Leather Shop

Welcome to our leather shop.
Leather shop Under the Tree Ithaca
Our leather bags and accessories are made entirely by our four hands: two of Crystal's, two of Scott's. 
 Crystal and Scott Van Gaasbeck Under the Tree
We share a deep respect for the materials we use and for the long tradition of our craft. High-quality materials and sharp tools are the foundation of our work.
Our passion is to create goods that are timeless, functional, and will be treasured relics of our craftsmanship for generations to come.
 Scott Van Gaasbeck Under the Tree Ithaca NY leather
 We use the best American-raised vegetable tanned steer hide we can source, superb-quality hand sewing thread made in Maine, solid brass hardware, and wood from our farm. We make several trips each year to hand select our hides. Grain pattern, color, natural edges, thickness, and consistency of hides is evaluated. 
Many hours, many steps, and passion for craftsmanship make for items that are durable, versatile, and precious.
 Scott Van Gaasbeck Under the Tree leather Ithaca NY
Over the course of our process, our leather transforms from a 20-26 square foot side to components for belts, bags, and wallets. The first cut we make informs the way the rest of the hide will be used. A trying moment, indeed.
 Crystal Van Gaasbeck leather belts Under the Tree Ithaca NY
We lay out and trace our patterns. The hide is cut. The pieces are sorted, dyed, beveled, skived, dyed, beveled, punched, oiled, punched, sewn.
 Beveling belts Under the Tree Ithaca NY
A magical part of our process is the transformation that takes place in oiling. Our oiling process is slow and thorough. We developed our own oil blend to condition the leather and bring out its rich, full color and texture. The oiled leather darkens and takes on brilliance and depth.
No two hides are the same. No two bags are exactly identical. Grain pattern, color, and texture may vary a touch from hide to hide. We cherish these subtleties.
Making these goods is physically demanding on our bodies; we've sewn many miles of thread by hand. To insure that each bag receives the time and care it deserves, and to keep our bags made and sewn entirely by hand, we are limiting ourselves to 400 bags each year. Take your pick.
Crystal sews a purse Under the Tree leather Ithaca NY