Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Bison Leather - Real New Frontiers

Bison, source Wikipedia (via Google Images)

Bison leather is revered for its strength and durability. Saddlery, military gear and work aids are built from it more often, than other leathers. Perhaps because of its most common uses, it has been somewhat under-represented in the independent accessory community. It has been commonly associated with men’s’ goods, straps, steampunk or costume design. Women’s designers seem to stray away from the industrial nature of bison.
Distressed/ waxed upholstery grade. Source Buffalo Leather Store

Also, many finishes of the leather were not that visually different from any heavier cowhide, or other upholstery pieces. Oftentimes bison would be oil-treated, which is gorgeous, but really heavy; or finished and somewhat ordinary, resulting in just a heavier version of its more common upholstery cousins, rather than a unique, specialty material.

Seeking new looks and finishes for our upcoming Collection, I decided to finally re-visit a local family tannery I’ve been in touch for years. They specialize in BC sourced wild leathers, and, not being too impressed with bison (or other wild) pieces I’ve scouted elsewhere, I gave them a try, and was astonished by what I found.

Natural grain heavy garment. Pronounced grain is amazing...

What they have is truly special - a bare, full grained and pliable leather, of a wonderful natural, imperfect finish, that needs no enhancements from a designer. In fact, inspired by their leathers, I tuned down and minimalized my sketches to accommodate for what’s already so naturally amazing.
It is the leather itself, that dictates the design, and I am just there to serve it.

Fragments/ details of the upcoming styles

Fragments/ details of the upcoming styles

Those of you, who visited our booth this Holiday show season, got the first look at the early releases, and we are thrilled with your emotional reaction towards our completely locally sourced/ grown/designed and produced pieces of a high strength and aspiration.

Three locally tanned bison and elk handbag designs (alongside three new other styles and the Permanent Collection) will launch in early Fall 2014.

Posted by Jolanta

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