The production of leather bags is done in various steps starting with the selection of leather and other materials. The origin of the best hides are countries like Switzerland, Austria and southern Germany as well as northern India where animals live in moderate clima conditions and where food and water are available throughout the whole year.
Our bags are produced in Germany and in India. The transfer of part of our production became necessary to be able to offer an optimum price to our customers. The production and working conditions in India are controlled according to international standards. Our indian craftsmen are very skilled so that we can at any time ensure the high German quality.
The development and design of all our products is done in Germany.
Following we describe the essential components of a leather bag and then we will explain the steps of production.
The essential components of a leather bag are
- The central parts
- The gussets
- The interior and inside pockets
- Locks and fittings
The steps of production are
- The cutting
- Assembling and stitching
- Attaching of locks and fittings
- Control and packing
Leather is a natural product. Each skin of a cow has its own structure and look. As a first step before production the leather has to be controlled and classified to meet the demands of the special bag which shall be produced.
Main parts of a leather bag
A modern business bag consists of many components.
The central parts: front and back side
The front and backside of a laptop case or a business bag are also called “main parts“. Traditional briefcases have a front with smaller pockets and a back side with a flap. On the flap there is the upper part of a lock which fits into a lower part of the lock fixed on the front when the case is closed.
Modern briefcases usually don’t have a flap. Their compartments are closed with zippers which allow an easy access to the interior.
The width of the gussets decides upon the volume of the bag. If the bag has many compartments the dividers have to be fixed in the gussets by stitching. Also straps for shoulder bags usually are fixed in the gussets by stitching or rivets.
Interior and inside compartments
The interior of a business bag features compartments for a laptop and files and small pockets for a mobile, pens, tickets etc. The interior should help to store all business essentials in an organized way. Essential as well is an inside zip pocket to keep a purse or important documents separately.
The compartments and inside pockets are made of a textile lining which has to be strong enough so that the stitching cannot be torn when the bag is loaded.
Locks and fittings
Most important fittings of a business bag are locks, dog hooks and zipper. Traditional briefcases usually had one or two locks. Modern standard business cases are increasingly locked up with nylon or metal zips instead.
Dog hooks are important for the attachment of shoulder straps.
Main steps of production
For the production of leather bags many steps are still done by hand.
Cutting and skiving
Cutting of the leather needs a lot of skill and experience. The size of a skin is irregular and the cutter has to judge how to make the best use of it. He has to avoid leather defects and to see that the cuttings go well together when the bag is assembled. This is more difficult in case of working on anilin leather because the natural structure and the irregularities within this skin are much more visible. If the leather is finished with pigment colours or embossed cutting will be easier and the amount of leftovers smaller.
Especially the central parts of a notebook case should be rather even whereas for the gussets and the bottom some leather irregularities can be accepted.
Smaller cuttings of purses allow a better cutting value than bigger parts of a business case or a travel bag. If business bags are cut the ratio between the total size of the cut components and the entire size of the hide amounts to 60% only.
The amount of leftovers depends on the skill of the cutter, the quality of the skin and the size of the required cuttings. So designers already consider the size of the bag components and manufacturers try to make best use of the leather offering also small leathergoods besides bigger items.
The use of knives makes cutting more easy and faster. Also the cut part itself will be more precise, and with the clicking knife marks can made for the assembling of the components.
For smaller parts swivel arm punches are used. The punching table is big enough to cut two or three components at the same time.
For bigger components beam punching presses can be used. The size of their tables allows to cut the area of half a hide at one time.
For handles and other parts of the bag the thickness of the leather has to be reduced. This is done with machines which split the cut component horizontally.
Skiving and turned edges
To facilitate the assembling of the bag the thickness of the leather has to be reduced along the border of a component. This operation is called skiving. It is a necessary step to allow to turn the border if the corner should not be visible after stitching.
When assembling the bag the thinner border of one of the components can be easily turned and glued on top of the other component.
Mounting the parts of a leather bag
Here the craftsman has to check in a first step wether the components of a bag are well matched. This is especially important if the leather has a print or a very rough look as buffalo skin for example.
For the mounting of the single pieces of a bag the components are first glued. This has to be done with great care so that the bag will have a correct shape when finished.
There are several ways of mounting which result in different looks of the corners.
Raw edge mounting
The leather components are glued together and stitched. The raw corners of the leather then have to be buffed and coloured. For a nice look this process normally has to be repeated once or twice to smoothen the corners. Sometimes they are in addition treated with wax. Finally they are polished.
The raw edges are covered with a u-shaped tape which covers the corners. This can be done with the stitching machine using a tool to feed the tape. By binding the colouring and polishing of the raw edges can be avoided.
If the corners of the leather are skived they can be turned. This also avoids the time consuming colouring and treating of the raw edges. (see above)
To protect the corner a t-shaped profile is introduced between the components when stitched together. When the bag is turned the piping will protect the stitching. Usually the profile consists of a plastic pipe which is covered with leather.
Fixing of locks and fittings
The fixing of locks, handles and other parts of a bag has to be done with great care. If you carry a bag the stitching or the rivets of the handle or a lock have to hold the full weight of what you are carrying.
Packing and control
Before packing each leather bag is again controlled. There may be the ends of a thread which have to be cut or some glue which still has to be cleaned away.
Then every bag items is packed in a single box, and we add our maintenance instruction for care and the warranty certificate.
Our service will always be available – even after the end of the two-years guarantee period.
We want you to enjoy the quality of our product!