As you know, Kevin…the great outdoorsman, and his trusty sidekick Rusty never ceases to amaze us with finds only great hunters like them can wrangle up!!
This adventure might top the list! You may not be aware that Southwestern Missouri once had a great many Elk, an ancient herd that somehow vanished without a trace under mysterious circumstances. Legend had it that the herd was holed up in a secret valley in the middle of the Mark Twain Forest that was only accessible through a secret cave entrance. It turned out that the entrance to that cave was behind Kevin’s house! One morning, his wife’s dumb dog made the normal morning doody trip out back and discovered the entrance behind a bush. And from the depths of the cave there came a bellow that sent that dumb dog sailing into momma’s arms as though she had been bitten!!
Well as soon as Kevin heard the news he roused Rusty to meet him there just as soon as possible. Lantern in one hand and his trusty sling shot in the other Rusty rode up in a hurry on his valiant steed named Speedy! Stupid dog had discovered the “lost herd”!!!
As you can imagine as soon as the herd saw Rusty and Kevin, they took off in full stride…. heading for none other…then the Bering Strait…that’s right…they headed to Alaska to make a great escape to Siberia!!!
Well Kevin and Rusty didn’t think twice…they mounted up along with stupid dog and gave chase! As the herd bounced from The Alaskan Peninsula to the Diomede Islands, Kevin, Rusty, and stupid dog were hot on their heels. With temps close to -50 below zero it was only a matter of time…this herd must be stopped…as they headed for the Yenisei River Kevin devised a plan. He pulled from his satchel…his trusty Paul Bunyan flannel shirt, let out his best Tarzan yell (which is sort of pathetic) and he and the blue ox he was riding disappeared over the horizon followed by stupid dog…Rusty was left dumbfounded…(of course).
The next thing you know, Kevin appears driving the entire Elk herd in front of him with stupid dog running around keeping the strays in line. Kevin and Rusty began the long trek home, knowing that they had the monumental job of slaughtering, skinning and distributing meat to the poor in front of them. On the bright side…boy…they’ve got a great bunch of elk leather to sell!
The moral of the story; if an old Iowa transplant and a Missouri hillbilly can’t do it, probably NO one can!!
When a customer sees a beautiful leather purse, they may not notice much beyond the craftsmanship and leather. There are parts of the item that are unseen, unnoticed by the untrained eye, but we know that the products you use behind the scenes to put your amazing projects together are just as important as the leather itself! That’s why we pride ourselves not only on leather, but on things like glue. We want the best for your projects, which is why we’ve brought in a new line of glue that is eco-and shop-friendly!
Sir Clayton, in our latest YouTube video, tells us all about our new, non-smelly, water-based glues from Renia. Gone are the days where everyone suffers the smells of a glue! The earth, and everyone else in your shop, will thank you for it!
First up is Klebfest. Simply apply Klebfest to the flesh side of oil tan leather. You can use our Silicone Flat Brush to achieve a thin layer of glue (you don’t need a lot!). Apply to both sides of the leather you are adhering together and then let dry. After it’s dried, you’ll find a tight and strong bond! This also works for veg tan leathers. Our Klebfest is available here on our website.
Next, is the Aquilim 315, which we offer in three sizes: gallon, 32 ounces, and 8 ounces. This glue is fantastic for veg tans! Clayton likes to use the Renia Small Glue Brush to apply Aquilim. Most of the time you’ll want to place the glue on the flesh side of veg tan leather. If you need to place it on the grain side, rough it up a bit before placing the glue on. Spread this glue on your leather thinly and then wait for it to clear before adhering to another leather. Get Aquilim on our website: available in 1 Gallon, 32 oz., and 8 oz bottles.
Clayton has also tried out the Atom Superglue, which stays flexible when dry. This works great for even oil tan leathers! This product is FLAMMABLE and NOT water-based! All you have to do is simply place the glue on leather and apply pressure for about a minute. This creates a strong, yet flexible bond which is great for leather working! Atom Superglue is here on our website.
Last in our line is a new glue accessory called the TS Boy Glue Pot. This is a handy auto feed glue pot that can hold your glue and brush inside. Once sealed, the glue in the pot and even on your brush will stay wet until you need to use it again! Awesome! Get the TS Boy Glue Pot here.
To see this amazing new line in action, join Clayton in our newest video!
Sometimes a little elbow grease is just want is needed to create usable products from something seemingly useless. Take this leather for instance. Just take a look at it. See all these ugly wrinkles? Looks pretty bad, huh? Some might call this total junk and pitch it, but here at Springfield Leather we like a challenge!
Turns out when you ask Sir Clayton to help figure out how to “fix” wrinkled leather, he can work things out in a jiffy and make a problem just disappear! Who would have thought you could simply iron leather…well maybe it’s not that simple. Let me explain.
