When purchasing a leather product, it is important to understand what you are purchasing and why. Below is some literature you can use to educate yourself before purchasing. Contact us if you have questions.
Machine Stitch Vs. Hand Stitch
Most makers will probably recognize this diagram from an old Hand Sewing Leather instructional book and will probably question me for showing the public the truth about sewing leather. Nonetheless, I told myself I want my customers to make an educated decision when purchasing a custom handcrafted leather product.
This is the most accurate illustration I can think of to educate you about the art of sewing leather, believe me it is not as easy as you may think, not even the machine sewing.
Although this illustration was produced more than 30 years ago, it still holds true today. However, today sewing threads are much stronger and our machines are laying some extremely nice tight stitches. You will not have to worry about the lock stitch breaking as indicated below, if done correctly.
As you will see when you navigate through the site, some items have the option of machine sewn or hand sewn. I have given this option for the simple purpose of economics. If you want to be a little frugal with your money and yet still have a strong custom product, then you should choose the Machine Sewn option. If you want the absolute strongest, then you should choose the hand sewn option. Nothing is different about the products but the stitching. I still use the highest quality leather on every piece.
Basic Leather Education
At some point in our life we have all thought about purchasing a handmade leather product of some kind; let’s face it, it is kind of cool to have a custom made item either on your loud ass chopper, in your pocket, around your waist, or on your shoulder. Not to mention most hand made products are designed to last longer than the store bought leather products. These items are usual put together on an assembly line deep in the corners of some third world country, with the cheapest material possible, (bonded leather A.K.A. genuine leather.)
Below are some basic facts you will need to consider when purchasing a custom leather product. Deciding whether or not to go with the popular mainstream factory made product or a handmade made leather product can be a tough decision. If you don’t know what you are looking at. Therefore, I have put together a simple run down for you. Hopefully with my rambling you will be able to make an educated decision or maybe not... you tell me.
Full Grain –This leather remains just as they took it off the animal, with the exception of the hair. This means that you might find some old brands, scars, etc… from its better years. By the leather fibers remaining untouched in this sense, the hide remains exceptionally strong and durable, thus ideal for only the toughest straps, bags, boots, and any other rugged outdoor gear you can think of. Another plus, is it will develop a patina over time, giving it a character year after year. This is due to the breathability of the grain, hence allowing the moisture, air; natural elements, etc… to enter and exit freely. The typical finishes for this full grain leather are available in two finish types: aniline and semi-aniline.
Top Grain Leather is the second highest grade because it is split from the top layer of blemished hide then sanded and finished. This process rids of scars and scrapes and light cow brands resulting in a nice, strong, durable leather that is great for high quality leather tooling, dying, finishing, etc…Top Grain Leather is typically more pliable than full-grain making it great for wallets, belts, and other custom tooled items, etc.
Genuine Leather is produced from the leftover layers of hide that remain after the full grain and top grain has been cut. The surface is usually refinished (spray painted) to look a lot like higher grades of leather. I am telling you they can make this stuff look great! Hence the reason you see this stuff in mainstream motorcycle shops, department stores, etc... Well I'm here to tell you it is not worth the money.
Bonded Leather - Okay, I'm done - I can't think of anything nice to say so I won't say anything at all...