Carl is on his bi-annual vintage furniture buying trip to India; scouring the cities to find original pieces to bring back unique products to our loyal customers. First, he is visiting our suppliers to discuss new leather bag designs. Here’s a little insight about his trip He tells us he’s not just eating curries, sipping chai and drinking Kingfisher beer while talking about cricket, but we’ll see what he comes back with!
“I am in Kolkata, India’s second biggest city, the former capital of British India and head-quarters of the East India Trading Company. It’s a bustling vibrant city with a mix of crumbling classic colonial-era architecture and dynamic modern districts and considered locally as India’s cultural capital. Here I am with DB in their workshop and some of their artisans.”
“Kolkata has a reputation for tanning some of the world’s best leather and has a history, stretching back centuries, for working with leather. Our leather bag makers have their workshop just outside the city centre and meeting them means an opportunity to see their skilled leather workers in action, discuss new ideas and of course drink chai. Mita is makig the ‘D’ ring attachments that join the strap to the body of the bag.” The same leather craftsmen have been making our bags since the beginning, they helped us design our popular Flight Bags.
“Managed by DB and Sanjay they have 12 people working in a variety of roles from leather cutting, a task still done by hand; to pre-sewing preparation, which involves fabricating other parts of the bag; stitching and quality control. Ashru is the workshop supervisor, having worked with leather for over 10 years, having started as a leather cutter.”
“Here is Mukthur making the side panels for our leather satchels. They are stitched to the main body of the bag.” These are easy to see on bags such as our leather Overlanders.
“And here I am skiving! And not doing such a good job! Skiving is reducing the thickness of the edge of piece of leather. Typically it’s done where two pieces are joined It’s best done by experts!”
“This is DB co-owner of our leather bag makers. He employs 12 people at their workshop.”
“Here’s Laltu, he is the designer and sample maker. He has over 15 years experience in working with leather. Becoming a designer and sample maker requires many years of experience of all aspects of leather working. Laltu has been working with us for over 4 years and knows all our bags inside out. He is responsible for many of our new designs, including our leather tote.”
“Meeting our makers is not just about seeing them at work, but an opportunity to meet and see their suppliers and visit their tannery. I visited their textile supplier, a traditional screen printer and a canvas trader to see hundreds of thousands of yards of fabrics for bags and home interiors: beautiful brightly coloured silks, screen printed floral designs, simple patterned cottons. We will share some of our exciting new designs and ideas over the next few months but for now, here’s a sneak peek at one of our new bags!”