The Foliage + Hide Story
I am a self taught leather artisan and excited to present what follows!
A jeweller by trade, I opened Lola&Cash in 2011 and have been self employed ever since. I began leather work a few years ago with the idea of starting a luxury dog collar brand called LuxHound. Well, nothing ever came of it (yet!), but I recently rediscovered leather craft and started working with my old tools. I instantly fell in love with this new, but familiar creative process. I find the manufacturing process very relaxing and meditative after a day of working with metal, so it’s jewellery ‘work’ all day and leather ‘work’ all evening. My work is a pure labour of love!
I believe in a ‘less is more’ approach, especially when it comes to handbags, as there is nothing more frustrating to me than a large carry all, where you end up carrying all but can never find a thing. Preferring to leave the house with the bare essentials, has led me to start creating minimalist handbags and leather accessories with uncomplicated, unfussy design.
My focus here is to create a range of quality leather goods, with simplicity at the heart of each piece. Leather handbags can traditionally be quite masculine and mature in look, whereas Foliage+Hide aspires to be young, comfortable & carefree. A bohemian arty feel with that raw leather look!
The Manufacturing Process
All Foliage+Hide leatherwares are handmade by me, using locally sourced cow hides that are byproducts of the food industry. Once a design is perfected in my head, I may draw up patterns (but mostly not) and then I start cutting. Because this is a small scale production, I can still enjoy this casual and fluid way of designing.
After cutting, if I’m feeling adventurous, I may decide to hand dye some vegetable tanned leather into a vivid yellow or whatever colour is on my mind that day. It then gets a protective coat of sealer, as well as a good massage with nourishing leather conditioner.
The design is then assembled and hand stitched by the age-old saddle stitch, using waxed thread for added strength and a lifetime of durability. This is easily the most enjoyable and relaxing part of the process…usually accompanied by some background Netflix and always some wine!
As leather is a natural product, it retains small blemishes, scarring and scratches that the cow experienced during their lifetime. This only adds to the unique natural beauty of each piece! The leather will soften with time and the natural colour hides will develop a darker patina from daily use.
Time is leather’s best friend!