Customers often have difficulty believing that we do not use any form of sewing machine !
We have tried a couple of old saddlery machines which didn’t do the job very well at all.
We then bought a very expensive and well known brand of machine which is produced to imitate the appearance of hand stitching.
This machine was only capable of a very rough and inaccurate stitch and could only handle modern nylon thread which is not our style at all.
The standard of engineering and quality left a lot to be desired and buying the machine was an expensive mistake.
We have slowly come to realise that what we do best is hand stitching.
The quality of hand stitching that we achieve is one of the things that our fobs are known for worldwide. Hand stitching is what we do – and we no longer hanker after a leather stitching machine which will do the same job – after many years searching we have found that there isn’t one out there!
The stitching is carried out entirely by hand with the leather keyfob clamped firmly in the wooden jaws of an antique sewing horse held between the stitcher’s knees. The position of the stitches has already been marked out and the perforations for the needles are made in the leather by hand with a diamond bladed stitcher’s awl.
Two needles are then used simultaneously to produce a locked saddle stitch ( which a machine cannot replicate anyway ) The stitch is locked internally within the leather which would prevent un- ravelling of the stitches in the highly unlikely event of the thread becoming broken at a later date. The thread used is Irish linen thread which is lubricated with beeswax to facilitate the stitching process. Stitching tension is under the complete control of the stitcher.
Machine stitched leather will almost always carry the witness mark of the machine’s walking foot – this is the mechanical serrated ‘foot’ which engages with the leather and moves the workpiece along as stitching progresses. You will not notice that mark on our keyfobs. Finally our hand stitching is finished off with a couple of back stitches which you will see – if you look carefully – usually at the base of the keyfob. This is the proof that the keyfob hsa been hand stitched. A sewing machine cannot replicate this. The stitching can be carried out in the same colour as the leather ~ just as they always were. This is particularly appropriate for an original car or for one restored to original spec.
Stitching can also be specified in any colour you like ~ generally picking up one of the colours in the enamel. This can give a more contemporary apprearance – updating the key ring – just as many owners sympathetically update their classic cars to keep them abreast of 21st century developments and technology.