"Slow Fashion is the deliberate choice to buy better-quality items less often”
The majority of leather goods in stores today are made using Chrome-tanned leather. Chrome-tanning is a fast, low-cost and highly toxic process that produces soft, colorfast hides of uniform color. In contrast, vegetable tanning is an old-world, artisanal process that takes advantage of the tannic acids naturally found in various plant species. It produces hides with rich, warm, and uniquely variegated tones. Vegetable tanned leather also has the unique ability to mold to the owners habits over time much like raw denim. It will darken and develop a patina over time with exposure to natural elements. When exposed to water, the leather may form a slightly dappled surface that will remain after the leather dries. When exposed to the sun, the leather will get slowly darker. It will also absorb oils. In our opinion, these changes are not defects but rather reflective of the individual character and history of the piece that emerges over time.
Small markings and variations in the surface of the leather are also common on our products since we use as much of each leather hide as possible. We believe these markings are just another addition to the unique character of each bag. In contrast, large fashion companies use only the most uniform parts of each hide, leaving large amounts of leather scrap as waste.
Each of our accessories is hand sewn because we firmly believe the process produces longer lasting items that are more relatable because you can envision the person working to make each item.
The anatomy of a hand stitch is also different, and stronger, than a machine stitch. Leather sewing machines commonly use the "lock stitch” or “bobbin stitch”, where one piece of thread lays along the top of the stitch line and another piece of thread comes up through each hole to wrap around the top thread and “lock” it in place. The problem is that if any loop is broken or the top stitch comes loose, the other side will automatically be loosened which can unravel the whole seam and ruin a bag.
Hand stitching on leather was pioneered by saddle makers and tack makers for equestrians who needed to utilize a very tough stitch through a great thickness of leather. This is where the term “saddle stitch” derives from. A traditional hand stitch, or "saddle stitch", is performed with two blunt needles, a sharp awl, typically waxed cotton or linen thread, and a good amount of patience. The process is simple to do but very difficult to master. The main benefit comes from using two needles and coming at the leather from both sides so you can create a stitch that locks from both sides. When one part of the stitch breaks it does not affect the other stitches around it because each stitch locks individually and the seam will still be held together. Depending on the project, hand-sewing takes roughly ten times the amount of time to craft when compared to machine stitching but results in a higher quality product.