As well as producing a tried and tested range of quality leather accessories, we're always thinking about ideas for new product lines that we can develop to keep our products fresh, keep our skills honed, and develop new relationships with quality makers.
To that end, Colville Leather has recently teamed up with the enterprising Harry at Handbuilt By to craft a new bag made of a combination of wood and leather.
Handbuilt By are another jewel in the crown of Devon's artisanal scene. They specialise in quality furniture and home decor borne out of a desire to live with minimal impact on the environment. Wherever possible they use reclaimed and sustainable materials in an effort to keep their carbon footprint to a minimum.
Making the prototype for our wood and leather bag
Here's a photo of the very first prototype we mocked up:
The outer material for this prototype is a piece of skived leather. It's encasing a couple of pine wood sides. We'll be using different materials in the final product, but this prototype serves well to envisage how the bag will come together.
The bags will be finished with our joint maker's mark, of course, highlighting the team effort that went into this project.
A prototype is a great way to mock up an initial version of a new product. It helps you to bring the image inside your head, or on your drawing board, into the real world.
It's not until you see an execution of your initial idea that you begin to understand what works well and what may need rethinking.
A prototype gives you an opportunity to troubleshoot potential challenges. For instance, we found one of the main stumbling blocks was exactly how to hold the leather and wood together in a way that lasts.
In the end we decided to go with a very strong contact adhesive, backed up with solid-brass screws to give extra durability. They also make a nice additional feature to add personality and style to the bag.
What will the finished product look like?
When it comes to the final product, the prototype will get an upgrade using the finest materials we can get our hands on. A product may well be greater than the sum of its parts, but conversely it's only going to be as good as the quality of each individual element its made of.
The leather we're going to use for the final product is Horween Derby Leather, sourced from America's famous Horween tannery where they make world renowned leathers.
We'll say goodbye to the pine wood and switch up to quality Indian Rose Wood, that in a previous life was an old TV stand. Like Colville Leather, Harry is concerned about sustainability. That's why he insists on only using reclaimed wood in his work, just like we use as many organic and sustainable materials as we possibly can.
Throughout the bag we're going to use solid-brass hardware, though we're still threshing out the style details.
We hope this post has given you an insightful look into the process we go through when developing new products.
If you want to stay up to date with this project why not sign up to our newsletter where you'll get all the latest updates about our projects?