Oakenlander was founded in 2016 and is currently based in Spring Hill, TN. Our goal is to design and produce clean, well-made leather goods that will last – becoming part of and reflecting your own lifestyle. We spent a few years researching and testing various leathers, construction methods, tooling, and designs; narrowing down our preferences for what we offer today. Premium full-grain leather products that are carefully handmade for everyday use. While limited to small batch runs, we tend to like it that way. It has never been about mass production.
Premium leathers are sourced from the US, Italy, England, France and Japan. Full-grain is preferred over top-grain leather due to the natural character it displays as well as the strength it offers. Even though it means the grain is not corrected to remove any visible marks from a particular animals life, we use only the cleanest areas of the hide for production. Leather that doesn’t meet this standard are used for prototyping and other shop projects.Available Leathers
A lot of time is spent researching and playing with new templates and prototypes. When a new product is being developed, we think about the aesthetics, how it functions, how it feels during actual use, what areas are showing wear and why, etc. Many times, these are carried around for a few months. When we are happy with the outcome, the template is finalized and cut. For custom shop requests, we study the specifications our customers provide and keep in contact as needed to ensure that what they envision is what they get.
As longevity is important to us, we want construction materials that are resistant to moisture and normal wear. While linen thread has been a common choice in luxury goods, we’ve selected to only use synthetic fibers – either nylon or polyester. This allows better construction integrity over the life of our goods as these don’t stretch or breakdown as fast as natural fibers do (especially when exposed to water).
The first step is selecting the leather and hardware we want to use. Does it work for the type of product it’s intended for? How will it age over time? How does it fare against the elements and does that matter? Once these kinds of questions are answered, an order is placed for all the required components not on hand. When the supplies arrive, everything is inspected to make sure it meets our standards.
Prior to cutting, the hide is inspected to find the ideal places to cut from for a given template. These areas are marked and the individual panels are carefully removed by hand. Panels are inspected and marked for hardware, brand placement, accents, stitching and interior edge paint. After all initial marks are made, assembly can begin.
Depending on the need, panels are placed with either basting tape or glue and edge alignment is checked. Once the binding agent is set or dry, the edges are inspected again and trimmed or marked in preparation for edge paint and stitching. The painting process is done by hand in multiple layers. The initial layer is heated to ensure proper binding to the edge and all subsequent layers are sanded in between. When the edge is finally smooth, beeswax is applied. Areas requiring stitching and hardware are punched, riveted and/or finished by hand. After a final inspection, products are ready for the customer.
Only high-quality low-led solid brass, iron, copper, and steel hardware is used throughout our range. If there are weld marks or other seams and burrs from the manufacturing process that shouldn’t be present, we find a different manufacturer.
For handmade goods, details matter. It’s one of the reasons you buy them and it’s the reason we choose the leathers and methods we do. A very close eye is kept on the entire crafting process – from where the patterns are cut on the hide to the final product inspection. If it’s something we wouldn’t buy ourselves, it doesn’t get sent to you. And trust us, we have picky expectations when it comes to luxury goods.Visit Our Shop