HOW OUR JACKETS ARE MADE
It takes a team of leatherworkers, tailors and apprentices over 100 steps to craft a single leather jacket. Below, we try to explain the judgement, skill and creativity required to make one.
TANNING & DYEING
Selected for their size and quality, hides are placed in a tanning drum with a blend of extracts and agents.
Once tanned, hides are fat liquored and dyed with custom blends of oils and waxes and specific dye recipes— creating a rich, solid feel.
Our leather is then air-dried to give it a thick, full-bodied texture, commonly known as a “full hand.”
At the tannery, the leather is graded on its grain, thickness and blemishes (or lack thereof). “A” grade leathers are bundled into the workshop, while the remaining grades are re-purposed by the tannery.
Under special lighting, these “A” grade bundles are manually sorted from light to dark, so that each jacket is cut from hides of similar shade. Black leathers are color-matched twice, given the extremely subtle changes in their tint.
Since leather panels aren’t interchangeable like fabric, cutting and sewing is carefully planned out by a tailor, his apprentice and his assistants:
At this point, every jacket is a unique project that spans two days:
- Hand-match and hand-cut leather hides.
- Sew lining and prepare notions.
- Sewing jacket body.
- Attaching lining, labels, notions.
- Approval and inspections
Each hide is individually examined by the cutter, who notes the variations in thickness and grain, along with any bites and marks on the hide.
Then, patterns are laid out over the leather, accounting for hides’ character— ensuring the best parts are used for the most visible and crucial parts of the jacket.
After the cutter develops a “feel” for the particular hide, he begins to cut the leather into patterns in firm, decisive strokes.
LINING & INTERFACING
The jacket lining is ironed then carefully cut from a matching pattern. Interfacing is prepared by an assistant.
The sewing machine is calibrated— scrap leather from the same bundle is used to test tension, density and whatever else the tailor wishes to adjust.
The tailor then begins sewing, starting with the body of the jacket. Wherever required, leather can be sewn by hand to contour the body more naturally.
ASSISTANT, APPRENTICE, & MASTER
While the tailor joins crucial pieces, assistances lay out, roll and hammer seams flush before the newly-joined piece can be sewn again.
Because each tailor has his own techniques for resolving difficult stitches and unforeseen challenges, the master tailor discusses the solution for any particularly challenging pieces— tailors follow their own styles but all jackets must be technically sound.
Towards the end of the second day, the sewing nears completion. Lining and labels are attached to the leather jacket.
Heavy YKK zippers and Kane-Morito buttons are sewn and riveted in place.
After the tailor and his assistants complete the jacket, the master tailor reviews the handiwork. Separately, an inspector conducts a formal quality check: examining the style, stitching, seaming and measurement of the garment.
Jackets are then individually registered and packed in craft and tissue paper.
No jacket is the same, but each jacket must be well-made.
Before final shipment, jackets are hung and inspected again for workmanship in a second quality check.