Replica Russia Leather Summer Bag Complete

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The summer clutch bag is complete!  Saddle stitched completely by hand using the luxurious Fil au Chinois Lin Cable thread.  Lined with the exquisite double dyed goat kid suede lining.  Embellished with un-lacquered solid brass hardware made here in Walsall.  And of course the beautiful, fragrant and carefully produced replica Russia leather from Baker tannery in the South.  This was a customer commission that took many hours of discussion for design and search for materials.  A lot of careful consideration went into this project and the results are quite satisfying if I might say so.  The bag has been shipped to Switzerland after giving the customer a sneak peak via some photographs.

Some good friends kindly accepted my requests for the photographs that show the bag in the hand in different positions so that the viewer can understand the scale of the bag.  Yes, it is quite small.  It is meant to be.  The purpose is to enable the owner to use the bag both hands free and otherwise and in a way that there are no straps to go over the shoulder.  The benefit of this being that in hot weather the owner will be a little cooler than if he were to use a shoulder or cross body bag.  Another benefit being that the light summer jacket collar and lapel are not going to tangled up and spoiled by a leather strap as would be the case while using a cross body or shoulder bag.  On the inside of the bag there are two compartments of equal size.  One is for a book and the other for a file-o-fax.  Furthermore there is a small leather loop on the inside that will allow the owner to tether small items to the inside if the need arises.  The contents will be safe and secure.

The replica Russia leather was made from either reindeer hide or calf hide traditionally.  This replica Russia leather is made from Irish calf hide.  It is tanned and finished in a tannery based in Devon.  The leather has some very special characteristics.  Being the first time I have used this leather I was somewhat dismayed at first because after the first lot of hand stitching I found that the edges varied in thickness.  I soon realised that this is a feature of the leather and not a fault.  So I went with it.  The surface of the leather has quite a lot of variation in pattern and colour.  There seems to be a depth to the surface that I have not seen in any other leather yet.  These slight variations in colour, texture and depth make the final product truly unique.  The colour variation is due to the way the leather has been fed.  When a leather is well fed it forms a bloom on the surface which appears as white streaks on smooth leather and as ‘speckles’ on leather like the one used on this bag.  This bloom will change over time depending on how the bag is used and how often.

With time the leather will form a patina and darken in areas where it is most handled.  Along with this the brass hardware will also tarnish.  It has already started.  The hardware will have a chance to tarnish and form a patina so that it ages in line with the leather.  This is a matter of personal preference of course and it was nice that both my customer and I prefer this.  Again the results are a truly unique piece that will continue to develop a personality and character that is completely affected by the person who uses it.  An intimate relationship that was experienced by the maker during the making process and then transferred to the owner for the rest of the life of the bag.

Finally, if anyone is wondering what the photographs of the flowers have to do with anything, they were present in the location where the photographs of the bag were taken so why not make them as much a part of this blog as they were a part of the location?