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Discuss Swaine Adeney Brigg cases

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by HEPennypacker, Oct 26, 2010.

  1. Equus Leather

    Equus Leather Senior member Affiliate Vendor

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    It isnt especially amazing stitching but it looks like what Ive seen of SABs recent work to me, likewise the handle. Im not an SAB expert so my opinion should be taken with a pinch of salt but Id be surprised if its not genuine I think. What does @CaseMaker think? Charlie
     
  2. MMNY

    MMNY Member

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    I don't know, but here's one more from the eBay site. [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Sonny1

    Sonny1 Member

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    I suppose Swaine Adeney are the only people who can definitively confirm whether they manufactured these cases. If so, the deep discounts seem strange as they don't offer these discounts online or at the shop. If it was manufactured by a craftsmen outside of SAB, it will still show the mixture of machine and hand stitching. What did the ebay seller say when you asked him?
     
  4. Equus Leather

    Equus Leather Senior member Affiliate Vendor

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    Maybe its a second? If I had to bet Id say its authentic personally, it looks like the last piece of their work we had in the workshop. Also interested to know what the seller said

    Charlie
     
  5. letsi

    letsi Senior member

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    I think most of the established members here have concluded earlier in this thread that SAB's briefcases are partially machine stitched, partially hand stitched and not fully hand stitched. Hence, having mixture of machine and hand stitching does not confirm if it's an authentic make from SAB.

    There are only a handful of makers (SAB's not one of them, even for the non-papworth line) in the world who would hand stitch their briefcases fully and one of that handful is our member casemaker in this forum and he charges a slight premium for that over SAB which I believe is fully justified.


    Well, I'm just holding out for more pictures but to be honest I have my conclusions already...
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2015
  6. letsi

    letsi Senior member

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    On a separate note from the current topic, I'm interested and curious to know how saddlers define amazing stitching and differentiate them from merely average stitching, do you have any examples to show Charlie? Many thanks in advance!
     
  7. Sonny1

    Sonny1 Member

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    Does anyone know if SAB's lid over box attache cases are handstitched ?
     
  8. Equus Leather

    Equus Leather Senior member Affiliate Vendor

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    Well as you've mentioned we have our own Casemaker as a very good example - there are quite a few examples of his work in this thread. He does not charge the premium he deserves given he hand stitches entire cases! Take a look at the photos of his work..

    Charlie
     
  9. letsi

    letsi Senior member

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    I've seen his photos and would love to own some of his pieces but to be honest, it's pretty hard to tell without a side by side comparison guide from our resident experts here :slayer:
     
  10. Equus Leather

    Equus Leather Senior member Affiliate Vendor

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    I thin

    Its interesting to look back at some of the images in this thread. For eg in http://www.styleforum.net/t/206275/discuss-swaine-adeney-brigg-cases/60#post_4969541 there are some really nice photos of another SAB case, including a very similar photo of the handle and stays. The pattern of case and handle are obviously the same which further confirms the case is probably real, though the straps aren't machine stitched around the edges like this one. If you look at the hand stitched handle and stay of the case from 2011 you'll see that the angle is more consistent, the thread is rounder, cleaner and more defined and the hole made by the awl is smaller and cleaner. Id be prepared to bet the underside of the handle is much cleaner and has neater stitching as well. The case currently under discussion is perfectly acceptable but hasn't gone beyond workmanlike - it'll do the job but not a work of art. To me overall the 2011 case is a better piece of work. I suspect given the changes at SAB in the meantime theres more time pressure and less talent in the workshop, but thats just based on photos and whats crossed my workbench..

    Charlie

    Edit to say - dont meant to rip apart someones new pride and joy, I was asked to compare though....
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2015
  11. letsi

    letsi Senior member

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    Thanks for the comparison, on further examinations it does appear that the stitching isn't exactly consistent on the ebay sellers's pics. I found it a bit hard to pinpoint the size of the awl holes though between the two since they appeared equal in size most of the time?
    To be honest, Ray's workmanship in regards to hand stitching was a lot better on my briefcase when compared to the pictures from MMNY though.

    Anyway for us to obtain some close up picture of Simon's (casemaker) work? :D
    Also, would MMNY still post pictures of the actual briefcase IRL?
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2015
  12. Equus Leather

    Equus Leather Senior member Affiliate Vendor

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    Im probably showing my ignorance but what/who is MMNY??
     
  13. casemaker

    casemaker Well-Known Member

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    These are the photo's I sent to the chap on e-bay selling the SAB briefcases, to explain and illustrate the difference between machine stitching, and hand stitching.I just took some snaps of a case in the workshop. He said " that he had been told by someone that SAB cases were entirely hand stitched" a fairly common misconception.




    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    And machine stitching, with apologies to 'scaramanga' who posted this originally, looking for advise about caring for his case.

    [​IMG]


    With hand stitching, the stitch length should always be even, because one uses a stitching iron, and the stitch should lay at an angle. Machine stitching length can differ, if the material does not feed through evenly, as you can see above, where the stitches come closer together, also the stitch tends to be in a straighter line, with little angle.

    In my experience, it takes me about three times as long to fully hand stitch a case, as a mostly machine stitched case would.

