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Our Process Part III: Assembly

Our Process Part III: Assembly

Our assembly: where we breathe life into our vision. After curating our material selection, we prepare our leather, canvas, and hardware. Each design developed in our shop has been meticulously developed by our team. Most are hand drawn and then traced onto a template. In turn, each one has its own custom pattern and measurement, making every component completely different from another. As precise and intentional as we are with selecting our product materials, we continue the same mindset throughout the process of designing, assembling, and finishing our bags.

 

Most begin with a separate interior liner, outfitted with pockets. These are made using a soft, yet durable fabric composed of cotton denim. Arriving on a fabric roll, we trace our templates and use a fabric saw to hand cut each panel and pocket. Once sewn complete, they head over to the seamstress bins located in between sewing tables for easy access. Here, they await the fabrication of the bags exterior and the moment they are sewn together.
 If a bag design requires a leather base, it is cut at the leather press according to the necessary size. The cut waxed canvas panels accompany the leather base to construct the body of the bag. Brought to the sewing tables in stacks, the exterior fabrication begins. All designs outfitted with necessary leather labels and bottoms along with canvas panels and pockets – this is where the puzzle pieces begin to take shape. Once the exterior of the bag is complete, these shells are stacked and taken to our hardware table.
 
If the design has exterior pockets, hand punched holes are cut out of the canvas. Each hole receives a leather washer and hammered copper rivet to secure sewn pockets with a bit of extra reinforcement. We cushion the copper rivets with a small circular cut leather washer, ensuring the fabric of each bag is protected from direct contact with the hardware.  After each hole has been punched and fitted with hardware, the exterior heads back to the seamstress table to join the denim interior liner and finish with a zipper. 
Once the last seam is sewn, each bag makes its final trip back to hardware.
Our leather arrives tanned in its original hide shape. Each wallet style, logo, handle, strap, belt, and bag bottom are cut using custom made dies. Each cut is made by inserting the die into the clicker press. Once pressed, most pieces go through additional fine tuning to bevel the edges for a clean smooth touch. At this hardware table, the bags are completely finished. Every strap is outfitted with an adjustable buckle and swivel snap closures. Handles are secured to the top exterior with additional leather washers and copper rivets. Final inspection begins as the edges of leather cuts are observed for a smooth edge and lose threads are finished with a flame. Each bag gets a final blow of compressed air to remove any cut threads or frays of leather.

Standing back to appreciate the beautiful assembly of a team that produces an equally stunning product is what makes each bag worthy of the craft. The moment simply cannot be replicated by a machine or single maker. It is our dependency on each of our crew members and skill within our trade that makes each day in the shop better than the last. Anticipating a multitude of years to come, our bags and leather goods are uniquely created from our hands to yours as each hide of leather or roll of canvas is different than the next. Our designs and templates may be replicated throughout the day, but not one North End Bag is exactly like another, making this an exceptional everyday item to be appreciated for years to come.

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