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Behind the Scenes: Making a Phone Case

Behind the Scenes: Making a Phone Case

March 28, 2016

Here at Hand and Hide we work hard to make sure each individual case turns out beautifully. In our small studio this process looks a lot different than it does for a large manufacturer.
We make our products from start to finish in our studio in Portland, Oregon. Each and every step we do ourselves, and we take pride in that.
So we decided to give you a peek behind the scenes, and take you on a mini tour of how we craft our items. 
Note: we are always improving our process. This is how we make our cases now, however changes will probably be made in the future.

Step One: Select the Leather

The first thing we do for all our products is choose the leather.

For our device cases we use full grain vegetable tanned tooling leather that has not been sanded or coated with anything.
This means that the leather will have small scars and other natural marks that the animal acquired during its life. Most leather products are made with a highly processed surface that removes most or all of this natural character.
Using full grain leather is important to us, so we take the time and carefully select each piece of leather that we cut based on our own case patterns. We cannot avoid all marks and blemishes, but we choose as carefully as we can. Any marks that make it through our selection and quality checks are proof that our leather is full grain and genuine.  

Step Two: Clean

In this step we remove any dirt or dust, and prepare the leather for dyeing. 

Step Three: Dye

Dyeing is a challenging aspect of leather work. We are always perfecting our technique to give our customers the best color possible.
During this process, small scars and quirks in the leather tend to make their presence known by dyeing slightly lighter or darker than rest of the piece. 

Step Four: Wax

We wax the leather to protect and seal it, and to make it water resistant.

Step Five: Hand Sew and Assemble

At this point we hand hammer the rivets that hold the pockets together, add the snaps, and meticulously stitch everything together. Hand sewing is something we are proud of, and that we enjoy doing. This step is also when we mold each case specifically for its phone.

Step Six: Finishing Touches

Now the case is almost ready to ship. All that is left is for us to finish the edges and give it a good polish before we wrap it up and tuck it in a bubble mailer.
We hope you enjoyed your mini tour. Each of our cases is lovingly tended during its journey through our studio. Each of us checks it for quality along the way, and it receives one final check before it is shipped out, to make sure it is exactly the way you want it. We love putting our time and energy into making quality products for our customers.

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