How to make a handmade leather product
There are many ways to make a handmade leather product and lots of people call things handmade when they actually aren’t. We hand cut all leather, hand-dyed, hand stitch and hand finish. Here I will explain the steps we take and how we do it to create our beautiful products.
Stage 1 – Leather selection
There are many, many different kinds and grades of leather, but the first stage is to select the right piece of leather that will be best for the finished item on hand. All the leather we use is premium quality full-grain and vegetable-tanned. Still, each piece has different properties depending on which type of animal it came from and where it came from on that animal.
We generally use bovine (cow/cattle) leather as it has a perfect balance of all the properties that we require. We only ever use full-grain leather and never top, corrected or split as this is the strongest and best leather for our needs. It also allows the item to develop a most beautiful patina over the many years of use it will get.
Stage 2 – Hand cutting and debossing
All items are then carefully cut to size by hand following patterns and templates that we have developed in-house. It is during this phase that our maker’s mark is debossed onto the relevant piece. If you have selected your item to be personalised, this happens at this stage.
Stage 3 – Hand Dyeing
Once the first cut has taken place, then all the individual parts are prepared to ensure the best possible dye penetration. Then they are hand-dyed using water-based dyes that penetrate deep into the leather giving the best possible depth of colour. These items are then set aside to dry thoroughly before the next stage. By hand-dying it allows us the best possible control of the final colour. It also means we can mix them if you want something extraordinary and unique.
Once the dye is completely dry it, then the leather is hand-buffed to remove any excess and to minimise any possible transfer.
Stage 4 – Hand Glueing
If it is required then once all the items are dry, they are glued together to ensure the best possible bond occurs.
Stage 5 – Hand Stitching
Once the glue has set the final outline is cut, ensuring the best possible result. A marking line is drawn a set distance from the edge, and then the final stitching is completed by hand. We only use the traditional method of saddle stitching on our wallets as it gives the best possible results. On larger items, we set all our stitches beneath the surface of the leather to further protect it from any abrasion or snags.
Stage 6 – Hand finishing
All edges are sanded, burnished with pure local beeswax, and the products are finished with the highest quality homemade leather hide food. Once the final inspection has taken place is it finally packaged ready for shipping.
All our handmade leather items are lovingly crafted by artisans in the UK. We are a very proud member of the UK Heritage Craft Association. They support and promote heritage crafts as a fundamental part of our living heritage here in the UK.
The way that we make a handmade leather product is based on age-old methodologies and takes over a week to create. By using only the finest materials and UK artisans, we can be sure of the best quality product.
It is, for this reason, we can stand behind them and offer an heirloom guarantee on all our products.
Keeping in touch
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