The Materials We Use
It took the better part of a year to source materials that met or exceeded our expectations and I believe the effort was worth it. Almost all our suppliers are US businesses that 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 the end result worth it.
Hand-Dyed 100% Cotton Canvas: The flagship fabric for our 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 we 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 a non-ferrous material that is integral to the metals industry because it can be recycled without loss of quality. Our nickel hardware includes swivel hooks, D-rings, and purse feet.
Zippers: I source the best quality metal zippers made in Italy and Japan, but COVID-19 changed that. The family-owned factory in Italy experienced the horrible loss of many family members who died of this terrible disease. The factory in Japan was wiped out by a tsunami, and rather than risking this happening again, they moved the factory to Vietnam. We hope both factories can rebuild to full production as soon as possible so we can support them.
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.