Word has long gone around that craftsmanship is important. We try to define it in concrete terms and explain how we live up to those standards.
Leatherwork shall always be a craft – tanning, dying, cutting, and sewing require judgement and taste that arise from years of trial and error.
As a result, we emphasize a “handmade first” approach— if it can be done by without compromising quality, do it by hand. Handiwork not only reinforces the importance of that judgement and taste, but also reinforces the connection to the material.
For instance, we select and cut our leathers by hand. Hand-cutting lets the artisan get a better ‘feel’ for each hide earlier in the process, allowing them to detect areas that are particularly thick or stiff and adapt the pattern of each jacket.
Technology isn’t an enemy of craftsmanship, but insisting that everything be made by hand is. In general, we combine traditional techniques with technology to achieve better precision and greater durability.
We machine stitch our jackets as much as possible, especially in areas that receive the most stress from hard-wearing. Industrial sewing machines produce neater and denser stitching, while multi-filament polyester thread creates a better-finished and longer-lasting product.
SMALL BATCH PRODUCTION
By using small-batch production, we’re able to offer distinctly looking jackets. Dyestuffs are adjusted after each drum load to ensure every batch has its own, unique shade.
Just as every leather hide has its own thickness, grain and markings, each jacket produced is truly unique, providing a welcome challenge to the craftsmen who make them and a one-of-a-kind look to the customers who wear them.
AVOIDING AN ASSEMBLY LINE
The person who knows most about Hencroft jackets is the craftsman that creates it. Each jacket is benchmade. A single team of tailor, cutter, apprentice, and assistant work on a single jacket: cutting, sewing and finishing.
As the same team works the raw material into a finished product, there’s a clear sense of ownership and consequent a pride and responsibility to make the jacket beautiful.
As a result, each jacket benefiting from individual touches that put a little bit of the tailor into the jacket, even in the places that no one can see.