22nd May 2019 by Alice Barber
The Cambridge Satchel Company Competition
Country Attire was recently invited and given full access to The Cambridge Satchel Company
factory located in Leicester
, Great Britain, to witness and understand the sheer craftsmanship that goes into creating the perfect bag. Alongside being directed down the factory line, we were given the opportunity to make two special bags, The Mini Satchel
and The Melody
The smaller version of the iconic original satchel bag, The Mini Satchel is perfect for taking you from day to night, with a detachable shoulder strap and an easy to use magnetic closure. A new design for the year of 2019, The Melody is derived from the classic Music Case featuring a traditional bar closure and compact mini design.
As a gift to our loyal customers and true fans of The Cambridge Satchel Company, we will be gifting away these beautiful bags to two lucky winners! Continue reading below about the process of construction for these two popular styles and to enter for your chance to win this unique prize.
Step one started at the rear of the factory where the countless sheet of premium leather hides are stored. Our first major task was to pick the leather hide we would like to use. With plenty of colours, patterns and embossed textures to choose from, it was overwhelming to say the least but we decided on a bright textured yellow and on-trend snake print.
Once our leather hides were selected, each sheet was then carefully inspected under a hot light for any imperfections as leather is a natural product and few irregularities are bound to occur. We were also informed during this stage about the specific cut of the hides, which provides the most sustainable use of the material.
Once the leather is chosen, it is carefully placed on a horse rack carrier and wheeled over to the panel cutting machines to begin constructing each element of the bag. Each style of bag has its own specific collection of stencils which skilled cutters place over the hides and have the task of making the most of the hides by free hand.
The cutter is also provided with a sheet of exactly what cuts need to be made and what hides they have been provided with to ensure all leather usage can be tracked and traced. Once all of the leather panels have been cut, specific components such as the front clasps, are run through a thinning machine for a shorter thickness needed for easier handling and fastening in the finished product.
After the cutting and thinning of the leather, the next stage is embossment. Done by hand, the iconic bicycle logo is embossed onto every bag for a signature finish. This skill of foil embossment is a tricky one, making sure timing and heat are perfectly in line with each other. The Cambridge Satchel Company provides a variety of embossments from the classic logo to initials, heart or cloud shapes to make every bag personal to the individual.
Next along the factory line is the most labour intensive step; glueing together components and adding fastenings, including grommets and magnetic buttons. We had a chance to get hands-on during this stage in pressing together the trims that had been hand-brushed with adhesive glue and will be placed at the front of the bag. The glue is quick drying, but it still takes precision and care to make sure all components are permanently glued together correctly.
The next stage included sewing the front trim detailing to the bag panels. An automatic sewing machine and stencils are using during this stage to ensure the perfection and consistency of iconic detailing including the classic teardrop shape.
After the automatic sewing of the attachments, the next part of the process involves constructing the bag panels together and attaching the handle. This step completes the final product, and takes a high level of skill and attention to detail in ensuring each seam is straight and correctly placed.
After the bags are sewn together, they are given a final check to make sure they meet the highest standards before being protectively packaged and shipped to The Cambridge Satchel Warehouse.
THE FINAL PRODUCT
As you can see below, the final outcome of the great craftsmanship by The Cambridge Satchel Company is completely stunning with each and every detail having been completed with close care and consideration.
This competition has now ended.