This week, we’re assembling some of the components of our Bridle Compass Lock Briefcase. The assembly station encompasses stages like binding and adding rivets or other hardware to a given bag, and at the moment, gluing is what’s happening. Unlined designs like the Working Tote can skip the glue, but for fully leather-lined ones like the Compass Lock, an adhesive is necessary to ensure the split layers form a tight bond before being stitched.
The process goes something like this in our studio: two coordinating split pieces of bridle leather (the briefcase’s cover, side, or maybe a pocket) are laid out, and one of our artisans carefully applies a thin layer of glue around the edges using a paintbrush. Then, its identical match is placed on top, sealing the unfinished sides together and creating a doubly strong, shiny piece that’s ready to be stitched and thereby made truly permanent.
This can all be trickier than it sounds. If too much glue is painted on it could leak out the sides and ruin the leather, while if there isn’t enough, the layers just might not stick. And, those layers need to be perfectly lined up and even, as otherwise they’ll cause problems down the line and possibly throw off the briefcase’s balance. Like putting together a puzzle, here’s where it all really starts to come together.