted reference for the drink mats. In the USA and Germany, "coasters" stuck, but in Australia and the UK "beer mats" is still the commonly used term.
3 - Custom Leather Coasters Serve Multiple Purposes
Custom leather coasters have a variety of uses that range from decorative to functional.
Decorative Uses of Drink Coasters
Coasters add a sense of style and sophistication to a room. A well-chosen set can complement the look and feel of a room while adding a touch of elegance to it.
Additionally, they protect furniture against damage caused by spills and drips, which helps to maintain the aesthetic and value of the room.
Functional Uses of Drink Coasters
- Leather coasters are great for absorbing condensation that drips down the sides of a drinking glass.
- This prevents staining and the formation of water rings, which affect the appearance of wood furniture.
- They protect surfaces from heat damage caused by placing hot drinks directly on the table. Leather coasters absorb and hold the heat from a hot beverage, preventing it from transferring to and damaging the surface below.
- As referenced earlier, coasters make it easy to slide drinks across a table. This also helps to protect furniture surfaces from scratches and dents that may be caused by sliding glass bottles, cups, and mugs around.
- Interestingly, covering your drink with a coaster as you step away from it momentarily prevents contamination by bugs and insects and can also signal waiters that you're not done with your drink yet.
“Awesome. Quality is so good and useful for a ton of things.”
4 - Leather Is the Best Material for Custom Coasters
High-quality Horween leather is widely considered the best material for custom coasters. It has several properties that make it an ideal choice:
- Durability: It can withstand everyday wear and tear and it ages gracefully by developing a distinct patina; a true mark of quality and authenticity.
- Absorbency: It offers sufficient protection to tables by absorbing heat and condensation.
- Non-slip: Leather is a non-slip material that prevents cups, glasses, and bottles from sliding around or off a table.
- Customizable: Leather can be cut and shaped into a variety of designs, which makes it the perfect material for creating branded or personalized coasters.
Some popular alternatives to leather coasters include paper, wood, stone, glass, metal, silicone, and soapstone. These materials vary in cost, level of water or moisture absorbency, durability, customization possibilities, and maintenance requirements.
Although most alternatives are cheaper than leather, none match the quality, absorbency, and durability you get when you invest in a set of high-quality custom leather coasters from Popov Leather.
5 - The Only Limit to Your Coaster Customization Is Your Imagination
Leather coasters are highly customizable thanks to the diversity, flexibility, and malleability of the material. This gives you the freedom to customize them in any size, color, font, and design that proudly showcases your brand's identity.
The size varies depending on the diameter of the glasses or drinks you intend them to be used in combination with and typically ranges between four and five inches in diameter.
You also get to choose your preferred thickness, which should be between a 1/8 and a 1/4 inch to guarantee the protection of furniture surfaces while remaining lightweight and easy to move around.
Leather can also be dyed various colors to represent a brand accurately. For example, at Popov Leather, we have coasters in rich leather colors, including Black, Natural, English Tan, and Heritage Brown.
We can also emboss any brand logo or design onto them. There's no limit to how much or how little you can do with leather coasters; it all depends on your taste and preferences.
When customized with high-quality leather, they make great personalized gifts for clients and employees.
Below are a few examples of custom leather coasters my team and I have made for other clients who’ve loved them.
Custom Leather Coasters Are the Gift That Keeps Giving
At Popov Leather, we can customize your leather coasters in various ways. These include:
- Offering a variety of different colored custom leather coasters, including Black, English Tan, Heritage Brown, and Natural
- Stamping your design of choice, such as a company logo, image, catchphrase, or marketing tagline
- Adding custom designs, such as monograms and other patterns, that match your brand's color scheme or style
- Adjusting the size of the coasters to match that of the glasses intended to be used on them
“The leather coasters are super high quality and a beautiful work of art. They are a real conversation piece when entertaining. I’ll be buying more for holiday gifts!”
Contact us today to chat about having your logo printed on a batch of custom coasters to impress your customers.
Written by Ryan Popoff
Ryan Popoff is the creative mind behind Popov Leather wallets, iPhone cases, belts, watch bands and journals since 2013. With a Bachelor Degree in Fine Arts, my leatherworking journey began at home. I wanted to create a simple leather wallet that could fit into my front pocket and — to my delight — it was a hit with family and friends. Hopefully you love our honest, quality leather goods too! Reach out with questions.