Experiment and Testing

Recently I received an order for a bespoke laptop sleeve.  After many long discussions over the design and materials we decided to use replica Russia leather that is based on the famed 200 year old 1786 Russia leather that was recovered from the wreck of the Metta Catherina after lying on the sea bed off the coast of Cornwall for over 200 years.  The original Russia leather has some very special properties which is why it was considered among the best of leathers in the Victorian period.  The replica leather was made after two years of research and experimentation and has been made to replicate the special properties of the original 1786 Russia leather.  Unfortunately it seems that the original Russia leather is not longer available although I have found out that the Walsall Leather Museum actually has a whole hide in the stores.

Today I have been doing my own testing and experimentation using the materials we have decided to use for the bespoke laptop case.  Russia leather outer, goat kid suede lining and pure linen thread.  The results are a lovely.  I love making watch straps because they can be made using small pieces of leather and don’t take as long as a larger project (although it may surprise many to learn how long it takes!).  There are a lot if details and considerations when making a watch strap.  The options are almost limitless.  This one is quite simple but still a lot goes into making something like this.

What are the findings you may ask?  Well, the Russia leather is amazing to work with.  The smell, the texture and the consistency.  It is very dense yet very pliable.  Not so easy to skive and burnish but not impossible.  Over time I may try different techniques and perhaps find ones that are quicker and more effective.  The lining will surely soil over time but I am sure it will remain as comfortable to wear.  The softness of the Russia leather means that the thread sits below the surface of the leather which means that stitch groves aren’t needed.  The stitches seem to blend into the pattern of the leather which means that one can really appreciate with textures of this beautiful leather.

I may try different colour combinations in the future but for now I will test out my new watch strap and see how it ages and performs over time.  Perhaps I will do a follow up blog after six months.  In the meantime if anyone is interested in something like this, please get in touch.  I would be honoured to make something for you.