This week in the studio, our artisans are grinding, painting, and polishing the most recent round of electric blue Tripps. The thirty-seven pieces of this small but mighty bag are moved back and forth between these three stations with the single aim of creating perfectly painted and smooth edges that will hold up and keep their beauty for generations.
The Tripp’s triple-gusset construction, interior credit card pockets, zipper pulls, and cross-body strap leave our artisans with many edges to paint, a task they are always up for and execute on beautifully. First, the raw leather edges are ground to be made even and smooth, then they are meticulously painted over, causing all the rough fibers to rise up. It’s not unlike raising the grain when staining or painting a piece of wood. After each coat of paint the fibers are gently buffed on a buffing wheel, taking off some of the paint but leaving the pigment behind. As additional coats of paint are added, more fibers arise—less than before—and then are buffed off again. This process usually takes between five to seven “passes” until the edges are totally smooth and strong, and the colors are vibrant. Instead of paint that is merely layered and easily prone to peeling, our bags end up with painted edges that have become part of the leather itself, and are in turn remarkably durable.
This step also highlights the angular design of The Tripp’s many edges, and creates a striking framework for what is one of our most beloved bags. Next week we will see our little blue being stitched, coming all the closer to being your new favorite double-duty purse and clutch.