If you are familiar with the work from Teranishi Handcrafted, you’re probably aware that they sell individually handcrafted, made-to-order leather goods rather than ‘products’. Everything is designed and made in a small studio in Vashon Island, WA with an incredible and consistent attention to detail.
Second Indigo Collection (Clockwise from Top Left: Bifold, Gradient Bifold, Tuck Wallet, Key Fob, & Glasses Case)
It’s no surprise then to see these characteristics carrying over in a recently released iteration of their Indigo Collection. Comprised of five different pieces, it is a limited and experimental run of leather goods which have all been dyed using natural indigo. This process is exclusive to Teranishi Handcrafted and has been ongoing for many months, so it’s really exciting to see such wonderful results!
Dip-Dyed Gradient Bifold (Vegetable Tanned Leather)
This second collection consists of familiar favorites from Teranishi: the minimalist bifold, glasses case, tuck wallet, and key fob. Aside from the gradient bifold, each piece is crafted from Horween Chromexcel which is prized for it’s dynamic visual and tactile properties.
Indigo-Dyed Linen Thread From the Vat
The leather and linen thread is dyed by hand in a vat of natural indigo. Once completely saturated, these materials achieve the rich and unrivaled blue that set this collection apart from other leather goods. After dyeing, the linen thread is coated with natural beeswax for posterity and the pieces can be stitched or assembled.
It’s worth pointing out that this project is ongoing, so be sure to check the Teranishi Handcrafted blog for details and updates on future works. In the meantime scroll through the gallery below for more images of the current collection – including some shots from the studio.
- Waxing Thread by Hand
- Indigo Glasses Case & Protective Bag
- Gradient Bifold Components Fresh From the Vat
- Clockwise from Top Left: Bifold, Gradient Bifold, Tuck Wallet, Key Fob, & Glasses Case
- Dip-Dyed Gradient Bifold (Vegetable Tanned Leather)
- Indigo-Dyed Linen Thread From the Vat
Joshu + Vela is an emerging outfit in San Francisco which produces some of the most carefully considered bags and leather goods out there. While their mantra is to “highlight the beauty of function by creating simple and well made goods,” one would only need to interact directly with any of their products to understand the emphasis they place on quality. Though I wasn’t able to make the trip out, my cousin Rebecca was lucky enough to meet with Noah of Joshu + Vela in their studio to gain some insights into their brand and their process, which she detailed below:
Joshu + Vela – In the Studio
One way of characterizing the brand as a whole is the idea of intimacy. Everything in their studio is made entirely by hand with the best materials available. In addition to custom-cast hardware and vegetable dyes, they source domestically grown organic cotton from Herbert Rice Fabrics Inc in NY, which has been in operation since the 1800’s. The manufacturing process relies on pharmaceutical grade waxes and oils for finishing, and thus is completely free of hazardous solvents. Similarly, they source 100% vegetable dyed leather from animals already marked for consumption in an effort to reduce their environmental footprint.
When it comes to producing their goods, the team at Joshu + Vela employs a plethora of different hand tools, eight vintage sewing machines, and an 80 year-old rivet setter. This reliance on antiquated machinery demonstrates that the underlying concern of the brand as a whole is not maximizing output, but creating small quantities of goods, which can endure the tests of time.
Joshu + Vela – Backpack & Large Tote
Although their line features a variety of different pieces, the entire collection is aligned by simple aesthetics and utilitarian designs. Branding is kept to a minimum and unnecessary lines are kept at bay. All in all, everything is clean and classic, but ultimately built to be used.
Be sure to take a gander though the gallery below to check out some of their collection and some glimpses into their workspace. Also, stay up to date on their upcoming releases by periodically visiting their website.
- Joshu + Vela - Large Tote
- Joshu + Vela - In the Studio
- Joshu + Vela - Market Tote
- Joshu + Vela - Backpack & Large Tote
- Joshu + Vela - Vintage Sewing Machine
- Joshu + Vela - Navy Backpack
A key fob can be an extremely personal thing. Catering to a discerning market, Truman Handcrafted recently released a set of key rings which offer interchangeable clasps depending on user preference. You can either go with a spring gate ring clasp, a swivel head head spring clasp, or you can do it the right way and get both to suit whatever mood you find yourself in. (And for the smokers and arsonists out there, you can even purchase a stainless-steel mini lighter to go with it.) The key fob features nickel plated hardware and natural vegetable-tanned leather from PA. Straight and simple. Click on the images below for a closer look.