Attention to details is what sets apart good from great. Taking the time to do the small things that others will never notice is what makes a huge difference in our products. That’s why we do things like using as few pieces of leather as possible on our bags and hand stitching anything that we feel needs it. For instance, we hand stitch the handle and top closure hardware on the Gunnar Duffle, doing this adds and hour of labor to each bag, but it makes the handle super sturdy and durable and that’s how we roll.
Fewer seams means less stress points and areas to potentially break or fall apart. For instance our duffles bags use only one piece of leather so there is only one seam. And The Cooper Satchel only has two seams one on either side of the bag. This costs us more in leather but makes for far superior bags.
How important is the stitching on a bag, wallet or other product? VERY! To us it’s one of the most important elements in the quality and construction of our products.
We use a time honored process called saddle stitching for all of our Cooper Satchels, wallets, notebook covers, and other smaller items like the handle and top closure for the Gunnar Duffle. This process got it’s name because it’s the process that’s been used for centuries to stitch horse saddles. Horse saddles take a beating and keep on going for generations. This is how we know we can guarantee our wallets to hold up the same. We use one long piece of thick 3 or 4 strand cord waxed polyester thread (which is the strongest thread you can buy and does not deteriorate in sunlight) and then pass the thread back and forth through the holes creating an overlapping pattern of thread all the way around the seam. Then when we get to the end we double wrap the thread around the end of the layers of leather and then back stitch in the same holes at least 4 times. On our Cooper Satchels we go back 8-10 holes for extra durability. Then we cut off the excess and burnish over the cut off ends so that it can't unravel.
SEWING ON OUR BAGS
When sewing our bags we only use a thick industrial polyester thread just like when we hand stitch. The only difference is that we use an industrial sewing machine for our bags. We go an extra step though, and on high stress points, major seams, starting and stopping points, we double backstitch over these areas to reinforce the seam so that it will never come undone. Most other companies just go a few stitches back on the backstitch. We go 8-10 stitches back on all backstitches to make sure it’s going to stay. This process means that our bags take longer to make and have more cost in labor. But in our opinion there is no other way to make a bag. Then we take a lighter to the end of the thread to burn the ends so that they will not unravel or pull back through.
Our leather starts with hides sourced and tanned in the USA. The quality of leather we use is called Full Grain, it’s the highest quality of leather money can buy. We only use this quality of leather for all the products we make. Our bag leather is a 5-6 oz chrome tanned leather with oils and waxes infused. This creates a wonderful pull up along with adding a water resistant quality that aids in it’s long lasting durability. We use a chrome tanned 9-10 oz latigo leather for all of our straps we use for our belts, shoulder straps and handles. This is also the same leather we use for our Cooper Satchel bags, making it super strong and indestructible. All of our wallets and notebook covers are made with 3-4 oz chrome tanned Horween leather. Horween is one of the oldest tanneries in the US founded in 1905.
Read below for a break down on the different qualities of leather to see why we choose to only use Full Grain leather.
There are 4 different levels of quality in leather. Full Grain, Top Grain, Genuine and Bonded.
What is Full Grain Leather? Full Grain Leather comes from the top layer of the hide which has ALL of the grain, therefore, FULL grain. The natural surface of full grain leather burnishes and beautifies with use. It is the best leather you can buy.
TOP GRAIN LEATHER
What is Top Grain Leather? Top Grain Leather is the second highest grade because it is split from the top layer of blemished hide then sanded and refinished. This is how they get rid of scars and scrapes and light cow brands. Top grain leather does not age nicely with use. It is strong and durable, but not good enough for Go Forth Goods. They sanded off the strongest fibers of the hide leaving mainly the horizontal (easily pulled apart) fibers.
What is Genuine Leather? Genuine leather is the third grade of leather and is produced from the layers of hide that remain after the top is split off for the better grades. The surface is usually refinished (spray painted) to resemble a higher grade. FUN FACT: Genuine leather is the most common leather used in wallets, bags, belts and other products mass produced by major designer brands and is what you typically find in department store leather goods. This is why they break so quickly and don't last even though they are “real” leather. It is impressive to me though how the word “genuine” leather has be come associated with quality leather when it one of the cheapest. That is marketing genius at it’s finest and I myself was once fooled by it. Watch, now you will start noticing now how much of the “Quality” leather goods you look at that are mass produced with a big brand are actually using Genuine leather.
What is Bonded Leather? Bonded leather is the dust and shavings of the leather glued and pressed together. It is the cheapest leather you can get and quite frankly, Junk! Leftover scraps are ground together with glue and resurfaced to look pretty. Bonded leather is weak and falls apart quickly with use. This is also typically labeled “Real Leather”. Don't be fooled.
One of the things that commonly break on a bag is the hardware. So when looking into how to make a bag that we could guarantee for life we knew solid metal hardware was the only way to go.
SOILD BRASS AND COPPER RIVETS
We only use solid brass and copper rivets on our bags. Our totes get solid copper and the rest of our bags, duffles, messengers, rucksacks, Cooper Satchel, etc all get the solid brass. These are 100% solid brass and copper and are attached by hand one at a time by one of our skilled craftsmen. Each one is hand hammered and peened to create an unbreakable bond. This process has been done for hundreds of years and has proven it’s long lasting durability.
YKK SOILD BRASS ZIPPERS
We only use heavy duty YKK solid brass zippers on our bags to insure that they will stand up to the test of time. YKK is know around the world as the best zippers you can buy.
BUCKLES, D-RINGS, SWIVEL CLIPS AND SNAPS
All of these items are also made with solid brass. Even our nickel platted hardware is solid brass underneath. So there is never a worry that your hardware will start to rust over time.
If you have any questions regarding our quality, leather or how we make our goods, please don't hesitate to ask. Email us at Info @ Goforthgoods.com