When it comes to finding quality leather goods, there are many things to consider before you buy. One of the most crucial elements of having a long-lasting piece of leather goods is finding out if it is handmade or machine-made. When you handmake something, there is so much more time and effort that is spent into each good whether you are making a wallet, a belt, a bag or just simple accessories like keychains and car fobs. The intricate process of handmaking a leather good is so much more satisfying and securing than if it were machine-made. Each piece is handled delicately by one craftsman, and each part of the building and crafting process is intentional. Every edge sanding is done purposely with a precise process increasing the grade of sandpaper after each side is done. The way a steady hand precisely cuts each line from the hide into small pockets for a wallet. How each hole in the stitching process is hand-stitched using an ancient technique called "saddle-stitching" to ensure its durability and life-long use. The way the edges of each pocket are hand-painted with a special leather dye to give it an extra oomph. And the fulfillment of packaging up a perfectly made leather wallet for a customer who is waiting eagerly to unbox it as it is presented to them in a beautiful way.
Now, don't get me wrong. You can do all of this with a machine and an assembly line. But, you can only get the personal touch and care from a company that does things handmade, the true American way. This is how our wallets are made:
Step 1: Selecting Your leather
You want to get the best leather out there for your customers. We stand out because leather is Full Grain leather. This means that it is the highest quality of leather you will find. For more information about leather types and quality, visit the CP Slippers blog.
Step 2: Tracing Out the Design
After our leather is purchased and delivered to the shop, we check the leather before cutting it out to make sure we do not cut important pieces of the wallet where big flaws are visible. We use a basic scratch awl and we cut out the pieces on cardstock paper beforehand so we can begin tracing on the leather itself.
Step 3: Cutting the Leather
This is one of the most delicate stages of the process. Something about leather is that, once it is cut, punched, stamped, etc. there is no turning back. Making sure each piece is cut out straight and without error is crucial to the final look of the wallet.
Step 4: Sanding, Beveling and Burnishing the Edges
Once all the leather is all cut out into the appropriate pieces, we usually sand down the edges. The reasoning for the sanding varies from different crafters and projects. The reason why we sand our edges is that it makes the burnishing process must smoother giving the final product a clean smooth edge. We sand down the edges and allow them to "mushroom out". After they "mushroom out", we are then able to take out edge-beveler and it rounds out the sanded edge to give it a smooth rounded finish. Once that is completed, we will take some Tokonole and burnish the extra leather fibers to make them lay flat on the edges to give each pocket a smooth edge for easy accessibility.
Step 5: Stamping the Logo
There is nothing better than making your mark. We like to stamp our logo before we assemble any pockets to avoid unwanted markings on the leather. Every wallet has a template we use for the stamp to make sure the logo is perfectly placed every single time.
Step 6: Glueing and Stitching
After all the edges are sanded and beveled, it is now time to glue up the pieces to hold them in place to begin stitching. After everything is glued down with the right piece, we then take a diamond chisel and punch out the holes to begin stitching. This part is like the cutting step. It is very important that we do not make any mistakes on this part because once there is a hole in the leather, you cannot fill it back up. We use a technique called "saddle-stitching". This technique is what separates handmade from machine-made. As you can see in the video linked above, saddle-stitching goes through each side of the leather crossing over each other and it creates a double stitch. This means that if a part of the thread gets broken, the rest of the stitch is still perfectly intact and it takes individual plucking to unthread the whole wallet. This basically means that it's impossible for our thread to unravel by proper wear and tear. After we finish stitching we cut the excess thread and burn it down to the leather to bond it with the leather itself so that it will not unravel.
Step 7: Sanding, Beveling and Burnishing...Again
This is exactly the same process as Step 4 except this part takes place after the whole wallet is assembled. This process makes the edge of the wallet smooth, rounded and uniform.
And you are all finished! After this, the product gets inspected for use and effectiveness. After it is inspected for quality, we then put our packing sleeve over them, put them in our product bags, then into our shipping mailers with a business card, thank you note, packing slip and a sticker and we send it off with USPS to arrive at your doorstep within 2-3 business days (with tracking) ;)
The process takes about a week from receiving our leather to assembling the product to shipping the product. We give ourselves a little more headroom and offer a 1-2 week lead time so we can deliver it ahead of schedule as opposed to behind schedule. Our products can be amazing but if our presentation, delivery and customer service are subpar, then we have just disrespected our Royal Customer. And that is not the integrity of this brand. We stand behind all of our products and service. To view our lifetime guarantee, click here.
Well, we hope that you enjoyed reading this article on how some of our wallets are made! We hope this awareness gives you a confidence in our products even more and helps you make an informed, assured decision on purchasing another leather good from us or anyone else on the market.
If you read this article feel free to use the code: CRAFTSMANSHIP at checkout to receive a little discount on your next purchase!
The Royalty Team