Working with British manufacturers means we visit our makers regularly; it is an essential part of our development process and a privilege to see it to all come together during final production.
The first process of production involves checking the leather as it arrives in the factory. Vegetable-tanned leather always has natural growth marks and as our preference is for a slightly cleaner finish, we avoid cutting where the marks are most prominent. To avoid too much wastage, we work with the cutters to use leather with subtle marks for panels of products that are less obvious, such as inside pockets or the backs of Key Wraps. At this point, it is essential to check we have enough of the selected areas to cover the order.
Last week, we arrived whilst all hands were on deck making for Campbell Cole - a great opportunity to see a highly skilled team in action. We took our camera with us to give you a peak behind the scenes and a preview of what’s to come.
^ Each panel of every product has a knife that is used to cut leather in the same way as you would use a cookie cutter.
^ George carefully selects where to place the knife before sliding under the press to cut.
^ Prints on the back of the leather indicate the size and the grade of the skin. Grade I, as seen here, marks the best quality. The hand is the signature stamp of the Genuine Italian Vegetable-Tanned Leather Consortium, who ensure the highest standards of production are upheld by all members.
^ The brass deboss tool rotates ready to print our spot pattern.
^ Leather panels are neatly stacked ready for edge-inking.
^ Edge-inking requires a very steady hand, as expertly demonstrated by Jordan.
^ Once cut and edge-inked, the panels are skived to be the correct thickness. Zips are glued in place in preparation for stitching.
^ Waiting for final quality control inspection and a preview of what's to come - a new style in a new colour.