Ped's & Ro Leather Blog

Ped's & Ro Leather Blog

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Phone Pouch with Card Slot (Personal Review)

It's time to do a review for the phone pouch with card slot. It's the oldest veg-tan pouch and the most used one.

Let's start with cosmetic appearance. I used two different type of veg tan for the construction, the body is made from 2mm and the slot is made from 1.5mm. The patina has fully developed for both leather.

I really like the patina on the 1.5mm leather. It's velvet like to touch and much smoother compare to 2mm one. The shade is also lighter on this one.

When i first made the slot, i had a feeling that overtime with use the slot will become loose and card will not be held securely. I was a bit surprised that it held up quite well. I sticked with 5 cards and to this day it still hold them securely. It may have something to do with the way I stitched it, it has more holes per inch than my usual stitching and this may help the leather retain it's shape.

The thread still in a very good condition. It still has good tension and only slightly fraying.

The embossed logo still retain it's shape well and I feel it will remain so for the lifetime of the pouch.

The edge on the opening has also sealed up nicely, I've retouched it once with plain beeswax just to tidy it up.

As for maintenance, I've only waxed the pouch once with a plain beeswax then burnished it lightly with a canvas cloth. It made the leather softer and more supple.

Overall I'm quite impressed on how the pouch has held up and the character it gained. This has given me a better understanding on the material that I'm currently using and identify things that can be improved.

Some pictures for illustration purposes:

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A Short Intro to Leather: Types of Leather Finishes

When shopping for leather or leather goods, it is useful and important to know the quality of the leather you are putting your money into and to justify that purchase. With the advancement of leather processing technology, it is now more difficult to distinguish between the higher and lower end of leather quality. Sometimes you cannot tell the difference at all. The key to premium quality leather is its aging process. Through time and use, quality leather will develop and age gracefully, revealing a soft and supple touch to it.

There are several parts to a description of leather. One is its form, second is its tanning process and third is its dye or finish. This post will cover the types of finishes on leather, which gives it its final color. The form of leather which are full grain, top grain, corrected and split are the actual quality of the animal hide before it is tanned or dyed.

An elaborate description of a leather could be a full grain, aniline dyed, chrome-tanned leather. It basically describes the quality of the animal hide, how it was dyed and the tanning process, all contributing to the final quality of the leather.

I will cover the forms and tanning types in future posts.

The types of leather finishes are:

Aniline. The type of leather by where it has been dyed with soluble dyes without a topcoat paint or pigment. This can be further broken down into several types.

  • Full Aniline.  The optimal leather where only the best selection of animal hides can be used to produce this type of leather. This leather is the most natural looking but is not as resistant to soiling as the other types. When feeling the leather, the creases and markings will be visible and distinct depending on the animal species as there are no oil, wax or surface coating. It also has more grip to its feel.
Full Aniline. Grains of the leather are still visible

Full Aniline with shrunken grains

  • Pull-Up Aniline. Having the same properties as Full Aniline but with an extra top treatment of oil or wax. This type of leather will eventually have a distressed look to it with time and use.
  • Semi-Aniline. Again, similar to that of Full Aniline, but it with a light pigment coating on the surface to increase its strength and durability. More resistant to soiling. This leather will have a softer finish to that of Full Aniline. With touch,  it will have a soft and finished feel as the creases would have been almost filled with the top coat.
Semi Aniline. Embossed. Original grains less visible. More glossy finish.

  • Nubuck. This is actually also aniline leather but one that have been buffed or brushed in a way that produces a soft velvety feel. This is not to be confused with Suede (the underside of the skin with a shaggy finish). It can be either types of Aniline leather. 
Nubuck. Velvety, furry feel over the surface

Pigmented or Protected. Not the most natural but is the most durable. Mostly used in upholstery such as furnitures and cars. Hides with scars and heavy markings can be used as it will be eventually buffed or corrected. An embossing with a grain pattern will usually follow to produce a uniform color and resistance to fading and scratching.

Bycast or Split. As the name suggests, this is not purely full leather. It is several pieces of leather (hence, split) glued together and then embossed. You may not be able to tell the difference when it's new but with time, the polyutherane/glue will eventually crack and split free the pieces of leather. It will not exhibit any characteristics of genuine leather such as the patina, suppleness or the developed feel with age. The only benefit is its price and inferior quality hides or leftover parts of a good quality hide being able to be used for this type of leather. This type of leather can be found mostly in cheaper furnitures

This brief introduction should give you a good idea on how to identify the many different types of leather in the market. Some are more identifiable than the other, but it will be easy after a while. Irregardless of whether it is pigmented or full aniline, good quality leather will prove itself worthy through time.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Phone Pouches Available on Etsy

As the title suggest, I have put some of the pouches that I made available on Etsy.

