One Man, Two Hands, No Machines.
My Father and Grandfather instilled a love for working with my hands at a very young age. Helping my dad in his workshop, building, creating, that time was always a special opportunity to learn and of course be with him. Many years, many projects, and a few kids later I came across a passion for leather working completely by necessity. Needing a new leather wallet, and unable to justify the high cost of brand names, I set out to make my own, and did. Having done a better job than expected, and now having some tools, I'd like to share this passion for excellent craftsmanship with you.
Tannery South Leather Co. is about working hard and playing hard, having fun, and the simple things that make you happy. I strive for straight lines, memorable personal touches, and amazing customer service. My goal is passionate customers for life, nothing less.
Frequently Asked Questions
I hope the following list of questions and answers is helpful but please don't hesitate to reach out if there is anything I can do for you.
Why are handmade leather goods so expensive?
Here at Tannery South Leather Co. I never compromise on quality. Yeah, yeah, everybody says that, but I really mean it. Each piece is meticulously crafted by myself in my home. Wallets take an average of 8 hours to make. Belts take an average of 9 hours to make. Bags take between 25-60 hours, depending on their size. Each piece is carefully and thoughtfully designed with ergonomics and durability in mind. Form always follows function, but that's not to say that beauty isn't also very important. The best possible hides are selected for each project, and carefully inspected for natural weak spots or large imperfections or brands. Pieces with any "negative" attributes are not selected for use. Attention to detail is paramount, and painstaking effort is given to make sure each stitch is purposeful and straight. Heavy duty rivets are used in high-stress areas, and backstitching is used where a rivet isn't appropriate. Finally, each edge is hand-burnished for a smooth and finished appearance. I think you'll find that my prices are fair and reflect the old world craftsmanship, attention to detail, and durability that goes into and comes out of every piece.
Isn't everything technically made by hand?
Well, no. Not really. Handmade actually means something is made with hands or hand tools. Once you start bringing machines into the construction of leather goods, they're no longer handmade. They're hand-crafted, but not handmade. Every one of my pieces is 100% handmade.
What's so terrible about stitching things with a machine? What's so virtuous about hand-stitching?
The truth is, sewing machines are great. They're fast, efficient, and they can crank out beautiful leather goods in a fraction of the time it takes to hand stitch. So what's the problem? Machine stitching is flawed from a durability standpoint. Leather is strong. Really strong. The weak point in any leather piece is the stitching. A Lock Stitch is made with a machine, when two needles enter a hole (one from the top and one from the bottom), meet in the middle, hook the thread together, and move onto the next hole. This makes the stitch prone to unraveling if a portion of the thread breaks.
Doesn't Saddle Stitched thread break as well?
Yes! The good news is, that if a thread does break, which happens from time to time with natural wear and tear, it won't come unraveled.
A Little Extra
Horween Leather - If you're not familiar with the legend that is Horween here's a little background. Horween Leather Company was founded in Chicago, Il in 1905 by master tanner Isidore Horween. For over 100 years their goal has been to make the best leather in the world. Horween believes that making the best means doing lots of little things right, it means never mistaking fastest or cheapest with best. Through the years they have cultivated their experience to offer a dynamic line of leathers that include traditional old world tannages and techniques along with carefully updated with modern techniques. Their leathers are still made today, by hand, the same way they were over a hundred years ago.
Wickett & Craig Tannery - Founded in 1867, Wickett & Craig is a world premiere vegetable tannery, one of just two remaining vegetable tanneries in the U.S. A labor-intensive method that requires skilled workers, veg-tanning is a natural, eco-friendly process that produces deep-colored leathers of superior quality. Wickett & Craig has been perfecting the art of leather making for more than a 150 years, and we are proud to use them for all of our vegetable tanned pieces.