When I'm considering the purchase of something new, one of my primary concerns is longevity. In other words, in our modern world of throw away marketing I'm looking for a bargain. Something which is made in such a way that it is unlikely to fail, and over the course of it's estimated life span is inexpensive to own.
A year ago I saw a report which indicated only 1% of all goods purchased in North America are still in use 6 months later. One percent. Although none of the products I sell are cheap, each and every one is a genuine bargain and will last a lifetime - far longer than 6 months!
Q: My shopping cart indicates my items will be made to order. Aren't these products in stock?
A: Although I do occasionally have products which are ready for immediate shipment, typically items are made specifically for you after you have placed your order. Generally speaking, purchased products will take three to four weeks to create and finish before being shipped from my door to yours. The bad news: There is an average 4 week wait before arrival. The good news: Should there be any personal touches you'd like to have added to your product (slightly different pocket, extra clip points, etc), this can almost always be accomplished with the absolute minimum increase in cost. Items ready to ship immediately will be clearly listed as such. Thank you for your understanding.
UPDATE: Superior Leathercraft is transitioning to a Ready-to-Ship business model. The end of May will see new products, ready to leave the shop upon order, listed in the SHOP section. Stay tuned!
Q: How is hand sewn better?
A: When looking over leather products for sale, it can be very difficult to confirm that "hand crafted" really means what it implies. One specific point of confusion is the sewing process used to make leather goods. The majority of leather goods on the market today are not sewn by hand. They are crafted using machinery. A sewing machine creates what is called a lockstitch. In a lockstitch the same thread remains on the same side of the material throughout the length of the seam. The back side thread and front side thread cross over each other when the stitch is formed, but are then pulled taught onto their original side of the material. Hand sewing, on the other hand, results in the back side thread and front side thread alternating sides during every stitch. During this process, a half hitch knot is formed within the material at every stitch point. Down the length of a seam this means hundreds of half hitch knots are formed which are literally tying the several layers of leather together. And should a stitch break? Those hundreds of knots need to unravel before the compromised seam is going to give. A hand sewn leather product is much less likely to fail you in the field and should thread breakage occur, the issue is much more likely to remain manageable until repair is possible.
Q: Do you use any machines at all?
A: None. Every piece of leather is cut by hand with knives, rulers, and pattern boards. Each stitch line is traced with a scratch awl, marked with a stitching wheel, punched with a stitching awl, and saddle stitched by hand using a pair of needles and waxed thread. I'm the only person in the shop and I make each cut and place each line personally. If even a single stitch isn't right, I know about it and correct it. Guaranteed.
Q: What qualities make bison leather a material I should consider?
A: Although all high quality leather is very durable, there are a few different animals which bring hide strength to new levels. One of these is the American Buffalo, also known as Bison. Bison leather is, on average, 40% stronger than steer hide of equivalent thickness. It is also known for its incredible softness. The two properties together make for a material which is ideal for bags of all types. The one main drawback is that Bison leather is also a more costly material, which by necessity is reflected in the final cost of the product.
Q: Kangaroo Lace?
A: You know how the American Buffalo is known for its hide strength? Kangaroo is, too. Hands down the most durable lace for creation of laced leather goods is kangaroo. I happen to think it is also one of the finest to look at and one of the best to work with. There really is no down side, as the cost difference of the lacing is negligible in comparison to the labor involved in the lacing process itself. You can safely assume that all lacing projects by Superior Leathercraft are completed with kangaroo lace unless specifically stated otherwise.
Q: How do I make sure the new belt or collar I'm ordering fits?
A: Belts are generally 2 sizes larger than your pants. For example, if you wear size 34 pants you should order a size 36 belt. For collars, the neck of your pet should be measured with a flexible tape. Don't pull the tape TOO snug (but not loose, either), and allow for one finger tip to fit between the measuring tape and the animal's neck.
However, if you have a current belt or collar which still fits you or your pet, the best way is to measure the current belt or collar as shown below.
If you're unsure, I always recommend contacting me before placing your order.