I infuse each item I make with a deep passion for beautiful craftsmanship and a commitment to excellence. I believe that the methods should match the materials and choose to employ traditional time-honored handmade techniques that accentuate the genuine beauty and natural durability of the premium vegetable tanned full grain aniline leathers I work with.
“The details aren’t the details. They make the design.”
When you adhere to this design ethos (a quote from design icon Charles Eames), you have to consider every single aspect of a final product. From materials, to form, functionality, and finish. At the core of it all are the construction methods. The methods and techniques I use are not always the fastest and easiest. They take time and a borderline obsessive level of attention-to-detail to perfect, but they provide the proper foundations for strength and durability while accentuating the overall beauty.
Rather than leaving the edges rough cut, I prefer to bevel and treat them for a refined finish. I opt for burnished edges because painted edges crack and peel over time. Each edge is carefully sanded with two grades of sandpaper, burnished (rubbed smooth with a wooden tool), and twice coated with beeswax and re-burnished. This process works with time rather than against it.
Stitching by hand offers a level of strength and durability that is unrivaled by any machine. First of all, the process pulls the thread deeper into the hide. Which provides greater protection from the elements and against wear from friction. But the greatest advantage is stitch integrity.
You’ve most likely experienced this before with a machine stitched article of clothing, pulling on a loose thread and the whole seam comes apart. The reality of the loop & feed technology of stitching machines is this: If one single machine-stitch is worn through or cut, it compromises the entire line.
I specifically use what’s called a “saddle stitch”. It’s what saddlers use to make saddles. A saddle stitched seam consists of two threads alternating sides each stitch hole. So instead of a loop thread running along the top and an anchor thread running along the bottom, every single stitch is its own anchor. If one stitch breaks, the anchors that remain on either side help to maintain the overall integrity of the seam.
Joining leather can be done in three ways… gluing, stitching, and riveting. Any one of these will suffice in holding together two pieces of leather, but when you’re making something to endure a lifetime of use and abuse, you’ve got to use at least two of these methods. So any join that will experience stress is both glued and stitched.
Critical joins that will sustain significant stress loads (straps on larger bags) are glued, stitched and riveted for ultimate longevity. The rivet is generally the strongest of the three joining methods, but with years and years of “wiggling”, they can work loose. So rather than simply riveting a strap, leaving it susceptible to this wiggle and compromising its integrity, each riveted join is additionally glued and stitched to further reduce this risk and create the highest level of join integrity possible