Ped's & Ro Leather Blog

Ped's & Ro Leather Blog

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Strapping business revisited...

I have been busy making watch straps for the past month or so. I'm trying out new designs and working hard implementing it.

After trying out different types of leather, I decided to focus on vegetable-tanned leather. It's just simply a better leather to work with. I also found out that the waxed version is a fantastic leather for strap.

I have had two orders from the same person (Thanks Scott!), I must say he's the client to have. Generous, patient and has eyes for style, not to mention a lot of faith as well. He wanted me to build a strap from the waxed brown leather that I already have and grey coloured leather. His latter request left me scratching my head for a bit, I dislike using dyes as it's doesn't penetrate the leather all the way through and may fade overtime, even so I didn't even think grey coloured dye exist. After consulting a fellow strapmaker, I found the solution, literally.

He suggested to experiment with a vineagroon dye, it's basically rust in a liquid form. At full strength it will turn the leather pitch black, adjusting the amount of rust should yield a grey colour and the best thing about this is it's permanent. The only drawbacks are it takes a while to make the solution and the smell is not for the faint hearted. I made three different batch so I can test the ratio correctly. I must say I'm pleased with the result, combined with Obenauf's, the end product is fantastic. I will go into details comparing different solution in a different entry.

For now, here's the picture of some straps that I made recently:

Waxed Brown with white stitching for Scott

Different angle

Photo courtesy of Scott

Vineagroon grey for Scott

Different angle

Photo courtesy of Scott (beautiful watch)

Another photo courtesy of Scott

Natural leather with white stich

Different angle

Mounted on the watch

Monday, July 11, 2011

Prototype: Laptop Bag

The laptop bag was the first big project (compared to phone pouches and strap) that I've accomplished. It gave me a lot of learning experience.

It took me quite a while since I was fairly new to big projects like this and have not learned to plan it the right way. I modeled it after the phone pouch and the closure flap was inspired by the Longchamp bag. It's made to fit a 13 inch Macbook. I also added the pullout strap after finding it difficult to pull the laptop out and it made a tremendous difference.

The body is made with 2mm thick vegetable tanned leather and lined with similar thickness shrunken grain chromed-tanned leather in yellow. A yellow thread was used for the stitching. The flap is made with double 1.5mm thick vegetable tanned leather, stitched with blue thread. I added two wrap-around strap with buckles attached. This serve two purposes: 1) To aid the structure of the bag and 2) To provide a closure for the lid. To finish it off I added a handle to make carrying it easier, which is made from 3mm vegetable tanned leather. In my opinion, this bag is well over-engineered for a simple task of transporting a laptop.

I gave the bag to my wife and she loves it, she's been using it ever since (for 1 and half years) and has slowly aged the leather. 

Some areas that can be improved for future production:
1) The wrap around strap. A thicker leather shall be used to improve appearance.
2) The strap keeper. Redesigned form to accentuate the bag more.
3) The lining. The yellow leather is way too thick to use for the lining.

Some obligatory photos:

The pullout strap

Brass rivet for securing the pullout strap

Yellow shrunken grain leather

Stitching details

Back side

The leather handle

View from above

Another view