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Bespoke Leather Process Handmade Leather Purse Hair on Hide Made in America low (1).jpg

Process


Beargrass Leather takes great pride in the process it takes to produce a one-of-a-kind leather item.

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Process


Beargrass Leather takes great pride in the process it takes to produce a one-of-a-kind leather item.

At Beargrass Leather, our process makes our leather goods stand out.  Our products are made by hand, in the USA, from full-grain leather.  

Beargrass Leather goods start with leather selection.  A majority of our leather is tanned in America:  Horween, Seidel, and S.B. Foot.  We enjoy leather with lots of character, like hair on hide cow or bison.  After leather is selected based on temper, color, and thickness, we begin to shape, glue, and chisel.  

This wallet has been cut and glued by hand (with no template).  Now, Sam is using a stitching chisel to punch the stitching holes.

This wallet has been cut and glued by hand (with no template).  Now, Sam is using a stitching chisel to punch the stitching holes.

Leather cement is used to hold everything tight for the stitching chisel (shown above) and stitching.  Most people ask what type of sewing machine we must use.  We reply, "our hands."

Ultimately, the stitching is what makes Beargrass Leather different.  It takes time -- lots of time, but every item is more durable for the effort. We essentially use the traditional saddle stitch (two concurrent running stitches).  Should a stitch break, it will stay in place.  

Our thread is thicker (1.0 mm) than any leather sewing machine can stitch.  It is nearly seven to ten times thicker than a standard Singer sewing machine cotton thread.  It is almost always a waxed polyester thread that is made in Maine for its durability and UV resistance.

Finally, some finishing touches are applied.  Are they old west, western European, or just west of adorable?  We're not sure, but we like it.  We believe that taking hand-made literally makes for a more durable and unique product.  

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Hand Stitching And Lacing


Each Beargrass Leather item is hand-stitched using timeless saddle stitching techniques.

Hand Stitching And Lacing


Each Beargrass Leather item is hand-stitched using timeless saddle stitching techniques.

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Detail 1:  Hand Stitching

In the age of sewing machines where "time is money," why would we take the time and effort to stitch by hand?  The answer is two fold:  durability and character

First, hand-stitching is more durable.  The traditional leather working stitch is called a "saddle-stitch."  Saddle makers this very day use a saddle stitch for the world's most durable saddles.  Beargrass Leather uses a saddle stitch (or one of its variations).  Most often, we use a decorative crossing saddle stitch.  Each stitch is actually two stitches, binding against the other in unison. The standard Beargrass Leather thread is made in America and is 100% to 200% larger in diameter than most machine thread.  We strive for one continuous thread per stitch run which can result in working with up to 50 feet of thread at a time (such as a gusset or strap).  

Second, the decorative saddle stitch yields mountains of character.  The uniqueness of our cross-stitch ensures that Beargrass Leather products are truly one-of-a-kind, functional pieces of art.

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Detail 2:  Lacing

Leather lacing is an old-world skill that still possesses a rustic aesthetic.  Beargrass Leather enjoys the creativity that lace can add to a leather good.  Lace can be braided, woven, tied into decorative bows, or stitched.  Decorative bows, if left with long tag ends can be very feminine, yet short tag ends mimic barbed wire -- which can be seen throughout Montana's ranch lands.