Out of every work station in the Lotuff studio, assembly is possibly the most unique: it’s the only one that any given piece returns to again and again throughout its production, each time for a different purpose. Typically, assembly includes anything from sorting pieces of leather by weight to installing hardware, but for the Triumph Briefcase, the most critical part of assembly happens before and during the stitching process.
The Triumph is a bag that depends heavily — no pun intended — upon its weight. It’s slim and flexible, but always holds its sturdy shape and can easily expand to four times its initial width. Because of this, the artisans at our assembly station are tasked with precisely measuring and lining up pieces of leather, both large and small, to then be stitched together.
Some of this work has already been taken care of during splitting, where our tolerance for weight discrepancies amongst split pieces is less than one percent. If the Triumph’s weight isn’t utterly and perfectly balanced on all sides, though, its functionality could suffer, and therefore our artisans also have to ensure that for each briefcase, there’s no weight discrepancy at all. This requires extremely precise measurements, and since not every hide is the same, it becomes almost doubly hard to do.
What this means is that everything relies on being able to manipulate these equally weighted pieces of leather so they fit together and line up in the right places. The smaller ones are matched and sent to be stitched onto larger pieces, then they return to assembly to be matched with their complements, and so on. Like a puzzle, the Triumph and all our other bags can’t truly be completed unless every single piece is in its proper spot, and if one of them is incorrectly placed, it’ll be very obvious. And, after all is said and done, there will be a gorgeous piece of art to show for all this work- keep reading in the following weeks to see how the Triumph carries on.