We only use the highest quality natural leather from the U.S. as well as German chrome tan and Italian vegetable tanned leathers. All leather tanned in the U.S. is a byproduct of the meat industry.
Vegetable Tanned Leather
Tannin used to tan this leather is found in the bark and leaves of many plants. Hides are stretched on frames and immersed for several weeks in vats of increasing concentrations of tannin. The tannin molecules bind to the leather to make it waterproof, rot resistant and flexible. The final step of the finishing process is tumbling the leather with oils and dye before it is shipped to us.
Canvas is the core material of our products. All canvas we use is 100% cotton and grown in either the U.S., India or Pakistan – the three largest cotton producing countries.
This is simply canvas without any finishing or dyeing – canvas in its natural state.
Our organic canvas is grown in the U.S. by the Texas Organic Cotton Marketing Cooperative. It is milled and woven in South Carolina at a plant that specializes exclusively in organic cotton fabric.
The mellow sheen of Waxwear comes from treating tightly woven canvas with special waxes and oils. As a result, the fabric is resilient, weather-resistant and subject to the same gradual wearing-in as our indigo fabric. Our Waxwear comes directly from Herbert Rice Fabrics, Inc., a New York-based company started by the Martin family in the 1800s. Their secret finishing process is earth-safe: it uses pharmaceutical grade waxes and oils and is completely free of hazardous solvents.
Our water-repellent fabrics are made without the use of formaldehyde or fluoropolymers. The fabric is highly water-resistant, but still has a soft hand. It is finished by Martin Textiles, the best finisher in the U.S.housands-year-old tradition.
All hardware on our bags is solid metal. You will not find any coated or plated metals, and we never use zinc. This means the hardware will last for years and will sheen or patina instead of rubbing or flaking off like a coated metal.
These are solid copper rivets and washer studs. They are the strongest and most difficult to execute fastener on the market. The design for these has not changed since the late 1800s and is currently only used in Western saddle making and electrical worker harnesses. Our copper rivets are made in the U.S. and take five discrete steps to attach to each bag.
Solid brass hardware will patina nicely with age.
Bent Steel Hardware
Made in New Jersey for the U.S. military, steel hardware enjoys a traditional place in men's bags. Steel is stronger and lighter than brass, but not rust-resistant, so dry if exposed to prolonged periods of moisture.
Our canvas bags with leather detailing should only be spot cleaned. To spot clean, blot stains using a damp sponge and a bit of soap. Repeat if necessary. Our all-canvas bags can be washed on gentle with cold water, wrung out and hung to dry. Cold water will prevent the bag from shrinking.
Our waxed fabric products preclude normal cleaning, which means you won’t be able to wash or dry clean it and they are design to wear beautifully without washing. At most, a periodic cleaning with a damp cloth is all that is needed. Bare areas can be refinished with our Martexin Original Wax refinishing compound which can help restore the wax finish. For wax application instructions, please visit: http://archivalclothing.com/tag/martexin/
For stains, spot clean by dabbing the affected area with a damp sponge and mild detergent or saddle soap. For upkeep and waterproofing, pure mink oil is most commonly used, but Neatsfoot oil also works well. When using oils, it is important to keep in mind that they will darken the original color of the leather: mink oil will give a deep, reddish tone and darken the leather to a burnt caramel coloring, while Neatsfool oil will give a soft yellow, light/medium brown tone. After oiling, you can use a leather dressing, such as Obenauf or Pecards.
All indigo dyed products need to be treated separately from any other products. Please note that that color bleeding is normal and to be expected every time the product is cleaned.