Crafting a hand-made leather wallet is a laborious task, requiring skills which have been honed over years. There are 33 components and 38 steps to making one of our coat wallets with eight credit card pockets. This is why it takes at least five years to train a committed craftsperson.
We have explained all the steps below on how we make our Bridle Hide Coat Wallet.
Choosing the best quality skins and matching them with the right silk lining is the foundation of a beautiful wallet. Firstly, we carefully select the leather hides and cut 15 leathers without marks or blemishes. Then, 15 silk jacquard pieces, one soft board and two woven fabrics are cut for the lining.
We then split the 15 leather pieces into different thicknesses.
Every edge of the large and small inside pockets, where the leather must be turned, is made even thinner by using a skiving machine. This is followed by carefully embossing the Ettinger logo and the Royal Warrant to HRH Prince of Wales on the selected pockets. The leather edges are then turned onto the lining, pasted with glue and gently hammered to the back of the lining.
The next step is to add a bevelling line to the top of each of the card pockets. The top of the right side card pocket is assembled to the pocket behind. We then machine stitch jacquard lining to finish the credit card pocket and repeat the last two processes until we have seven card pockets.
Pockets waiting to be assembled by our craftsperson
The left side of the credit card pockets need to be squared to make sure they are neat. They are then bound together by using glue and gentle hammering, which is followed by machine stitching of the binding. Our craftsperson then lifts the bound edges carefully to trim back the excess leather by hand.
If you look at the interior of one of our wallets and look at where the leather folds, there is an outside rim that turns over. We turn that and trim it back to 4mm. I don’t think anyone else in the UK does this. It is time consuming, but the result is a perfect finish.
We then turn to the note pockets and glue and hammer the large left side note pocket to the middle note pocket. The second note pocket is then glued and hammered to the large pocket.
This is followed by gluing the silk lining onto either side of the bend section. Both sides are then machine stitched and the credit card section and note section are glued onto the bend section. The edges are then neatly trimmed down.
The two woven fabric pieces are glued to the outer leather to add softness and the thin soft board piece is glued behind the credit card section to add strength. Then the inside section is attached to the outside section and the leather is turned on all four sides to be machine stitched.
The excess leather edges are carefully trimmed by hand and the ends of stitches are sealed.
Before packing the product, each pocket is checked meticulously with a traditional bone tool to see if there is any excess glue or other faults. If the bone tool is clean after checking, then there is no excess glue. The bridle hide wallet will be polished with wax, fitted with our care card, wrapped in the Ettinger monogrammed tissue paper and boxed in an Ettinger gift box.
And that's how it's done! Watch the film below to see some of these processes in action.