with two needles
- Our hand stitching makes our leather goods unique and distinguishable. We sew all of our leather goods the old-fashioned way: just a two needles, a length of thread, and our hands serving as tools to shape the leather as we slowly stitch.
- Our signature X stitch is a stitch we borrowed from traditional shoemaking practices and used in a new way with our vegetable tanned leather goods. It is a beautiful and eyecatching way to make a leather bag appear as if it was made from one curvaceous piece of leather instead of multiple small pieces. The rounded corners and seamless transitions in our pattern designs have taken us a decade to perfect.
- Sewing by hand means we must first punch all the stitching holes before we begin to sew. We use the diamond-point awl pictured in the adjacent photograph to hand-punch each hole, one by one.
- We use the best waxed polyester thread made by a small family-owned company in Maine that has been producing top-notch thread for hand stitching since the 1950s.
made with real leaves
- Each autumn, Crystal makes a limited-edition batch of hand-dyed leaf or fern print bags. These are one of Crystal's favorite things to make, because each one is different, and the hand dyeing accentuates the beauty of the natural grain pattern of each hide. The grain pattern in a hide is a result of the folds and creases in an animal's skin when it is alive, which translate slight into ridges and valleys in the finished hide.
- Crystal starts with a natural (un-dyed) vegetable tanned steer hide. She then traces out the bag patterns on the hide and cuts them out.
- Once the bag pieces are cut out, she slowly builds up the color on the leather, using successive coats of professional oil dye formulated for leather. Each bag usually ends up with about 14 different layers of color, which create a beautiful, vibrant ombré effect.
- Once the dye has dried, Crystal then uses real leaves as stamps, painting dye on them and carefully pressing them into the leather to create unique design patterns.
- Finally, the dye is sealed with an acrylic finisher. Once that is dry, it is beveled, then oiled.
- After the bag is punched and sewn by hand, Crystal goes back and hand dyes the tiny stitching holes to match the ombré effect of the bag. This is an important step because the dye is only on the surface of the leather, so each stitching hole looks almost white until dyed to match the bag.