Welcome to SLC Research and Development

Look at how to tool leather

Here at SLC there are many people who work very hard day to day to make sure our business runs smoothly. One of those amazing departments here at SLC is our Research and Development team. This team is full of creative and hard working folks. Though they are a fairly small team they are very important to the innovative aspect of our company. Each day they are faced with new possibilities of what to create or design for our customers to enjoy and maybe even dare to duplicate on their own.

Denny tooling leather

On a normal day here at SLC you can walk over to the R & D Department, right next to one of our biggest windows here at our store location, where the sun shines in on a sunny day to find our R & D Department hard at work.

You would see Larissa at her table working on and creating various different products from unique acessories like folding camp chairs and hats to trendy bags, or sturdy holsters, to patterns and templates for our customers to follow. Not only does she create these products but she simultaneously researches new and innovative ideas for future projects.

Larissa working on a new hat pattern

Next you’ll find Denny over at his work table tooling a saddle bag or some Sheridan style belts that are sure to inspire our western style leather creators. Denny teaches leather tooling classes a couple of times a month and has a lifetime full of knowledge when it comes to his craft, he is definitely someone you would go if you had questions about tooling leather or saddle construction.

Check out Denny’s handiwork

Across from Denny you’ll see Brenna putting together the instructions, diagrams and packaging for completed developments and products that go into our customers’ hands. Brenna translates the process from the original crafters’ perspective into an easy to read and follow step by step process. When asked what she likes about working in R & D she said, “We get to create new and exciting products that set us apart from our competitors. Since I design the kits, the best part for me is working with master crafters and breaking down their process for others to learn from. It’s fun seeing new designs made every day.” 

Brenna cheerfully displaying a project diagram she’s been working on

Now we can’t forget Clayton, who oversees the department. Clayton has made many debuts in our SLC Live videos as one of SLC’s craftsmen. One of his most recent being a “How To” on making an Aussie Hat! Clayton doubles as a Director over a couple areas including the Shop and R & D. He oversees current and future products that need to be finalized, fine-tuned, observed or tested before moving forward into the hands of the craftsmen and women who purchase our products. There is always something new to be done in their department and they are quite the creative and open-minded bunch; always ready for something new.

Clayton doing some product analysis on some thread Andrew brought by

Individually this team is extremely talented and open-minded when it comes to creating and crafting new designs and taking on new projects. Often a fellow employee will go over to the R & D Department with an idea for a new template or product and the R & D Department will turn it into a handcrafted and well-made reality while inputing their own spin on it! This team has to stay ahead of the leather trends curve and they work hard to produce and oversee products that our customers will love and use. We are thankful for such a great group of creative hard working folks in our R & D Department and we would definitely not be the same with out them!

Brenna and Larissa teaming up on product constructing

This Easy Scuff Fix Will Make You the Belle of the Ball

Hello everyone! We’ve told you a lot about leather, how to buy it, how it’s graded and even how to make stuff with it, but we haven’t told you a thing about caring for it or restoring it. In this quick how-to, we tested

showroom associate

Jeff’s quick fix for scuffed leather. 

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What You’ll Need 

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Scuffed leather – we used shoes 
Leather Conditioner – we used Bick 4 Leather Conditioner 
Leather Dye – we used Fiebings Leather Dye in USMC Black 
– Paper, plastic or a surface that you can get dirty with dye – we used a plastic grocery bag
Syringe – no needle required! 
Container for mixing 
Gloves and/or dye applicator – we used gloved hands
Soft cotton cloth 


Prep 

Prepare a work space that can get a little dirty. We just used a plastic bag big enough for our shoes. If your project is a bit larger, you may want to lay out paper or go outside. You’ll also want to start off with your gloves on. Prep is totally optional though, if you like the dye a lot, why not spread it around? 😀 

Let’s Get Started 

Mix the dye 
In a container, mix dye and leather conditioner. We used 1/8th cup of leather conditioner and 12 drops of dye (roughly a teaspoon). Essentially, you’re tinting your conditioner because your shoes need the TLC. If your piece needs more pigment, add more dye! The big idea here is that you want more conditioner than dye and if you use Fiebings, a little goes a long way. 

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Apply the dye
You want to carefully apply your mixture to the desired areas. We used gloved hands to apply the paste and gently rub it into the material. You want the conditioner and pigment to penetrate the material but you don’t want to soak it. If you only need a bit, an empty travel-sized spray bottle is a fine way to dispense and store your mixture. 

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Let your mixture sit on the material for at least one hour

Buff away any excess conditioner with a soft cotton cloth and you’re all done! 

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