Thursday, August 19, 2010

Fall Leather, Part 3 - High Wax, Oil Treated and Distressed

Watt Tyler park at sunset, The UK

I have always been amazed with marshlands. Must be the moody, almost haunted landscape, patches of grass and water, the birds.... Also, perhaps because I've spent most of my life in the city, I find marshlands exotically beautiful and mysterious. Dry land ends, and water begins, life ends, and begins again.

A landscape like that calls for acceptance - of beauty within mud; change in attitude - from town to country; change in attire - from cool to cozy.

I draw alot of inspiration from the country landscapes, ambiance and lifestyle and try to rework Country Traditionalism into streams, that would fit a broader range of preferences. Most of the Pre-Fall collection bags are one way, or another shaped by country looks, lines and influences.

Fox Hunt, source Old-Photos

My marshland fashion began in the previous season, with the pretty traditional Western Rounded sack, KERRY,  eventually transformed into Classical TCB satchel JAKI TOTE , which also features country lace detailing.  This season it is continuing with TERRI ANN, a minimalist saddle bag; SARAH,  a shoulder bag with a bridle loop strap and multi -tiered ruffles - just to point out a couple...  There still are several other styles to come...
Jaki Shoulder bag

For the Fall, I would like to go even deeper into Marshy Country, and use the materials, that are traditional for the theme, yet adoptable for my styling...

Some leather types are traditionally more "Country" than others. There is, of course, Suede - a staple for the look; there are heavyweight vegetable tanned leathers, various large grained or distressed hides, High Wax finished and Oil Treated (or Utility) leathers. They all represent the low gloss, humble, often sturdy and rugged, or cozy and elegant look of rural aesthetics. JAKI Shoulder bag (left) is made of Oil Treated leather.

High Wax leather, which I love, has matte, unfinished look and a sense of moisture to the touch. Usually lightweight, very pliable and ages beautifully. This exact Sarah bag (left) is made of Mustard Green garment weight unfinished High Wax. Also, think, gloves, hats, lightweight belts, clothing straps, book covers, etc.

Oil Treated (Utility) leather - is a rare find for me, and I get very excited each time I am able to snag some of it...
Oil Treated leather - Burgundy

It is beautifully matte; sturdy in its nature, yet surprisingly responsive to work with. Moist feeling supple surface, that changes its tone at the fold or stitch lines. This is considered a sign of high quality oil treatment, and this feature is unique and only found in Oil Treated leathers. Ages amazingly, building new character as it goes. Commonly used for bridles, dog leashes, boots, belts, handbags and firearm cases.

Distressed leather - Latte
Distressed leather - even though, come in all weights, I have mostly worked with upholstery. It is strong, drier feeling finished  leather, with unique colouring qualities. The edges of grain come off in paler tones than the rest of the surface, due to special treatment, preventing colour from saturating through.  Distressed hides look like an endless maze of pale webbing, stretched over a field of solid colour.

Very popular for country style interior furnishings, handbags, footwear and saddle decor.

This post sums up my main leather arsenal for this fall - as you know, it will change as the season progresses and will inform you on my upcoming finds. In the next few weeks I will try to deliver the  Pre-Fall 2010 Coming Of Age collection in its entirety, so we could give these patches of leather their new life...

In the case you'd like to know more - **Useful links on leather and leatherwork: **
Tandy Leather Factory

Zack White Leather
Kingsmere Crafts

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