Briefcases & Satchels
There was no luck in creating leather briefcases and satchels to last 100 years. They were over-engineered that way. Each detail was planned, all the way to how far apart each stitching hole is. Geek out in more detail at the bottom of this page to understand the depth and richness of the quality details and materials involved in each satchel. We use only the toughest leather there is, line them with extremely strong pigskin and our hardware and thread have the highest tensile strength of any hardware or thread on any briefcase or satchel we know of.
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There are no breakable parts on these leather briefcases like zippers, snaps, buttons, velcro or any other Hello Kitty construction parts. Just hard steel clasps, buckles and d-rings. A billion dollar submarine is a worthless heap of metal if it is designed with a cardboard hatch. And so it is with our satchels.
Full Grain Leather
Close your eyes and imagine a cow being killed. Now imagine it being skinned. Imagine now that thick hide is sent to the tannery to be tanned. But it’s too thick, so they split it in half, the top half from the bottom. Watch our video of how they tan and split it and watch me ride a longhorn bull in my full leather suit too. Now the tannery has two hides to sell to leather briefcase manufacturers. The strong top half of the hide is sold for a lot of money because it still has the top layer of fibers called the “grain”. They are the strongest, densest and most water resistant fibers of the whole hide. The same fibers that protected the cow from harm and that give leather it’s bareknuckle reputation are the same fibers that we use on each of our leather briefcases and satchels. It’s called FULL GRAIN leather because it has the FULL amount of GRAIN on it. Not only is it strong, but it’s a little thicker than boot leather. And then our thick wristed, calloused handed craftsmen make strong and durable leather briefcases with it.
Reinforced Stress Points
Anywhere a leather briefcase could get stress, it gets a double layer of leather cut from the hardest part of the hide (the shoulder or along the back), extra stitching, a rivet to back up the briefcase’s stitching and usually a reinforcing hidden Polyester strap sewn in for good measure. Even the best leather satchels and briefcases have leather that stretches over time (it’s called creep), but polyester strapping does not.
Instead of lining our leather satchels with some shiny pretty nylon fabric that tears, we glued and then sewed on tough smooth pigskin to the back of the briefcases’ already tough and thick full grain leather. Pigskin is not as tough as kangaroo skin, but it is stronger than cow skin and that makes our leather briefcases twice as strong as a normal briefcase or satchel and much longer lasting.
A HUGE DEAL. Building a leather briefcase using 316 Stainless Steel hardware is kind of like killing a fly with a shotgun, but it worked. We’ve never once had a satchel or briefcase have a problem because hardware failed. It’s not Stainless Steel 404 or even 310. It’s Stainless 316 and that’s why it’s a big deal for any briefcase. Please look that up later. If you tell a metallurgist about our 316 Stainless Steel hardware on our briefcases, they'll gasp and then get angry and sometimes they’ll cry. It is expensive and kind of overkill for just a satchel or a briefcase, but if your life had to depend on the hardware of your leather briefcase making it through, you’d want it to depend on ours. Of the 150 types of Stainless Steel we could choose from, ours is rated at an incredible 91 on the Rockwell Hardness Scale. Our briefcase buckles and clasps are rated to hold up to 750 lbs.
316 Stainless is one of the hardest and highest tensile strength metals available and what most high end watches and even Apple's most expensive iPhone bodies are made of. It's expensive but we decided to never have a problem with the hardware of our briefcases and satchels... EVER.
Leather briefcases sewn with low quality nylon thread fall apart fairly quickly because nylon thread is made from a lot of really short fibers that are wound together to make long threads. Those fibers come apart from eachother with not much friction, heat or UV light and then the satchel falls apart. Our expensive German thread was engineered to last a long time. It is made from long continuous filaments of Polyester with no breaks at all. And we use the thick double ought for all of our leather briefcases.
FYI. Polyester is a disaster when fabric is made with it, but great when thread is made with it. In sheets and clothing, it causes bad sleep, infertility and skin rashes, but when a leather briefcase is sewn with it, it causes great rejoicing in your life and big fights in your death.
Only Large Pieces of Leather
HUGE KEY TO STRENGTH: Our leather briefcases and satchels are designed with as few pieces of leather as possible. Usually only two pieces for the body, but sometimes three. This has taken a lot of trying and failing to get the briefcases to look and feel just right, but it was worth it. The reason is because seams are where briefcases always start falling apart. So we designed this leather satchels with as few seams as we could. Check out our fun video on measuring quality by Seam Feet. It will explain what I mean.
SURPRISINGLY IMPORTANT: A sewing machine is actually just a big perforation machine and each hole is the start of a tear. We set our German and Dutch sewing machines to stitch the briefcases at 5 stitches per inch so we could get the needle holes as far apart from eachother as we can without the briefcases looking weird. If the holes are too close together, then the leather tears like a sheet of perforated paper. Most leather briefcases I’ve seen are around 7 stitches per inch. Our leather briefcases are stronger than you’ll ever need it.
Cheap Leather Briefcases and Satchels
Grain is to leather what shingles are to a roof. Imagine you hired someone to put a new roof on your house. They tear off the old shingles and then just paint on new shingles to make it look nice. I’d be mad at them with you. That’s what happens when low quality briefcase manufacturers buy that very cheap bottom half of the hide called split or genuine leather, that doesn’t have grain anymore. The tannery presses it and paints it to look like full grain leather and send companies for their soft little tear stained handed workers to make crap briefcases and satchels with. I made a video to share with them to help them make more money. Check it out here. And then they sell them to fine people who are ignorant of quality leather. And that leather briefcase will dry out before it should because the leather doesn’t have that tough dense top layer to hold moisture in or protect against damage.