If we're being honest - our bags have come a long, long way. Our first bag was experimentally crafted three years ago for a friend.
"Can you make me a backpack?" she asked, and well, we did. Amazingly, it has inspired our designs to this day.
But a few months into its use, a weak spot in the leather tore a hole in the side of the backpack, and rendered it useless.
Thankfully, we've come a long way since those days.
It did inspire the question, though - how do we make sure our bag stays structurally sound? How do we keep them from weakening over time?
Glad you asked!
We've mentioned it before, and we'll mention it again - it's all about the engineering. After drawing up a sketch of the design, we analyze tension points. What part of the bag will be carrying the most weight? What objects will it carry - laptops, books and heavy items?
Those tension points are reinforced, and straps are placed strategically to ensure the majority of the bag's weight is spread evenly.
In a way, it's much like designing a building. Is it safe? Is it beautiful? Is it structurally sound? (Only with backpacks, the safety risk is infinitely lower, we will admit.)
Heavier Weight Leather.
The leather we use is definitely heavy-duty. Our backpacks and bags are quite boxy and roomy in shape, when compared to other leather goods on the market, and for good reason. We use some pretty crazy leather!
Naturally water repellent (thanks to the tanning process) it's already able to withstand some natural wear. But it's certainly thick, which means it won't tear through with continual use.
Leather is measured in ounces - the more ounces, the heavier the weight.
Because we use a leather typically reserved for saddle making, our bags have a pretty heavy weight. We can't flip the bag inside-out, so we're restricted to reverse engineering. Thus, we sew up seams on the outside of the bag. As a result, they're designed to stay together extremely securely. We put a lot of thought into our stitching!
We take our "defective" bags home with us! If a design doesn't make it past the prototyping stage, but is still useful and functional, we bring it along with us to see how it wears and tears. Every day we're keeping an eye on how products are lasting, and constantly improving.
Here are a few of the things we ask ourselves...
- How functional is it? A bag won't do anyone any good unless it is both beautiful and useful.
- How much weight can it hold? School books and laptops can add up. Will the bag withstand the weight while still being comfortable to the wearer?
We pad our straps with wool felt to help them sit comfortably. The wider the width of the strap, the more evenly the bag will sit on your shoulders - without causing you any anguish during your morning commute.
- Is this an everyday wear bag? The answer to this is usually always yes. It needs to withstand repetitive motions - setting it down on a cafe floor, hanging it on a peg, slinging it into a backseat with abandon.
- Can it last in many climates? Denver is a really dry climate, so we usually recommend conditioning after long periods of use or exposure to weather. Wetter climates will require additional waterproofing periodically.
- Is it easy to open? Is it secure? It ought to be convenient for you to open frequently, but secure enough to keep all of your valuables safe. We spend a lot of time analyzing bag enclosures!
Of course, there's a lot more behind the scenes that goes into making a bag, like how efficient it is to design and produce, and how various types of leather will affect its final use.
The most important things, however, revolve around you! How does it look and feel? Will you want to wear this every day?
We want to make beautiful items, worth becoming a part of your life. We want you to be proud of the way it makes you look and feel.
Curious about the design process? Swing by our manufacturing site and store in Denver and have a look around! We love nerding out about design. You can find us at 3070 Blake St. Ste. 140, Denver, Colorado.