Some items which I have available on the shop are marked as made to order meaning they can be customised by you.
There is some general information about custom options below though not all of the information applies to all items.
Choosing the leather colour is the primary way to define the character of your item. The same thing made in a rich brown, deep green or sky blue will look very different even it is physically identical.
Items may be made from pre-dyed leather which arrives from the tannery already coloured or from natural leather which is then hand dyed. The options for this vary depending on the particular item being made. In general smaller goods such as wallets will be made from pre-dyed leather.
Tooling leather can also be left with its natural colour (known as russet), this will darken to a golden brown colour over time with exposure to sunlight.
For hand dyeing I have lots of dye colours available and they can all be applied in various different ways. I am also able to airbrush items to create stencil or sunburst effects.
Please be aware that:
- No two pieces of leather will ever dye exactly the same way
- The colours you see on your computer screen may vary considerably from reality
- Use of different finishes will affect the overall colour
- For these reasons I can not guarantee any exact colour
Made to order items will be shown along with a colour choice sheet some examples of which can be seen below.
I have a wide variety of thread colours available. The stitching can be made to match the project, have a subtle difference or it can be fully contrasting to really bring out the stitching.
Where strength and durability is required I generally use Tiger Thread which is a waxed and braided polyester. This is very strong and being synthetic will not rot. This is the best choice for heavy use items or outdoor items.
On some goods I also use Fil Au Chinois French linen thread. Whilst this is not as strong as Tiger Thread it does come in a wider variety of colours and also has a more traditional look to the finished stitch.
On certain items where hardware is used there is often a choice of colours for this. All hardware colours tend to go with any leather colour so it's generally just down to personal preference.
The standard colours for most leather hardware are brass and nickel. Some pieces may also be available in other colours such as antique brass, antique nickel, black, gunmetal or copper.
Names or initials can be added to most leather projects. This is done using a blind debossing technique meaning the letters are pressed or stamped into the leather without the use of any colour or foil. Where possible I do this using a hot stamping technique which helps to darken the letters somewhat.
I used to do the lettering one letter at a time which could lead to inconsistencies and was quite fiddly. I now use a professional lettering set where type is added to a holder and then the whole word is stamped at once which is much more consistent and gives great results (you can see more examples on the shop).
If ordering letter stamping you can use the letter checking page to see what letters are available for typesetting.
On items which are made from heavier tooling leather (such as notebook covers or knife sheaths) it is usually possible to add further stamping. This may be in the form of a single graphic stamp, a border or a full pattern. I have lots of stamp and if you would like a specific stamp or graphic I may be able to order it for you, there are lots available.
I do not tend to use cheap leather. Since the majority of the cost in any item is time and I make mostly small goods there really is no point in saving a few pounds by using low grade hides. Most items are made from premium grade, full grain, vegetable tanned cowhides. Some smaller items such as wallets or slips may be made from thinner skins such as buffalo calf or kangaroo which are also of high quality.
Please note that full grain leather may contain natural surface marks from the animal such as scars or bites. In cheaper leather this top surface is removed so these marks are rarely seen on commercial goods, however this removes much of the strength and natural beauty from the material.
I do not own a leather sewing machine so all goods are stitched by hand using the best quality thread available. The stitch that is used is a traditional two needle saddle stitch whereby two threads cross each other inside every hole. This creates a strong, durable stitch and ensures the seam does not come loose even if a stitch is cut or worn through.
Low Cost Packaging
I prefer to spend all my time and efforts on the items themselves so I ship out all items in either plain packaging or re-cycled boxes. This keeps the packaging costs down for the customer and is better for the environment.