It took the better part of a year to source materials that met or exceeded my expectations and I believe the effort was worth it. Almost all our suppliers are US businesses and they excel at what they do. From the cotton canvas with the smooth, flaw-free weave to the handset brass zippers, when you start with quality it makes every day of sewing more pleasurable.
Hand-Dyed 100% Cotton Canvas: The flagship fabric for my company is natural, 100% cotton canvas, hand-dyed in our studio to produce rich colors that are unparalleled in the marketplace. The proprietary techniques we've developed give each bag unique color striations and variations that look almost suede-like. I love it when customers look at the bags and other products with quizzical looks on their faces and then move in closer to touch. Sometimes they'll still ask, "What is this?"
Hand-dyeing fabric is a labor intensive, costly process but I believe the results are worth it. During the dyeing process the fabric is washed four times, goes through a color stabilizing wash, washed again, and then dried to produce a fabric that is soft with a wonderful hand feel.
We use 12 oz. - 15 oz. 100% cotton canvas, depending on the application. In comparison, the canvas typically found in chain fabric stores is about 8.4 oz.
100% Cotton Batik: There are different types of batik cottons, but I favor those hand-produced in Indonesia. Their cotton has the finest lightweight weave in the world. Batiks from other countries are gaining in popularity in fabric stores, but the cotton is inferior. Even non-sewists recognize the beautiful feel of this fabric.
So what is batik? According to Wikipedia,
"Batik is an Indonesian technique of wax-resist dyeing applied to whole cloth. This technique originated from Java, Indonesia. Batik is made either by drawing dots and lines of the resist with a spouted tool called a tjanting or by printing the resist with a copper stamp called a cap."
Cotton Striped Ticking: Ticking is a cotton textile that is tightly woven for durability. Very popular in early colonial America, this 100% cotton fabric is reminiscent of early days but with a modern industrial aesthetic.
Hardware: Our hardware is made of nickel, which is a win-win for the environment and industry. Nickel is an integral part of the metals industry; metals are recycled because of their value and because most can be recycled without loss of quality.This is particularly true of non-ferrous metals such as nickel. Our nickel hardware includes swivel hooks, D-rings, and purse feet.
Zippers: I am VERY proud of my zippers! They are sourced from a manufacturer in Japan that electroplates, polishes and sets each tooth by hand to create a very smooth running metal zipper with less chance of breakage. Unlike other brass zippers, these are plated, not painted and they are tested to ensure they are lead-free.
The zipper pulls are extra long so they are easier to grasp and finally, they even sound like quality when opening and closing. Because of the extra care used to prep the metal, these are my favorites for use in handbags.