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Equus Leather - Bridle Leather Belts - Official Affiliate Thread - Page 143

post #2131 of 2743
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by patrick_b View Post

Stunningly beautiful video. Clearly a pro behind the camera. Nicely done, makes me appreciate my handcrafted Equus belts even more.

Thanks Patrick, much appreciated. We had a couple of great, talented guys working on the direction and camera work with us who were very much on our wavelength as to how the video should look and feel. Im passionate about the beauty of the process and leather so I'm really pleased they've been able to capture it so well. They've done a great job. The next film thats still in the final edit is of a Lined and Raised being made, the Grand Daddy of all our fully stitched products. Its in someways similar but in some ways totally different because of the bridle leather we use for it. I hope the L&R video will come out as well, we've all collectively put a lot of time and effort into them.

Charlie
post #2132 of 2743
Nice video, Charlie, enjoyed watching it!
post #2133 of 2743
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lance View Post

Nice video, Charlie, enjoyed watching it!

Thanks Lance :-)
post #2134 of 2743
Thread Starter 
Hi All,

Sorry, I hadnt realised the video hadnt embedded correctly. You can see it on Vimeo as well, but here you go


Edited by Equus Leather - 10/18/15 at 7:30am
post #2135 of 2743

Hi Charlie, may I ask whether the tanneries you sourced from for the alligator leathers are ethical or not? Hopefully it's not the same tanneries Hermes Birkin Bags uses as well. Anyway I love your video and your works, just a little concern with the alligator ethics. 

post #2136 of 2743
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirito003 View Post

Hi Charlie, may I ask whether the tanneries you sourced from for the alligator leathers are ethical or not? Hopefully it's not the same tanneries Hermes Birkin Bags uses as well. Anyway I love your video and your works, just a little concern with the alligator ethics. 

Thats a good and important question.

The ethics of production is an important factor in our sourcing decisions, we're still in the process of finding a tannery to work with who ticks all our boxes, hence the delay in us starting production. As a matter of policy we need to be happy with the methods of production of all our leathers, not just exotics. Where we can we source leather thats produced entirely in the UK where we have very high standards in these things, our Bakers leather for instance is made in Devon from locally farmed cattle, so the longest part of the leathers journey is from Devon to us, maybe 300 miles. Its very rare (basically never) that our non exotic leather comes from further afield then France or Italy who also share very high standards. Exotics have to come from further away and receive more scrutiny to make sure we try to do the right thing, but thats certainly what we try to do.

Personally I have to say that if ethical leather is your top priority you should stick to well sourced cow hide. Using the cow hide we use you can be as sure as its possible to be the animals have been treated and lived well and with respect throughout their lives and that the leather is a byproduct of the meat industry. With the best will in the world Alligator is farmed for its skin, as long as its done with respect for the animals I don't have a problem with that, but it certainly poses a different ethical question than cattle, goats, even Ostrich that are farmed for meat don't. I can certainly respect the position of those who see that as an issue for them. We wont work with Shell Cordovan for similar ethical concerns.

To me probably a bigger issue is leather of any variety sourced from lower welfare parts of the world. If you are buying cheap imported leather goods or from a firm not declaring the origin of the leather it uses you have no way of knowing the standards of care the animals did or didnt receive in life and I suspect very strongly the conditions the animals experienced would make most people cringe. Its a point worth thinking about (and asking your vendor about), cheap leather is cheap leather for a reason.

Charlie
Edited by Equus Leather - 10/21/15 at 2:20pm
post #2137 of 2743

I just received my new West End in Australian Nut.  It's my first Equus product, but I can already tell it won't be my last.  Thanks for the great work!

post #2138 of 2743
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dwhite78 View Post

I just received my new West End in Australian Nut.  It's my first Equus product, but I can already tell it won't be my last.  Thanks for the great work!

Great, Im really pleased you like it :-)

Charlie
post #2139 of 2743
Thread Starter 
Hi Guys,

I know one or two people have had problems with Vimeo being blocked by either corporate or governmental firewalls. We've uploaded it to YouTube which may or may not get around the blocks...

Charlie
post #2140 of 2743
Thread Starter 
Hi All,

The next in our film series, Making a Lined and Raised belt is finally nearly complete and will be live this Sunday at 12pm UK time. We'll post the link on Sunday but a quick preview for SF as there are probably more L&Rs owned by SFs than any other group.



Charlie
post #2141 of 2743
This may be a silly question but how do people hang the Stratfield belts?
post #2142 of 2743
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by uozay View Post

This may be a silly question but how do people hang the Stratfield belts?

It isn't a silly question at all, its one we've been considering ourselves as well. We're slowly in the process of designing a wooden and brass belt cupboard hanger alongside a world class cabinet maker that will accommodate the Stratfield as well as the conventional buckles for exactly this reason, also because all of the currently available ones Ive seen are poorly made which I hate. Its a long process developing things with busy people though so no ETA as yet. In the meantime what I tend to do is to store mine in the cotton bags we're using now with them, either hung up or in a drawer.. We can also make a little leather extension that goes behind the buckle and provides a hole for a hook to hang, its part of a designI have in mind but haven't finalised yet, if you'd like one shout!

Charlie
post #2143 of 2743
Thread Starter 
Hi Guys

We've just made the next of our short films live on our Vimeo page. This is the making of a Lined and Raised belt. These are very much my personal babies so a video close to my heart. These videos are part of our campaign to keep craftsmanship and hand making relevant, both commercially and socially and our own small effort to counteract the disposable fashion and out-sourcing to low labour cost factories thats 95% of the market now. Of course what we do isnt for everyone, but if we can imspire people to think about how what they buy is made we've done somthing wothwhile.

