For a long time, I was bent on doing bespoke leatherwork. The term bespoke, when used here, implies a certain level of craftsmanship - sealed & finished edges, hand stitching, hand punching, hand-skiving pockets, etc. When a wallet is made in this fashion, the labor that goes into it drives the cost up. For some folks this is okay - they want a bespoke leather wallet, and are willing to pay for it. It really does look and feel beautiful - the value is there.
But after spending the last 3 years selling at flea & artists markets across the country (indoor/outdoor, fancy and humble, LA, Fresno, SF, Manhattan & Brooklyn), what I found is that a lot of folks don't care about the edges. What they do care about is the quality of the leather and the design. So I started assembling my wallets with unfinished edges, at a lower price that still honored the (shorter) labor, materials & overhead, and I could barely keep them stocked.
Currently, I am the only one designing and developing new work, and I am really proud of the wallets I've conceptualized, developed and released. They have been received well, and to tweak a design to offer a second line of accessible, simpler pieces to be released in separate leathers and made with different techniques would negate the purpose of offering great wallets at a lower price point - it would require more time (labor!), more materials, and more tools. If I can cut the labor, impacting the price of the wallets, I can continue to offer the world-class leathers I've sourced for the current collections without modifying designs or cutting quality.
The difference in assembly is huge and cuts the labor down by half, maybe more in some cases, which is why the price difference varies per wallet style.
The process for the Raw Edge Wallet: cut, mark holes, punch holes, press logos, sew.
The process for a Sealed Edge Wallet: cut, press logos, skive pockets & edges, burnish pockets & individual edges, glue pockets, mark, punch & sew pockets, glue panels, mark, punch & sew panels, bunish all sealed edges. Some of this is elongated by waiting for different steps to dry.
Take a look at the photos below to get a sense of the difference in the final look of the edges - sealed vs. raw.
Edison Money Clips with sealed edges. Check out the shine on those sides!
Peralta Passport Holders with raw edges!
Owner & Maker