In the first Bag Story, we looked at the conceptualization and initial design and construction process of the dream bag. In this piece, we look at the final steps of completion – the artisans’ last touches to finish the dream bag.
After the pieces were punched out using the 43 different molds, we thought it was time to sew; but there were many dire steps to prepare that followed.
The “Skiving” Process.
The pieces must be prepared accordingly with a before sewing could begin. The first being the “skiving” process. Here the artisan thins out the edges of the vegan material with his chisel in uniform fashion, making sure each edge has the desired thickness in order to bond all the pieces together seamlessly down to the inner lining.
The artisan doesn’t thin them out just once – each individual piece is thinned again around the outer edge so they can be folded and sewn with ease. Shaving each edge requires perfect control- guiding just the edge of each piece through the skiving machine and moving the piece with the curves – one mistake could leave the piece unusable. Therefore, only an experienced and skilled craftsman could handle this, for all 90 pieces for each bag. Such a meticulous and painstaking process and we could not help but admire the remarkable skill and perseverance that it meant to be a craftsman of this caliber.
A Matter of Speed and Accuracy
After the skiving is finished, the pieces must be reinforced with interlining, using a specific tacky glue that dries quickly. To paste the interlining and bond the pieces together, speed and accuracy are of the essence.
Time for the craftsmen to shine!
Now, we take a look at “Edge folding”. This process is all finished by hand, relying on only the craftsman’s hands, his tools and a lot of his time. Each edge is carefully folded to the desired shape The edges of the materials are carefully bent to create the desired line, and with curves the edges have to be pleated ever so finely for a natural, beautiful finish inside and out. This folding and pleating requires impeccable patience, and calls for the craftsman’s skills and aesthetic sense to shine through.
Meticulous Attention to Detail
Once the edges are folded, then it is time to start putting each piece together. As each piece varies in thickness, the sewing machine must be altered each time to best suit the individual piece. This step requires technical skills and intuition accumulated through many years of experience.
The Last Step: The “Quality Check”
After the sewing process, each bag is examined for its quality. They are thoroughly checked for lint, faults in the material, distortion, and any other imperfections.
And with the final check, the 29 Pocket Wallet Bag is finished!
Through the craftsmen’s experienced skills and artistry were we able to create the dream bag, and left a deepened respect for Japanese craftsmen, not only for their exquisite skills, but also for their ideology. We hope to be able to support the prosperity of their skills and traditions for generations to come.