Quite a lot of our Lined and Raised belts are worn by people here, so I hope this gives you guys some insight into what when in to your belts!



and just in case you missed the first in the series, this is our watch strap video from last week




Charlie
Edited by Equus Leather - 10/25/15 at 6:00am
post #2144 of 2743
Charlie:

Really well done videos. It is always a pleasure to watch a craftsman do his work, making everything look easy when the reality is quite the opposite! It is fun to see you use that round knife to trim the end of the belt.

I would love to have a few questions answered, in the spirit of keeping the craft alive.
  • In the watch strap video, you use a glue, cement, or paste of some sort. Can you tell us what you use?
  • When you mark the stitching holes in the strap, are you punching all the way through, or only marking the leather prior to using the awl?
  • In the belt video, you split the leather. What weight/thickness do you use for a lined belt?
  • When you stitch the belt, it looks like you are putting a half-hitch on the backside part of the stitch? Is that correct?
  • Near the end, you run a creaser or something along the stitching line. Is that to set the thread, or does it serve another purpose?
  • The awl you use looks like a round awl, not a diamond shaped awl -- is that correct?
  • What weight of the thread do you use for the varying thicknesses/weight of the leather you're sewing? Is there any typical relationship of the two?
  • What are you using for the edge dye/wax? I am familiar with shoemaker's edge wax, but the product you're using is more of a cream, rather than the waxy product we shoemakers use on sole edges.
  • Is it typical to use the creaser to mark out the stitching line before using the stitch punch?

Many thanks.
post #2145 of 2743
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by shoefan View Post

Charlie:

Really well done videos. It is always a pleasure to watch a craftsman do his work, making everything look easy when the reality is quite the opposite! It is fun to see you use that round knife to trim the end of the belt.

I would love to have a few questions answered, in the spirit of keeping the craft alive.
  • In the watch strap video, you use a glue, cement, or paste of some sort. Can you tell us what you use?
  • When you mark the stitching holes in the strap, are you punching all the way through, or only marking the leather prior to using the awl?
  • In the belt video, you split the leather. What weight/thickness do you use for a lined belt?
  • When you stitch the belt, it looks like you are putting a half-hitch on the backside part of the stitch? Is that correct?
  • Near the end, you run a creaser or something along the stitching line. Is that to set the thread, or does it serve another purpose?
  • The awl you use looks like a round awl, not a diamond shaped awl -- is that correct?
  • What weight of the thread do you use for the varying thicknesses/weight of the leather you're sewing? Is there any typical relationship of the two?
  • What are you using for the edge dye/wax? I am familiar with shoemaker's edge wax, but the product you're using is more of a cream, rather than the waxy product we shoemakers use on sole edges.
  • Is it typical to use the creaser to mark out the stitching line before using the stitch punch?

Many thanks.

Thank you! To answer the various questions

1) A water based glue that isn't especially strong but strong enough to hold everything together while its stitched. We tend to use Aquagum, but really its only important as an alignment tool pre stitching

2) Definitley not all the way through. A pricking iron is to mark stitches only, not make holes, which is what the awl is for, to quote the gods of Saddlery. Stitching chisels are available but we dont use them, they dont produce the same results good awl work will, though they simplify the process

3) The L&Rs tend to be 4mm at the edges and around 5.5mm in the middle, thats nice and chunky without being insanely so. As you can see each one is made individually though so we can customise the thickness per belt

4) Yes, we "cast the thread" in saddle stitch speak so a knot is formed per stitch. Saddle stitch is totally different than machine stitching, if a stitch or a succession of stitches are worn or damaged the whole run wont unravel like machine stitching is. This is why it's still used and why all truly good handmade leather goods are sewn by hand despite the difficulty, it'll last many many years or decades of use and can be restitched in the fullness of time if it needs it

5) The crease line on the outside if the stitch is largely cosmetic but important. It provides a final highlight to the stitching, it helps to make sure the very edge of the belt is round and in itself it looks good and is traditional for this sort of work. The gap it goes into is very narrow, to say its tricky is an understatement but its one of the little things that makes a big difference.

6) Definitely a diamond awl. Angled saddle stitch is impossible with a round awl, you need a diamond awl of the same size as the stitch marks you made earlier in the process. You might use a round awl for one stitch to go round a 90 degree corner, thats the only time though.

7) The edge dye we use is just dye we tweak to our own spec, likewise the top coat. The the key part of the process is the burnishing, as with everything the elbow grease is what makes the end results, we just take our time over it and polish it to a good shine and because we've created good firm edges in the stitch phase the end results comes out well. You could do the same with any thin dye I imagine. Edge finishing is always a semi magic process and every firm has their own secret way of doing it, all of which they think is the best, I suspect they are all variations on 2 or 3 different themes though.

7) Definitely a relationship between weight of leather, thickness of thread and stitch size. We stitch watch straps at 10spi with 632 lin cable and generally belts at 8spi and 432 lin cable for eg., though we would use a dufferent weight thread if parts of a belt (like a keeper) was thinner. Its key to the look of something that nothing is too heavy or too light, it has to be just so for every component.

8) Yes, for saddlery work. You have to have some means of keeping a straight line, so you either have a line to follow by eye or you use a pricking wheel. Largely an iron produces a better result in my opinion though we use both, hopefully the right tool at the right time for the right product.

Hope that answers a few questions!

Charlie
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