Clayton discovered and demonstrates two methods (essentially the same method, but with two different working solutions) of removing wrinkles from leather using a basic household iron.
Method 1) Using straight water in a spray bottle. Spray the water on the back side of a chrome tanned, upholstery leather. Brush the back of the leather, where you sprayed it, to get the water to soak into the leather. Then you simply iron it from the backside. Take a few minutes to let it sit and cool, then turn it over and see the perfectly flat leather!
Method 2) Using 1 part water and 1 part 90% isopropyl alcohol mixed together in a spray bottle. Spray the water on the back side of a chrome tanned, upholstery leather. No need to brush the back to get the water to soak in because the alcohol will help the water absorb faster (it will also evaporate faster, so act fairly fast). Then you simply iron it from the backside. Finish it off the same as Method 1) by allowing it to cool for a few minutes then turn it over and see your handy work!
It’s really that easy and we thank Clayton so much for showing us how! We bring this up because we might have purchased TONS of very wrinkled leather recently, and we’d like to sell it VERY cheap…but it will need to be ironed. So get those irons hot and ready folks- the wrinkled leather is coming.
Trending Colors: Empower your spring line with vibrant hues, as well as some fundamental tried and trues.
New York Fashion Week has rolled out the most trending colors for Spring 2019, and we’re so excited we decided to share!
We hope you enjoy the inspiration!
We’ve checked out their top 15 colors and searched the warehouse and showroom for many corresponding leathers. From odd lots, to kidskins this is about finding those colors that will pop for all your spring fashion.
Under each color swatch, you’ll find links to leathers in the same (or really close to it!) color.
Inventory is limited on a handful of these leathers, so if you see something you like- nab it now!
Add that spice and life to your collection with this medium to dark orange.
It’s finally happened… Kevin has passed the torch on to the next generation. On December 19, 2018 Kevin announced that he’s stepping aside and named Rusty Darnell President and Commander in Chief of Springfield Leather Company!
And no… it’s not because Rusty is his favorite. There are actually a great number of reasons why Rusty Darnell is more than qualified to tackle the undoubtedly daunting task of running a company as unique, diverse, and continually growing as Springfield Leather! Having known Kevin for 25 years and being married to Kevin’s daughter Lindsey, he’s no stranger to this business. In case you’ve been living under a rock and didn’t know this, Rusty has actually been an employee of Springfield Leather Company since 2008 and has worked in just about every department within the company.
During his tenure, Rusty has accumulated plenty of leather and leather processing knowledge. He’s taught himself how to make holsters, wallets, and cases, how to hand stitch, and he’s learned nearly everything there is to know about sewing machines. He’s even made shoes! He’s practiced and mastered the uses of dyes, stains, and finishes, as well as their various application techniques. Saying that Rusty has a vast amount of product knowledge, is actually an understatement. He understands the tanning process almost as well as the tanneries themselves. Like Kevin, he has also established strong relationships with our vendors, and he’s learned hands-on (from the best) how to communicate with them.
The leather/leather processing knowledge Rusty has accrued and the way he is able to articulate how Springfield Leather Company operates is extremely beneficial when it comes to making deals and buying leather! He’s been an integral part of getting many of the fantastic (and less than fantastic) leather deals we’ve been able to offer you. He’s also got a thing for machines… leather processing machines, to be specific. Rusty Darnell has introduced many different facets to our business over the years. The biggest thing yet is the ability to split sides of leather. Purchasing industrial machinery, such as a large leather splitting machine, was never something Springfield Leather had ever considered. Now here we are, splitting leather sides like we know what we’re doing, because thanks to Rusty, we actually do!
Rusty does what it takes to get the job done and is trying to steer us into the modern age. From laser engraving to automated packaging machines, from hot-foil stamping to CNC machinery, from increasing our in-house production to private label production to sourcing custom hardware and tools; Rusty has worked hard, alongside Kevin to bring us to a point that we are pretty much self-sufficient, and there’s even more to come!
It should also be said that it turns out Rusty does pretty well in front of a camera! He’s become a familiar face with leather crafters from all over by sharing his knowledge in our educational videos, alongside Kevin. So to sum it up, Springfield Leather Company now has a new, very well qualified, fearless leader. Congratulations Rusty.
