To create premium long-lasting products, we first look to the raw materials. Providing a foundation of integrity, the components of the finished product are just as important as the craftsman who assemble it. Our focus therefore begins with our commitment to utilizing the finest genuine leather.
Not all leather is created equally, which is why we went through a years long process to research the best leather tanneries to produce leather which is optimized for our products. Starting with the raw leather hide, we carefully select each piece based on various characteristics like it's grain, thickness, consistency, and overall look. We use full-grain calfskin leather for our core collection of pebbled leather products which is the highest grade available and ensures the leather is as strong as possible. Since full-grain leather is not altered from it's original condition, there can be minor variations in the grain throughout the hide, which is indicative of it's natural state. Such variations we celebrate as natural characteristics and thus make each product unique in it's own way. Ensuring quality control of the raw leather is of the utmost importance, as it sets the stage for what we have to work with in production.
Once the leather hides are selected there is a multiple step process to turn the raw leather into a finished leather hide suitable for production. These first stages of processing involve preparatory steps to clean the hide by removing any excess debris or grease and making it stable by curing the hide to avoid bacterial growth or decay. Through multiple soaking processes involving salt, water, and chemical components, the hide will become clean and stable which is known as tanning. By using chrome tanning, the leather becomes more soft and supple, enhancing the natural elements of the material. Each step of the preparation is crucial as it prepares the collagen in the hide for proper penetration of tanning agents and dyes in the latter part of the hide processing. During the dying process, leather hides are soaked in a dye bath which allows the coloring to fully and evenly penetrate the leather, and hides can then be laid to dry. Finally, the leather hides may be treated with a conditioner to maintain their soft character and/or a sealant to protect from wear and tear. Before hides are moved into production, a final quality control check is performed to check for any tears or imperfections that may not qualify for a finished product.
Production of Leather Goods
After the leather hides are inspected and ready for production, our artisans use strict standards to determine which parts of the hides are used and measurements are taken to calculate yields for specific products being produced. For example, a leather bifold wallet may require a thicker part of the leather to support the free-form structure of the wallet, so careful consideration is taken during this stage to identify which parts of the leather hides will be allotted to each product type and element. The leather is cut using brass dies to maintain consistency across units, and then may be skivved, adhered, burnished, hammered, and/or sewn to achieve the finished leather product.
As the core component of the Michael Louis collection, using genuine top-grade leathers is essential to our products. Throughout the entire leather sourcing and production processes we see the end in sight, maintaining uncompromising values and procedures to guarantee exceptional leather accessories.