    [​IMG]
     
  14. shanetrudell

    shanetrudell Active Member

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    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Here is a comparison of this section of the case with my own work. There are several key differences: wonky hand stitches, large machine holes, thinner, less durable threads, lower quality threads (compared to the French linen), tears in the leather from the awl, 5 stitch per inch?... Is it just the camera or are the threads used in by hand and machine different colours also? Different stitch per inch between them as well, throws the eye off again.

    A point worth making is that the 'slant' that we discuss when referring to good hand stitching is not for aesthetics only, although it is a handsome mark indeed. The slant is created by the perfect repetition of angle when the diamond-shaped awl pierces the leather to make space for the thread - this is very difficult. The purpose is to prevent the stitches from lining up in a row, creating tension between stitches where the leather is the thinnest. Good 'slants' are essential to the endurance of the stitch line. By the same token, a properly sharpened awl prevents tearing and weakening the leather.

    Excellent stitches: clean and even - this means the same angle and tension performed thousands of times on a hand stitched case. The awl kept polished and waxed. Long seams completed on the same thread, and probably in the same sitting. Good quality thread, waxed to achieve a good sticky 'lock', and to prevent rot. And on and on.

    The 'trick' with hand stitching is that corners must not be cut, and so when factory organizations attempt to pay a marketing homage to this part of the craft, it will not be done right. The modern SAB handle is, in my opinion, a prime example of what to expect from factory 'hand stitch'.

    -Shane Trudell
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2015
  15. letsi

    letsi Senior member

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    Um... MMNY is the poster who bought the "SAB" briefcase off ebay and wants us to verify the authenticity?
    Thanks for the excellent comparison picture posted here Simon and Shane. I can truly see the difference with the side by side, detailed explanation with pictures as comparison. Esp regarding the waxed better quality lin cables (or is that only used in Equus belts?) / french linen threads used for hand stitching on both Simon's and Shane's briefcases in comparison to the ones used by SAB and perhaps Ray. I also understand that with hand stitching the stitches per inch can be increased by a lot which also resulted in extra durability of the stitching since there's more stitches to hold up an attached leather, would stitches per inch be used to measure the level of quality as well for hand stitched items?
     
  16. shanetrudell

    shanetrudell Active Member

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    Good questions. The french linen I refer to is the lin cable.

    With regards to SPI, there are a few things I will mention.

    Essentially, there is a balance that one seeks between 6 variables: the thickness of the leathers, the distance from the edge, the size of the thread, the quantity of stitches, the size of the awl, and the tautness or tension on the line itself. Perhaps the first four make sense to all, but note that awl size essentially determines the angle, or 'slant'.

    It would be too much to demonstrate, but to have just one of these variables mistaken will reduce the quality of the stitch line, if only subtly. Each maker does have some flexibility here and our predilections for certain tools and materials will come through in slight differences in these variables, some choices of which we may pride ourselves on. But when someone really gets it wrong, by ignorance, or aesthetic error, or for the sake of quicker and cheaper production, this too will differentiate them...

    Historically, bridlery standards maintained quite fine stitching, I believe Charlie sends belts out at up to 12 spi if I'm not mistaken. For case work, the stitch count is lower. In my mind the modern standard was set by Tanner Krolle, long time makers to the Queen (when things were different) and upholders of tradition during the changes that many shops went under in the 20th century. For the type of heavy bridle cases that Simon and I both produce, we are often stitching through 8, 10 and 12mm of leather, and I think you can see above how each of our stitching arrangements suit these materials.

    To compare to the above photos, here is an example of much finer stitching on a wallet. All six factors are different here and represent my view of how things should be, in this particular situation of the craft.

    [​IMG]

    Used on a bridle case however, I don't think this would add further refinement, but rather would produce an imbalance in most situations.

    So it's not only "more stitches = better" (although too few stitches is a sure sign of weakness). It's whether the maker understands the relationship of tools, materials and techniques to the piece they are making, to it's form and it's function.

    -Shane
     
  17. Equus Leather

    Equus Leather Senior member Affiliate Vendor

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    Sorry - I thought it was an acronym for something I didn't know about! Clearly I was posting with below the required blood caffeine level.. Regarding Lin Cable, it is a brand of very good, (probably the best) Linen thread available that we and a lot of bespoke/top end makers use, not all though. In terms of SPI Shane has answered this very well.
    We very occasionally go up to 12 spi, but it is only occasionally, we generally stitch at 8 or 10 spi, depending on the application. I find that 8spi, medium thickness thread and bridle leather works really well and 10 spi with finer thread and lighter leathers goes well. Photo of both stitch sizes attached - neither are cases but we seem to have moved onto stitching which is one of my favorite things! Both are hand stitched using Lin Cable 10 spi stitched through c. 2.5mm of leather [​IMG] 8 spi stitched through c. 3.5 - 4mm mm of leather. [​IMG] Charlie
     
  18. coloRLOw

    coloRLOw Senior member

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    thank you for those explanations, guys,very helpful [​IMG]
     
  19. MoosicPa

    MoosicPa Senior member

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    The Westminster case in chestnut.... not as much bang as the Westminister II with the wrap around straps, but I like the simplicity of the bag. It has 2 compartments, and does come with a carry strap.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    the chestnut compared with the London Tan:

    [​IMG]
     
  20. Equus Leather

    Equus Leather Senior member Affiliate Vendor

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    The London Tan briefcase is very pretty indeed! Can't go wrong with London tan :)
     

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