WHAT’S KEVIN DOING? Many of you might be wondering what Kevin plans on doing with himself, now that he’s loosened his grip of the wheel. He’s still the OWNER of Springfield Leather Company. His role will be more along the lines of owner/consultant. But did you know that he is an actual rock hound? It’s true! He loves rocks! He’s been collecting rocks since he was a kid back in Iowa! He’s so knowledgeable, he can look at an unpolished rock and tell you what kind of stone it is. He (along with several other employees) go to Tuscon every year to buy rocks, beads, stones, specimens, etc. It’s actually pretty incredible to think of Kevin, who we all know for his leather knowledge and leather work, as the guy who can tell you the difference between agate and jasper, or if something is quartz or carnelian. He used to do some hand slicing and polishing back in the day, now he has a bunch of machines/saws that cut/slice and polish stones! A couple of those machines are BEASTS! They’re huge and make a ton of racket when he’s running them, but the folks on the Retail Showroom floor don’t seem to mind a single bit!
In all honesty, Kevin will keep doing what he’s always been doing… He’ll continue to help by utilizing his mind-blowing super power! He has the unique ability to make something much more difficult than it actually has to be. He’s had this gift for some time, but he’s spent the last few years really perfecting it! He’ll still come in every day; make leather bundles, help folks, answer his emails, answer the phone, talk to vendors, play with his giant rock machines, play the guitar, lace some wallets, play with his rocks some more, buy leather, sell leather, make ostrich packs, roll leather, buy some more leather. The only difference is that he might go home a little early some days, maybe spend some afternoons doing things he enjoys…like buying leather and rolling leather and selling leather…
Sir Loin’s time with us at SLC started back in September 2018. Rusty and Kevin had just bought a large amount of stuff (“stuff” includes everything from fine leathers, to tables with cow horn legs, to essential hardware— and everything in between), and Sir Loin was part of that stuff!
As we sifted through the new inventory we came across the magnificence which soon came to be known as: Sir Loin.
Since his arrival Sir Loin has been a social media rock star. He even got his name from a Facebook Post- beating out even some of the most pun-filled options like: Beau Vine, Rawhide, and Tiny.
On Tuesday, November 6th, 2018 at 9:02am Sir Loin was knighted with his name tag adornment and remains a mainstay in the SLC showroom to date.
Since Sir Loin is such a celebrity, we decided to have some more fun with him. Introducing the Sir Loin Selfie! Each time you visit our showroom you can enter to win a $10 gift card by doing the following four fun steps:
A while back, we shared some images from a customer, Jason, who used our pre-cut hexagon shapes to make one buzzin’ bag! While we don’t know all of his secrets, we’ve done our best to give you some tips and tools to make a similar bag on your own.
The original bag was a gift for Jason’s wife. Here are some of the things he used and a few we recommend trying to put your spin on this project.
What he definitely used:
Hexagon Shapes – These honey comb shapes are the cornerstone of the project! They make up the main panels of the bag
So, we don’t know exactly how he made it but we asked for help from one of our pros, Clayton, who makes bag prototypes for us all the time!
Color Your Shapes
Use the dye and stains of your choice to transform your shapes! It looks like Jason used a bit of stain or antique paste on some of the yellow pieces for a more rustic look. Add the finish of your choice or leave them natural – no matter what you do, give them time to dry before moving on.
Make the Bag Panels
This bag looks completely hand-stitched and Jason used a cross stitch to make it happen. You’ll need a needle and thread to pull it off. We recommend using a brown waxed thread to do the job!
Cut the Panels
The original design features some hexagons that are cut. Once you have the pieces assembled, you’ll have to make the panels into rectangles or whatever shape you’re going for.
Construct the Bag
It looks like he used brown veg tan for the minor panels and the bottom of the bag. You could buy some that is already dyed or you could dye it yourself! It looks like he reinforced the sides of the bag with the leftover yellow parts of the hexagon shapes – so waste-no-more! You could use a machine or hand stitch the bag together. It looks like he took his time to stitch the whole thing by hand – a true labor of love.
Add the Straps and Bag Feet
Use brown veg tan for straps. He made two straps and used black or gunmetal rivets to attach them to the large panels of the bag. Use the bag feet of your choice. Clayton usually saves the bag feet for last and give the bag a bit of time to settle into its new shape.
Make the Tag
The tag is likely the simplest part of this bag. He used one of the hexagon shapes which was dyed yellow and created a beautiful bee shape. You could stamp or stencil this one – we’re not sure how he went about it. He finished it off with what appears to be the slightest bit of antique paste. You’ll want to add some resist to the shape before following this step.
Make it Your Own
We are confident that we missed some steps and got some things wrong. Plus, we’re sure there are some things you might like to do differently. However, using this simplified line of thinking provided, we believe you have the power to make something very similar to Jason’s design on your own! Did you give it a try? We would love for you share it with us here or on any of our social media platforms!
Our customer, Jason, didn’t have any social media he wanted to plug, but he had a wonderful time making this beautiful bag. His wife took some beautiful photos of this bag, which you can see more of here. Until next time!