At this stage, only the minimalist versions are on offer. I will introduce other version in the coming weeks or so. The plan for immediate future will be introducing pouches for iPads and laptops.

Please visit my shop at Etsy on below link:

Ped's & Ro Etsy Shop

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Phone Pouch...Durability Test (007 Style)

Not long after I made the phone pouch with the credit card slot, I received a request to make another one for a work colleague. I'm more than happy to fulfill his request, he was the one that gave me the idea of putting a slot for credit card in the first place and gave it to him for free. The body of the pouch is stitched using red colour linen thread and treated with neatsfoot oil to give some protection. Knowing him, he will try to stuff a lot of card into the slot so I made the slot body shorter which will give his finger more leveraged to pull the card.

Before I go deeper into his phone pouch, let me fill in some details about him.

He's a typical Aussie bloke, big, loud, brash and rough around the edges. He idolises James Bond and trying his best to live the life of the secret agent character. Let's call him 007 in this context. He drives a very fast car (C63 AMG), known to be a real player with women and loves high adrenaline sport. 007 also carries his Iphone all the time as his work depends on it. 007 is the perfect testing ground for the pouch. He will give it a real workout and pushes it to the limit.

One weekend, he took his phone with the pouch jet skiing. Turn out that luck wasn't on his side and he sunk his jet ski. Somehow he managed to keep his phone above the water surface and survived the ordeal. He told me this the next day and I wasn't quite sure how salt water and hydrocarbon will affect the leather. The cosmetic damage was apparent, oil/petrol residue on the surface and just plain dirty and disgusting, pretty sure the leather received a healthy dose of salt water as well. The thread looks dehydrated and I can see some stray individual thread. It was in a very sad states

Anyhow, he kept using the pouch until now and to my surprised it has developed a unique patina. The stitching still going strong and overall it's still in a goo nick. Impressive! The colour of the leather reminded me of a vinagroon (vinegar and iron oxide) treated leather. He put more cards into the slot and it seems to hold up quite well even until now.

I'll let the pictures do the talking:

Brand new, side by side with my personal pouch, taken on 28/03/2010

Six month after, taken on 05/10/2010

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Phone Pouch...Intro

This is the first product that I designed and made after graduating from 'Watch Strap'. To date, the pouch is the most product that I have made, I gave away the majority of them to families and friends. It's a good testing ground to see how durable the pouches are.

The design of the pouch is simple, just one piece of leather folded and stitched on both sides. The stitching used is cross stitch (seems to be common here in Ped's & Ro). I designed the pouch to be as durable as possible while providing a reasonable protection for the phones it carry. I used either 1.5mm or 2mm leather. The thinner leather gives it a more elegant and softer look whereas the thicker one oozes ruggedness and solidity, both of them is beautiful to touch and see. I tend to leave the finish on the thinner leather as it is due to the softness of the leather. With the 2mm one, I treat the leather to give it a more unique character.

I did received some feedback from the pouch user and have since spawned few different version of the pouch, with a pocket and pull out strap. I believe it will be great variations of the original pouch, each of them with a different purpose.

NOTE: I will be offering a selection of these phone pouches for sale on Etsy very soon!

Here's the pictures:

This is the 'oldest' pouch (about 1 year old), note the has also moulded into the phone shape

With pockets for cards & bus ticket (touch and go)

With pull-out strap from Kangaroo Leather (one of the strongest lightweight leather on the planet)

2mm with Olive Green stitching, Hand Burnished, Minimalist.

2mm with Denim Blue stitching, slightly oiled, Minimalist. 

 1.5mm with Country Yellow stitching, Natural, Minimalist.

2mm with Jet Black Stitching, Black Edge, Minimalist. I scored this leather while traveling overseas, only have a very limited supply of this leather. Very strong and durable leather. 

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Update...'Tool-Box' Bag

Finally! I have completed the supporting straps with handle. Look purposeful and rugged. I have tested the bag with 9 kilo of high density weight and it didn't even break a sweat, will try with heavier weight soon.

Here's the pictures: