The most fundamental characteristic of any RU masterpiece is that it has been locally handcrafted, but what exactly does that entail?
Well, the masterpiece has to be put together, right?
It has to be stitched together – Saddle Stitched, in fact!
So let’s saddle up and break this down!
Tracking back to 2011, when RU was founded, Erin-Lee and Chad Petersen watched a couple thousand online videos on how to handstitch, and fast forwarding to 2018, there are a handful of artisans in our workshop who have now been equipped with the skill of Saddle Stitching, among so many others!
Saddle stitching is the strongest stitch known to mankind, and this is part of how we guarantee our RU Humans a relationship of at least 10 years with each masterpiece!
It is a rather complicated and timeous process, but it has become second nature to our artisans, so much so that a billfold only takes 9 minutes to stitch together! Putting the ‘art’ in artisan, don’t you think?
Waxed thread is used to stitch each piece of leather together, and the reason for using waxed thread is because of how easy it is to thread through the tiny holes, and how strong it is!
Made up of multiple strands of synthetic material, waxed thread is heavier and stronger than cotton thread, which can break or, in some instances, even begin to rot! (We’ve previously spoken about decomposition, and that is not a trend we’d like to follow, thank you!)
The process begins by preparing the pieces to be stitched together – using a chisel to punch holes into the leather along the edges where the thread will go through.
Then, using two leather needles, we thread the waxed thread! (The length of the thread is dependent on the masterpiece being created.)
One end of the thread goes through the eye of the needle, and the sharp end of the needle goes through a few thread strands a few cm below, and is then pulled up over the eye, tightened and twisted! (Twisting makes the thread stronger and lessens the chances of the thread coming apart!)
Each end of the thread will have a needle on it – and then we begin!
The actual stitching part can be confusing at first, but once the motion is grasped, we Saddle up and Stitch forth!
The thread is pulled through the first hole so that the thread on either side, with a needle on each end, is of the same length.
Threading the first needle through the first hole, the second needle through the next hole, and then back into the previous hole, next to the other thread without piercing the strands…and repeat…and again… until the very end.
Once the stitching has been complete, the threads are backstitched (or back threaded) and tied as tightly as possible and finished off by being burnt to secure it from coming undone! (For the next 10 years!)
This, dear RU Humans, is a fundamental part of why each of our masterpieces are so special – the time put in and the attention to quality and detail paid on each piece is priceless and it is all for YOU!