While sewing machines excel in speed, they lack the manual dexterity of a craftsman with a pair of needles.
What is saddle stitching?
Saddle stitching is a form of hand-sewing where both ends of a length of thread are passed through each stitch hole, crisscrossing back and forth along the entire length of the sewn piece.
The term “saddle stitching” originated from the saddle makers who employed the technique, though the origins of the technique likely go back much further.
Pursek Leather team sewing wallets by hand
These saddlers needed a way to sew together thick pieces of leather. After all, saddles must be able to take a tremendous amount of wear. The last thing you need when you’re riding high on a 1,200 pound creature is for a flimsy stitch to pop in the wrong place.
For much of the history of saddlery, there were no sewing machines.
Despite a century of experimentation starting in the mid-1700s, the first commercially viable sewing machine didn’t emerge until 1834.
To this day the very best saddles are still hand sewn.
Hand sewing sacrifices speed for the sake of quality. It is time-consuming, and that’s part of its charm.
Each time you pick up a hand sewn piece of leather, you’re witnessing something of the person who made it. Yet it’s about more than simply clinging to traditions. There are tangible benefits to hand-sewing leather—and aesthetic ones as well.
That’s exactly why we continue to hand-sew our products.
All these elements—the techniques, the materials, and of course the skill of the craftsman— all work together to provide a superior stitch.
And just consider, if saddle-stitching is good enough for an actual saddle, think of what it can do for a wallet.
What are the differences in strength?
Hand-sewing (saddle-stitching in particular) provides the greatest strength and security when it comes stitching materials together.
Imagine a line sewn with red and green thread, one on either side. Because of how saddle-stitching works, you would see the colors alternating along both sides of the leather (red, green, red, green, etc.) This is where the durability comes in. Even if one of those threads were to break, the remaining thread would continue to hold.
Meanwhile, machine-sewing doesn’t have this sort of backup.