Creating one of our bags is a laborious yet very exciting journey. It starts with an idea in the designer’s mind and ends when the bag is ready to ship to its customer. At ten°cloudy the designer is also the principal maker and the buyer of the materials, which means that each of these roles and the related work and experiences interplay to provide further inspiration for our creations. This inspiration may come from new materials and fittings spotted at a fashion fair, from new techniques employed to create leather bags, of from the discovery of the perfect proportions for a new bag or design element.
Patterns and mock ups
The process begins with outlines and sketches of what will eventually become a new bag. Next, the initial design ideas technical patterns are calculated and drawn up, based on the sketches. These patterns are used to cut and construct paper mock-ups of a new bag. Several mock ups are required before the designer is satisfied that the design and construction of each object are sufficiently advanced, and the creation process may continue to the next stage – prototyping.
Prototyping is a key engineering stage, and this is the first phase when real materials are chosen and used. Prototyping allows the designer to see how a bag actually looks and feels in real life, to understand and analyse its weight, volume, appearance and the interaction of materials and accessories.
Each prototype is carefully constructed from a specially selected combination of leathers (usually vegetable tanned), fabrics, zips (mostly RIRI), backing, linings, fittings, and trimmings. Due to our demanding quality standards, at least two prototypes are usually required before a final version is chosen (after which adjustments are made to the patterns and the selection of production elements). Each prototype is created in collaboration with the well-known sample maker and handbag technologist Stephanie Freude.
A reworked technical pattern is produced based on the final prototype. This is when the work on the actual bags that will be sold to our customers starts. Manufacturing of a single bag involves many steps. We work only on German or Italian machines, with British and French hand tools. The bags are produced in very small batches. Each batch takes several days to manufacture, and only then are the bags ready to be shipped to you.
We carefully inspect every single article we produce at each stage of manufacturing in order to ensure that it meets your high expectations.
Typically, the manufacturing process will include:
- cutting leather and other materials
- skiving parts of the leathers in order to achieve the required thickness and smooth seams between different materials
- gluing padding or backing to the cut pieces
- painting and polishing the edges of the bag and strap using the finest Italian and Japanese paints (usually, not less than four finishes)
- adding pockets and other outer components
- sewing the outer body
- sewing the inner components and lining
- assembling the elements and closing the bag
- attaching tags, accessories or additional trimmings
- buffing, cleaning, packing the bag