Restauration of US Mail Bag 1968 by Merit Leather. 60 x 42 x 12 cm.
It was a hell of a work but for sure worth it. Merit leather sadly used a bad thread or did not wax it, so all the stitches were breaking apart. Good news however they used good leather. So to rescue this unique piece I did it right and completly took the bag apart and redid everything. I used solid copper rivets and waxed Gruschwitz Linen thread 18/5. It was all saddlestitched by hand and I´m very convinced that falling apart seams are no issues for the further decades of use of this bag.
It was quite a time consuming project but I have to say I learned a lot. One thing is to use the best materials you can get and do stuff the right way or leave it. E.g. the Swiss Army Leatherpieces I collect are sometimes nearly twice as old but I never had a breaking thread. So something the saddlers there did obviously better. This piece will find a nice place at my leatherworkshop.
For my leatherworks some of the biggest inspirations are vintage items which passed the years of use with ease. By studying the wear you can get precious lessons on how to design items with the same goal to craft a lifetimepiece. This vintage swiss army duffle bag have not seem to get any use at all but it is still a masterpiece of a simple, timeless and well crafted bag. Well placed reinforcements, solid rivets and great materials. You see on the type of canvas (no salt and pepper) that it´s of newer origin, I got a toolroll of the same material. Remember to really give those items a good treatment of leatheroil to ensure the dried out leather wont break. Once its broken the damage is done. That what I did immediately. Thanks a lot to Stefan Feichtinger who gave this bag to me at the Boot Root Odershow in Zürich as a present by knowing the bag will be well cared and understood.
I just got back my run down Red Wings 9051Boots / Beckwings from Ingo Keller aka. Schuhgott for a resole. I have to say they came back far better than how they were, even when new. Just look at the finish of the heel. He recreated the heel and put a Daimite sole on them. Excellent job Ingo, highly recommended craftsman.
Vollkorn – full grain distillate by Schmidt & Sons
I was able to finally try the brand new Distillate by Eugen Schmidt Söhne and decided I had to have a bottle of this fine one afterwards. It is made out of various full grains from the south german region, a special “soft” water and great distillery skills to bring out a taste of grain, flour, bread “into the bottle”. With it´s 40% alcohol it´s still a soft and mild spirit absolutely worth a try and beyond comparison to the typical german “Korn”. Check out the website which will show more info soon: http://www.voll-korn.de
Quite for some month I´ve been designing and redesigning this bucket bag in my head. Last week I finally hand sew the “Gloria” for my sister Gloria after we discussed her requirements. A magazine (about DIN A4) should definitely fit in and I extended the size even a bit to store a 13 inch Macbook inside. A bespoke leatherpatch with one of her favorite slogans “no guts no glory”makes the bag even more unique. The bag is still at my leather workshop but it will get handed over to her tomorrow. The bag was completely sewn by hand and saddle stitched with two needles so it´s really handmade (not “handmade” by operating a sewing machine with the hands). The Leather is probably the most eco friendly certified leather you can buy in Germany/Europe. The tannery is located in the south of Germany and the hides are from cows from the alpine region close by as well. For me it´s an important thing to support the local tanneries and craftsmen as i hope my clients do as well. The size of the bag is approx. 35 x 25 x 15 cm. Inquiries about the bucket bag via my website.
This week I got a visit at my workshop from the Photographer Mia Feline – Goldenfox. She spent a day with me and Tillmann to capture me working (an Tillmann waiting to finally going to play Frisbee) on various products eg. a Clutch Bag, a Tote Bag, a Belt and a leather covered Flask. Im very happy with the results and for sure this will not be the last time we work with Mia and Goldenfox.
After some decades this Yugoslavian military leather belt needed some care
Recently a friend of mine sent me this beauty. For me this Yugoslavian Army leather belts are monuments. The leather they used and the way they saddle stitched and how, is a lecture. Its a mass produced piece a leather craftsman or a collector should take time to examine and try to understand why they did it that way. After some decades of use and storage the linen thread just broke. So I dissembled the belt to its parts, treated the leather with neat food oil to condition it, and saddle stitched it. To give the 18/5 Barbour linen thread an more vintage look fitting the belt, I soaked it in blacktea before I put the beeswax on it.
A fine example how classic and durable design, crafted the right way and using the right materials can last decades. Such a piece is definitely worth the effort to expand its lifetime.