WE USE A VARIETY OF FINISHING TECHNIQUES TO KEEP YOUR LEATHER HEALTHY.
SMOOTH SIDE OF THE LEATHER:
Much like our own skin, leather must be properly moisturized to stay healthy, pliable, and keep from cracking. The leather itself can get a little dried out by the coloring process. The first thing we do is wipe the leather with olive oil while it is still moist from the vinegaroon process. Once it is dry, we give it another coat (or multiple coats-depending on dryness) of olive oil.
Why olive oil? Well, it has a long history of being used as a skin moisturizer. It was used in both ancient Egypt and Greece as a skin moisturizer. In leather working, it is less common than neatsfoot oil or mink oil, but it does the same thing - brings back the pliability and suppleness that is compromised during the coloring process and helps with water resistance. We also decided on olive oil as our go-to moisturizer because it's already in our customer's pantry.
As much as we like olive oil, it sometimes doesn't quite do the trick. Every skin reacts to the vinegaroon differently, some skin drying out more than others. When olive oil isn't cutting it, we use Dr. Jackson's Hide Rejuvenator. It's a little tub of magic that we work into the leather and it becomes softer and more pliable almost instantly.
BACK SIDE OF LEATHER (SUEDE):
We love the soft suede side of the leather and like to celebrate the natural qualities of the leather, rather than cover it up with a lining. To finish the back side of the leather, we sand it like crazy. This creates a more even suede, with all the little hairs at roughly the same length. It also makes the suede softer.
Depending on the product, there are two different ways that we finish the edges.
Wallets & Bags:
Our wallets and bags have been cut at a right angle. To finish the edges, we first sand them a little to even out any discrepancies in the cut (they are all cut by hand). Then we smooth on a special paint that is created exactly for this purpose. It is a very high quality leather paint, made in Italy, and used on designer goods for decades. This seals the edge and gives it a smooth surface and finished look.
Our suspenders are processed a little differently. First, we bevel the edge to give it a diagonal cut. We then use a little beeswax to help smooth the edges. Using a combination of a polishing motor and a hand-held edge slicking tool, we rub the edges until they are smooth and shiny.