Stitching and Finishing
The Stitching Process
DaVarg articles are saddle stitched. These stitches are made one stitch at a time with two needles and a single thread. These perfectly aligned stitches cannot be made by machines. Each stitch is pulled and set by hand, with the stitch ends locked inside the leather so that it will not unwind over time. Though it takes our craftsmen hours to stitch and finish an article, we consider that time well spent. Our unique stitching process ensures that every stitch is durable and perfectly aligned.
DaVarg Principle: Nº 32
Never let a machine do what man can do better.
Why saddle stitches last a lifetime
Saddle stitches are inherently strong, since the threads cross to both sides of leather pulling and bonding the leather layers with greater tension. Since these are hand made, the stitching can be done with thicker threads to create perfectly uniform stitch lines.
In comparison, machine made lock-stitches use thinner threads that could fit in the sewing machine bobbins. Since each thread stay on same side of leather, they cannot be pulled with equal tension; causing the 'locks' to be uneven within leather layers. The entire lock- stitch could unravel easily when the thread breaks in any of the stitches.
A thread designed for saddle stitching
To create the signature Red-Line stitching, we use a synthetic thread that is much thicker than the threads typically used in leather crafting. Saddles stitching allows us to use thicker threads that cannot be used in sewing machines. The threads we use has a tensile strength in excess of 30 pounds.
The flame red color of thread ensures that the stitching contrasts well with the leather. We chose this color to compliment all 5 shades of Davarg Leather. Crafted by hand, one stitch at a time, the Red-Line stitching creates an elegant signature on every DaVarg article.
We didn't invent saddle-stitching. We perfected it.
DaVarg has perfected this saddle-stitching technique to great precision to create a signature stitching. The term saddle-stitching originated when this hand stitching technique was perfected to make horse saddles that survived the elements in western cattle ranches. With two needles and a thread, skilled craftsmen handstitched leather articles with care and perfection.
This intricate process of hand stitching is the only way of making tough saddles since the thick threads need to be hand-pulled and set with exact tension to bond several leather layers together. Even today, sewing machines still cannot replicate the perfection and durability of hand made saddle stitching. Such larger threads cannot even fit in the sewing machine bobbins.
Preserving the Character of Grain
Conditioning with Leathercare
Once stitched and finished, DaVarg articles go through an aging process. This conditioning is an important step in ensuring the full-grain leather is fully conditioned with folds formed and edges smoothed out. This again also start the maturing process of leather.
The leather is generously coated with EEVEs Conditioning Balm and is held at a temperature of 100F, to ensure the leather absorbs the balm deep into grain. This is done in multiple cycles, and can take days to weeks before the article becomes ready. Due to this conditioning, it is not uncommon to have some residual Balm when we ship them out.
DaVarg edge finishing does more than just coating leather edges. The exposed leather fibers on cut edges are protected with a penetrating edge-coat to maintain the integrity of leather edge.
To develop strong and durable edges, the edges are designed precisely without sharp corners or deep convex curves. After cutting, they are dressed to remove loose corium fibers and then rounded with a burnishing tool. The smooth leather edge is then coated with a matte edge coat. This process does take time—but creates leather edges that compliments the elegance of full-grain leather.
Preserving a Tradition
Handcrafted in the United States
Handcrafting leather in United States is commitment we take seriously. The skills and traditions of western saddlery that is evident in this commitment. From saddle stitching to edge finishing, every article carries these traditions and craftsmanship.