Principles of Construction
Leather is honest. It does not lie about its age. It does not hide its imperfections. It does not cover its scars or pretend to be something it is not. Leather is beautiful. That beauty stems from its brutal honesty. I highlight that sincerity and give it utility.
Only large heavy weight, chrome tanned, pull-up hides are used. These wax treated, water resistant, hides distress like your favourite pair of raw jeans, lightening where the most stress is exerted. The animal's scars and stretch marks are still visible on the surface of these hides. This is an animal's skin: its life is imprinted upon it.
Large hide pieces are cut for the body of the bag. No frankensteined faces; no smaller, lesser pieces cobbled together to form the bag's faces. This strengthens the bag by reducing the number of seams where the bag is most stressed and maintains a cleaner, undisturbed design. These large pieces are cut while respecting the hide's dynamics. Much like in classic tailoring, where the entirety of the suiting fabric must come from a single bolt, the leather cut for each of my bag must come from a single hide.
Straps and handles are cut from the spine, the toughest and most rigid part of the hide. The bag body and faces are cut from the bends and shoulders, due to their uniform appearance, size, and relative strength. Pockets and side panels are usually cut from the belly as it is the most flexible part of the hide and gives these areas greater suppleness and resilience.
Seams are usually on the outside of the bag to reveal the untreated raw edges of the leather, (dyed all the way though), and hand-sewn, saddle stitches. Other than the prototyping stage, sewing machines are not used in construction; they lack the precision of hand stitching and their lock-stitches lack the resilience and strength of saddle stitches. There is no hiding flaws in hand stitching here. Alternatively, there is no hiding its perfection.
Copper or other solid metal rivets are hand set to reinforce seams. Copper rivets came from a tradition of ship building and remains virtually unchanged today. They are resistant to moisture and patina like old pennies.
Brass buckles and hardware are used for their low friction properties and corrosion resistance. Brass also patinas well.
Although zippers are ubiquitous with most bags, I try to avoid them. Broken teeth often ruin bags or create needless repair hassles. I opt for more traditional closures and less moving parts to maintain the longevity of the bag.
I want my bags to be used for decades, and I want those decades to show on these bags. I choose materials and designs that age well so that my bags can serve your needs. Just as the animal's hide is scared by its life, I hope my bags are marked by yours.