My desire to include fabric in my leather goods led me to develop hybrid assembly techniques and adapted processes. My determination to keep product quality high despite the use of textiles really pushed me to find support materials that lend themselves to new assembly techniques.
From waxes for the backs of the handles and straps to colored dyes on board for the edges of the leather pieces, I tried several products before choosing the ones that suited me. It is also the same for the glue used.
Glue is a product that I use in large quantities and my choice was made on a contact latex adhesive, without toxic vapors. I chose it because it is liquid enough to use with a compressed air glue gun and it adheres well to leather and fabric. A colleague from the workshop made us a `` homemade '' hood with ventilation and filters and I must say that it works well! This is a big addition for me since this gluing technique allows me to glue fabrics and leathers evenly and saves a lot of time! The glued parts must then dry flat for a minimum of 24 hours.
Finishing the edges of the leather is also a significant step. It seals the edge with a dye. I choose it colored and matched to the leather for uniformity. The wax used on the back and on the edges of the handles and straps does the same job. It seals the exposed and porous part. All these finishes are applied by hand, using a sponge.
There are a multitude of different treatments that are applied when tanning leathers. Some receive more protectors, others less. The leathers are, at the base, porous and those less protected are more favorable to absorb oils and grease. When I choose a less protected leather, I add a silicone protector myself. On all leather accessories, with use, this protector disappears and I always recommend treating it at least twice a year. A clear protector for shoes or coats is ideal.
Making an accessory is not a linear process. Very often, the steps of cutting, gluing, skiving, resizing and sewing alternate and are ordered differently depending on the accessory. A handbag style can involve several dozen steps. To be executed in order of course!
In parallel with all these major steps, there are a multitude of small details that are close to my heart. This will be the subject of the next text!