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1/6 The materials and the cut

1/6 The materials and the cut

I wanted to do this series of texts to explain a little how it goes in the workshop when I do the production. What is important to me when I make the choice of materials or mounting techniques. Why I make these choices. And also to help you better recognize a well-made item. Because it’s important to me everything that goes on behind the finished product. A design or a place of manufacture does not guarantee quality. It’s in the gestures that everything is decided. This series of 6 texts will talk about the '' production '' portion in the process.

After the period of drawings, trial and error and correction of patterns, I must choose the materials appropriate to each model. Over the years, I have of course found my must-haves. Welded nickel hardware, vegetable tanned leathers used for handles and shoulder straps and thick natural cotton canvas for linings, for example, are all models from the start. Each leather and each fabric is different, and although it is sometimes a challenge to find exactly the right materials, I never compromise.

With each new collection, I look for leathers suitable for leather goods that will age beautifully. It’s the same with fabrics. I search the shops of the smallest traders to find different prints, which will make unique accessories. Outdoor and upholstery textiles are my favorite fabrics. They are sturdy, made to withstand tension and the prints are particularly tough. Since I want to find the rare pearl, the search period can last several weeks.

Back at the workshop, each piece is cut by hand, one at a time, with very great precision. The retractable blade knife (Exacto) is my universal cutting tool. The major flaws in the leather are bypassed and eliminated, the less important ones that do not compromise the quality of the leather are positioned in a hidden part of the accessories. The textiles are always cut with strict respect for the straight thread, (the direction of the fabric) ensuring a perfect fall.

The origin of all these materials is very varied. I would like them all to be produced in Canada but it is impossible. For example, textile factories and tanneries have virtually disappeared from the country. As I am looking for a very specific type of product, I must turn to the international market. I do business with local suppliers who import high quality materials from all over the world. Environmental standards are thus respected since their own suppliers must be certified. Italian and Brazilian leathers and textiles from Europe and Asia are my favorites.

Each gesture and each choice is of equal importance in the realization. Each gesture is linked to the previous gestures and will have an influence on the final result. This is why I assure me at each step that it is done with care.

Once all the pieces are cut (for a production, it can represent several days!) I go to the preparation stage, this will be the subject of my next text!

To read the other texts:

part 2

part 3

part 4

part 5

part 6