Wild Grace Workshop is committed to using only the finest materials. We believe that quality ingredients, and not just the skill of the maker, is what sets a product apart. This is what makes our products different, and last forever.
We source all of our lumber Locally, supporting Kentucky Owned and operated saw mills, harvesting hard woods in a sustainable manner. This allows us the opportunity, not only to support another local business, but also to hand pick all of our lumber, choosing wood that truly tells the story of its life. We don't want wood from a tree grown and pruned to be straight and narrow. We love texture and character, making every panel unique and beautiful. You can see the life of the tree in its grain, and I want a tree that had some adventures in its life. This character comes out in our products, setting us apart from anything you will find in a store. We choose our wood for its strength, as well as its beauty.
You will notice there is something different about our leather the moment you touch it. Leather can generally be split into 2 major categories. Chrome tanned, and Vegetable Tanned.
- Chrome tanned leather goes through a rigorous production process, where the leather is stripped of all of its natural oils and put through a chemical process which reintroduces moisture into the leather, making it soft and supple. This process means that, no matter how quality, this leather will break down. We do not use any chrome tanned leather. 99% of leather products you can purchase are chrome tanned.
- Vegetable tanned leather is the same leather that you will see in museums that has maintained shape for hundreds of years. Vegetable tanned leather is not put through the same chemical process, but rather is softened using vegetable based, natural dyes and treatments, done the same way for thousands of years.
- This leather, if treated properly, will last forever.
- This leather has character. You will see that our leather products have many of the natural markings from the actual cow hide, including bug bites.
- This leather is more rigid, and conforms very well to any shape.
- This leather smells amazing.
- This is the leather that we use in all of our products.
If the leather is the shell of your product, then the stitching is the bones. Thread comes in 3 basic types, cotton, nylon and polyester. It is in the one area of our leather work that we must bow down to modern methods.
- Cotton thread is as old as civilization itself but there are now better products that will last longer. The main distinctions between threads is the fiber length. the longer the fiber, the stronger the thread. Cotton is naturally limited by the length of the plant's growth, it is made up of lots of shot fibers locked together. This means that the tread will eventually break down.
- Nylon thread is stronger than cotton. However, the strands are thick, making it chunky and standing out against the piece. Nylon also breaks down when exposed to UV rays.
- Polyester fibers on the other hand have long and stable fibers, that give it unparalleled strength and UV resistance. Parachutes and sailors who sail across the ocean, use polyester thread, so do we.
This is not really a material, but it is important to know about our process. All load bearing stitching is hand stitched, using an ancient and tested stitch called an English Saddle Stitch. It is achieved by simultaneously stitching with 2 needles though 1 hole, looping and locking the thread together between the layers of leather. It is time consuming, tedious, requires a tremendous amount of skill, and can only be done by hand, but it is the best stitch there is.