During a traditional 'Friday Gathering' in Rugged Gentlemen Shoppe, we touched on a topic about handmade leather goods where the craftsmen of Obbi Good Label addressed with true definition and their perspectives.
People often understand that handmade is made by hand, literally.... To a certain extend, it is true. However, where creativity and crafting techniques are concern, handmade should not be limited to made by hand.
In fact, to support the vast creativity of a leather artisan, he should be proficient in all leather-crafting techniques in order to be able to create anything and everything from mind to reality.
In Obbi Good Label's leather workshop, every leather products are made by one craftsman from beginning to end. A leather product is cut, sew and finish in one single process by single craftsman which they call it a 'seamless crafting process'. Such a working process controls the quality of their workmanship as well as allowing craftsmen to hone their crafting techniques and skills.
From selected the leather hide, cutting the shapes, organizing the set-up of the leather wallet, holding up for the final stitching, the many processes are manage by a proficent leather craftsman. He knows each and every steps and has been doing it for many times. Each time, he learnt and improved. Making sure that the final product is of exquisite workmanship because these crafting goods represent him.
As it is the responsibility of Obbi Good Label's craftsman to complete the whole crafting process in order to proceed to the next, he will normally take a rest as he wishes because freshness is very important. It is also part of the many reasons that machine-stitching is preferred for Obbi Good Label, Leather Goods.
In the context of Hand-Stitching vs Machine-Stitching, there are always pros and cons. But to Obbi Good Label, they (hand or machine) are types of stitching techniques that a capable leather crafter should master. Knowing both gives you options of selecting the most suitable technique for the job.
Obbi Good Label's emphasis on 'Seamless Crafting Process', is a long process on every steps of crafting a piece of leather product. While stitching is the most important crafting step, it has to be perfect so as to not waste the effort given during the initial stage. Making use of the speed of the machine for stitching up, eliminates and minimizes fatigue as well as maintaining the quality of the leather product.
Of course, you may understand from somewhere that hand-stitching prevents unravelling of the thread. So does it mean that by using hand-stitching, the threads are torn and not unravelling, you are able to accept this leather product? Or how many times did we ever see handmade leather products has got threads broken after some use?
What Obbi Good Label believes is that, the goodness of a handmade leather product is a 'Process' until it finishes. Every step is important.
Machine-stitch can aid and enchance this belief without compromising quality.
While hand-stitching is the basic of leather-crafting, machine-stitching is the advance skill that a master-craftsman must know. Having said that Obbi Good Label preferred using machine-stitching, using different stitching techniques for different job produce different results.
These are some of the bags that Obbi Good Label made, using both hand-stitching and machine-stitching techniques.
The above 2 bags are hand-stitched. Bold thread-lines that is prominently outlining the shape on black vegetable-tanned leathers. Normally, you will see hand-stitching bags on harder leathers. This is because hand-stitching on soft leathers may creates uneven tension on the stitching holes.
Not advisable for bigger size of bags as the long stitching process can affect craftsmen's focus.
The 3 bags above are machine-stitched. Neater, straight thread-lines and due to the conveniency of the mahcine, surface stitchings can even be part of the design.
Can stitch bigger bags without straining. You can also see more variations in terms of creativity.
Another example above is a custom-made leather bag by Obbi Good Label.
The preparation steps requires to craft this leather bag are not for amateurs. A craftsman needs to visualize his design, cut the selected leathers into shapes and piece them together.
Hardwares selection, handles ergonomics and zipper placement are part of what the craftsman needs to plan as well. All these including the many stitching lines, can only be fulfilled effectively using sewing machine.
Some will argue, hand-stitch can do this too! Certainly yes. In fact, hand-stitching can do basically anything. However, in reality, it will take very long and tedious hours to complete...
Obbi Good Label is a handmade leather company, an enterprising one.
All leather products are made in the Obbi Good Label workshop by in-house craftsmen who learnt their skills from Atelier Lodge, Leather Academy (a leather school by Obbi Good Label).
It has always been fun gathering on Friday nights in Rugged Gentlemen Shoppe. You never know want insights you may get for the evening...