‘Quality, style and wisdom never date – they only gain character’
THE MAKING OF A FERIAN BAG
Drawings and proto-types are intensively trialled to attain perfect proportion, function and detail to accord with the timeless spirit that defines Ferian. We rely on the close collaboration, skill and generations of experience from dedicated craftspeople in leather finishing, metal casting and manufacture to produce the highest quality British goods.
Ferian leather is full grain and we strive to source from Europe the most naturally flawless hides available. France in particular is considered the finest supplier in the world due to the fact that cattle farms in France do not tolerate barbed wire, one of the leading causes of marks and scratches. Each bag will have its own individual character owing to the uniqueness of skin and hand finishing of all materials. As a natural product there will be a certain degree of character to the leather which should not be considered a fault but proof of the authenticity of our bags.
Tanning and Colouring
Ferian uses centuries old vegetable tanning not only because it is the most environmentally responsible tanning but also because this gentle process retains a tighter, more integrated, fibre structure resulting in our bags softening and improving with wear. The skins are slow-tanned for thirty days before being dyed by a third generation Worcestershire equestrian leather finisher (less than fifty miles from our factory) with natural oils to create Ferian’s characteristic, supple, tender feel. A very light colour coat is applied to enhance the dyed-through colour and to protect the surface grain. The hides are then finished with a mix of natural tallows, oils and wax, applied by hand, to achieve Ferian’s naturally soft, tactile surface. Unlike coated leathers, if the bag is lightly scratched the ‘graze’ can be ‘healed’ by a gentle polish.
English Bridle leather is used for the straps and adjusters. Bridle leather was originally developed for horses’ harnesses and needed to be gentle on the animal’s skin, while being strong and durable as the rider’s life depended on it not failing. The best English Bridle leather should be smooth to the touch and flexible to handle. The surface is hand greased with a blend of natural tallows and oils to achieve the classic polished shine. After greasing, the leather can possess what appears to be a white covering across the surface. This is known as ‘bloom’.
This is a true characteristic of superior quality English Bridle leather. The cause of this white coating derives from the natural waxes and oils rising to the surface of the grain. Lightly buff or brush the white excess away and you will be left with a first class, shiny Bridle surface.
CRAFTING OF THE BAG
It take many years to become a ‘lornier’ (the traditional name for a skilled leatherworker). They are trained by a master craftman and work on small pieces before progressing to a full bag. Our bags are bench made by a group of 4 – 5 people. First the leather is inspected and the ‘cuts’ are chosen to suit the various panels of the bags. Our bags are made with very few seams, the simplicity which appeals to the eye also makes for a very strong bag with less stress points. The large panels mean we have have to use top quality hides as it doesn’t allow us to cut around imperfections. The bags are sewn with cotton thread for strength. We use a short stitch length for neatness and durability. Our bags are semi-lined in the same skin. This makes them beautiful and tough. The linings are ‘skived’ (pared) down from the body leather. We don’t use any kind of card or stiffener as this can deteriorate causing cracks and instability.
These quality materials will age in timely sympathy to ensure they loyally serve generations of stylish owners and weather the changing tides of fashion.
BUCKLES AND CLOSURES
The hardware on our bags has been thoughtfully designed to complement the proportions of the bags. Symbolising England, the Ferian insignia is engraved on hand modelled fittings cast in solid solid brass using the lost wax process by Ferian’s London foundary. The brass is unlaquered and is intended to oxidise, adding character to your Ferian bag, but the original gleam can be restored with brass polish avoiding contact with the leather.
Our brass and silver jewellery is made by the same lost wax process and is assembled by hand in London.