Leather bags, made with time

Oct 02, 2012

Colombian cow

Land of plenty, Colombia nowadays offers plenty of opportunities. Both of Monsieur London’s founders fell in love with the country while travelling there in 2011. There, craftsmen still work like they used to in the past, in tiny shops, where they teach their craft to younger generation, giving a sense of a strong intergenerational bond and dedicated work ethic.

Stemming from a tradition of extraordinary quality, the Colombian techniques of leather craftsmanship still use only traditional processes to fashion their exquisite goods. The bags are made in a space shared between the boutique and the workshop. Two craftsmen standing behind their workbench, a leather apron tied around their hips and a needle in their hand. Not a single machine is involved in any stage of the process.

The hides selected for our products all come from the workshops of the Restrepo district in Bogota, where all of the tanneries of the capital are to be found. The cowhides are tanned using either a vegetable or mineral technique depending on the quality desired, then delivered to the workshop of our supplier. There, they are handcut, handpunched (to facilitate the passing through of the needle), and then handsewn. A goatskin lining tanned with mineral dye is also added to the bag during the process. The manufacturing process can take up to 90 hours per bag depending on the complexity of the pattern.

Once a bag is finished, it is an absolutely unique and entirely handmade product. The worshop’s owner often says that every one of the bags he makes contains a little bit of his blood and sweat. There is not a single day when the needle does not prick one of his fingers, even if they have been toughened by years of hard labour.

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