The definition of handmade is very simple: Made by hand. No sewing machines or lasers; just hand tools, needles, and thread.
Leather goods are only as strong as their stitching. My products are hand sewn with a traditional saddle stitch and 3 to 6 cord waxed thread (depending on the leather application). This means between 3 and 6 threads are twisted together to create one very strong thread, then protected with wax before sewing begins. While it takes a lot more time to sew by hand, the resulting saddle stitch is stronger and more durable than any machine stitch.
Why Hand Stitching?
As the diagram above illustrates, the lock stitch produced by a sewing machine is really two threads running in parallel. Once a thread breaks, the stitch unravels and the seam comes apart. In a saddle stitch, the two threads alternate sides and actually create two lines of stitching. If one of them breaks, the other holds the piece together and the seam holds just fine. A true saddle stitch is not possible on a machine. It must be done stich-by-stitch, with two needles, by hand.
A product that’s built to last should be easily repairable. Should one side of a saddle stitch fail, the piece is still perfectly usable and a simple 6-8 stitch repair can be made by anyone with a single needle and a length of waxed thread. Should a machine stitch fail, the stitch will continue to unravel until it is fixed, requiring complete replacement of the seam for a proper repair.