HANDMADE means HANDMADE
No embossing machines or stamping/tooling devices are used in ANY of our products!
All of the products built at Grady Douglass Custom Leather are 100% handmade. The leather starts as a "side", which is half of a tanned cowhide and how the leather is received from the factory. All products are built using only the best materials - Hermann Oak Leather. From there, it is cut by hand to the appropriate shape and size. After that, the desired design is drawn free-handed ONTO the leather either with pencil or a stylus and then carved and tooled by hand with a wide array of different tools. Following tooling or stamping, all dyes and paints are applied by hand using a very fine tipped paintbrush.
After paints and dyes, nearly all projects are lined with another piece of leather so produce a "finished" look and feel to both sides of the project. Naturally, leather has a "smooth out" and a "rough out" side. The "smooth out" side was originally the side of the hide that had the hair on it. Through the tanning process, the hair is removed and a nice, smooth side is left underneath. This is the side of the leather that is normally tooled. The opposite side, "flesh side" or "rough out" side, has a rougher finish and typically is not tooled (though in some cases, customers ask for it). To clean up the "rough out" side of the leather, another piece of "smooth out" leather is glued to it to produce a piece with two sides of smooth leather. Once these pieces are glued using a very strong contact cement, they are sewn together using an industrial leather sewing machine. After stitching, the liner leather that was glued on is trimmed to the appropriate size and the edges are then beveled using an "edger". This tool takes the sharp corner off of the leather and gives more of a rounded edge. Once the edges are beveled, the edges are rubbed by hand to a shiny, smooth finish and followed up with a nice coat of dye. The edges now have a very clean, professional look without the "fuzz" that's so common on lesser-made items.
Once the edges are rubbed and dyed, the project will get a healthy coat of oil, will need to dry overnight, and then a couple of types of finishes to give the desired colors and visual will be applied and left to dry overnight again.
After all of this, the project is complete!