More Than Handmade: What Sets Us Apart
Hand-Dyed Heavy Cotton Canvas:
The flagship fabric for my company is heavy artist canvas, hand dyed in small batches to produce rich colors, that are unparalleled in the marketplace. The proprietary techniques I'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 still ask, "What is this?"
Hand-dyeing fabric is a labor intensive, costly process but I believe the results are worth every penny. The canvas is washed between four and six times to produce this wonderful finish. The canvas is 12 oz. or 15 oz. 100% cotton canvas, depending on the application. In comparison, the canvas typically found in chain fabric stores is about 8.4 oz. My canvas is of artist quality and has a even weave free of blemishes.
It is virtually impossible to keep newly dyed cotton from bleeding - even Levi Strauss hasn't figured out how to do this and they have been making blue jeans since 1853! Still, we try by washing all our dyed fabrics with a commercial grade product that stabilized the color. We recommend spot cleaning gently with warm water and a cotton swab or a damp cloth first to remove spots that are organic, for example, tea, coffee or dirt. Do not rub - just dab! If the spot persists, try dabbing with a mild detergent. When it is time for an overall cleaning, wash by hand with a mild detergent in cold water, lay flat to dry and press with a steam iron, if desired.
I like to use batik cotton for the lining of handbags and face masks. What is it exactly? Here's what Wikipedia has to say:
"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."
There are different types of batik fabrics, but the ones I exclusively use are made of cambric cotton, and come from Indonesia, which is one of the finest lightweight weaves in the world. Indian batik is gaining popularity in fabric stores and online but it is not made from finely woven cotton.
Cotton Striped Ticking:
Ticking is a cotton textile that is tightly woven for durability. I t pays homage to early America but I think it also has a modern industrial edge.
Our hardware (exclusive of zippers), 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.
I am VERY proud of my zippers! They are sourced from a manufacturer in Japan that buffs and polishes each tooth before hand setting them in a cotton tape and then electroplates the teeth to make a very smooth running metal zipper with less chance of breakage. These brass zippers 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.