I have needed a stitching pony for a long time now... Like so many other undone projects, this one has been stirring around in my head for several years. Since my efforts have been so focused on sewing leather lately, the time had come for a new and useful tool in the shop. I've looked … Continue reading Making a Stitching Pony
Maybe this is a little mundane but I've been using the cold and snowy weather as an excuse to do some cutting and sewing of leather. I completed a passport wallet and finished up another minimalist wallet design. I got the pattern for the larger travel wallet from Tony, the owner/designer at DieselpunkRo. He sells … Continue reading More Wallets
I try to live by the creed of learning and making something good every day. As we have been pondering the holiday season it seemed a good time to get a jump on some leatherworking projects I've had in mind the past few months. This morning, before getting to work on other chores, I decided … Continue reading Making a Minimalist Wallet
Many years ago, in Morocco, I was able to tour an ancient tannery and see some of the process of creating beautiful leather. I use leather for many projects and although I do some brain tanning myself, I purchase all of my truly "tanned" leathers from others. One very important lesson about tanning I learned … Continue reading Tanning Leather: Not a Lost Art
I realize this isn't the most exiting project of the year but a necessary one nonetheless. My knife sheath for the "regular" camp knife was a sloppily done remake of the original. The knife maker did an excellent job on the knife itself but the sheath wasn't up to the standard of this fine tool. … Continue reading Knife Sheath
Taking a break from work to make something for myself... I don't wear a watch every day but when I do, I like it to be comfortable and not at all flashy. I was never a fan of wearing a watch when I wasn't working but having a crew who expect regular breaks and a … Continue reading Making a NATO-Style Watch Band
In a fit of energy I got around to putting proper and better shoulder straps on my pack basket made last summer. The pack is willow and the leather work is approximately 10 oz. Hermann Oak harness leather. Once the leather ages a bit they will be beautiful and rustic-looking.
I have raved about the Huarache Blog before. Here’s a re-run of the excellent post about how real leather is still made by hand in Mexico.
Unlike most mainstream footwear, Mexican Huarache footwear leather is still vegetable tanned using tree bark. Fewer tanneries in the world still offer vegetable tanned leathers because of the slower tanning process and higher costs of the natural raw materials used.
The natural benefits of vegetable tanned leather are:
1. The organic tanning process is non toxic and has a much lesser impact on the environment and the health of the tanners (chrome tannery workers have a 20%-50% higher chance of cancer risk).
2. The leather maintains some of its natural qualities to stretch and adapt to your foot shape.
A few months ago in a post titled “Taller De Curtiduria González – Vegetable Tanning the Best Huarache Leathers” I introduced Jesús and Antonio González the father and son tanners in Colima, Mexico who still practice this traditional and centuries old tanning method.
The González tannery offers a variety…
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Shop aprons are not as widely used as in the past. I believe this is related to our modern view on clothing and how it has changed over the past century. Not only are we training less in the trades, our clothes are ridiculously cheap in the modern world. Low prices and availability keeps our … Continue reading Make a Shop Apron
Or what we might call a messenger bag. I finally finished the commissioned bag from last month based on the beautifully proportioned Roman design. As far as I know, this design dates back to at least the First Century C.E. and judging by it's logic, probably much further. I think the true loculus (satchel) utilized … Continue reading Roman Loculus