Leathergoods Repair and Design services

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Original Handbag Designs by Henry Hibbard

Welcome to the LeatherGoodsConnection.com special services department.
Custom made leather handbag Special custom made leather handbag

  The handbag on the left is the maxi tote shown on the Fine handbags page. There are several options offered to modify this bag. This bag has the zipper top closure, Chocolate leather with Black trim. (Normally the straps would be black also, but I liked brown on this one)

  The handbag on the right is a custom version of the same bag. I made this bag for a customer who contacted me wanting modifications to the bag that weren't offered on the menu. These included having both the zipper closure and the strap closure, as well as an open pocket on the outside front and back. The leather is Black Dove with Ultima Brown trim.

  This is an example of what I offer that I do not believe is available anywhere else on the internet, or perhaps in the world. This one of a kind handbag was ordered on Wednesday, was made on Friday and shipped on Monday.

View my other FINE HANDBAGS

                                               Other Services

  I can design original Handbags and other leather goods for specific markets as well as make starter dies for these items. I can also make patterns and dies for items you wish to copy, modify or remake. Also included in this category is custom manufacturing, so if you want promotional goods or have your own dies or are looking for accessories to fill out a line, contact me by email. You may want to consult Design Considerations This service is not always available because of order backlogs.

  Besides handbags. belts and regular leather shop items I have made leather parts for pumps, parts for antique cars, harnesses for seeing eye dogs, knife sheaths, cases for medical equipment, bullet pouches for black powder as well as skeet, those black straps no one talks about, camel saddles, and collars for junk yard dogs. As a sail maker I've made all kinds of covers, awnings, cushions. Bimini's, dodgers, and wench covers as well as other items too numerous to mention.

Things to consider before contacting me

  Custom orders are based on time and materials. I will give you a firm price before I begin. A  valid credit card approval for the completed amount is required. The transaction will be entered before leather is cut, on the day your project is started.

  Special orders may require buying different leather  and hardware than I have in stock. You may be required to pay for more leather than is actually used in your article. If so, you will be sent the remainder with your finished goods.

  I may have to charge you for design and development costs. If you want a large number of the same item it may be cost effective to have dies made which you will pay for and then own.  They will be returned to you at your request.

  You will need to provide complete dimensions, a drawing, a photo, or a sample unless this is a modification to an item that I already make. You may need to call me to discuss what you want. Be sure you can explain what you want. See Making a custom handbag and Henrys Leather News Blog.

  Please do not be unhappy with me if I decline the challenge of making your item. I may be too busy, I may decide I can't make the item to your satisfaction, I may not have the right equipment, I may think I would have to charge more than the item is worth or I may not understand exactly what you want. I can't make something in leather until I can make it in my head.

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  These days it is rare to have something worth repairing, and if warranted it is hard to find someone qualified to carry out the repair. Fine leather goods are worth repairing just as much as they were 5300 years ago. The picture above shows a repair to the "Iceman's" clothing that he probably did himself using grass stems. In the upper right can be seen the original stitching made from split animal sinews.
  Proper repairs can be made to many kinds of leather goods if they are delivered to my shop postage paid. This is perhaps impractical for most items because of shipping costs. I offer this service anyway, for those whom it might help. E-mail me first and describe the problem before shipping. All items sent for repair must include return shipping.

There is a minimum charge of $20.00 for all repairs

Luggage repair may take time if matching hardware needs to be ordered.

  All repair and shipping charges must be paid before your item is returned. Since I cannot predict accurately the cost of a repair before I see it, I will notify you of the cost of repair before doing the work.

   I cannot guarantee a perfectly matching repair to items made by others as they may have used equipment or materials unavailable to me, i.e. it may be impractical to exactly match the thread color.

  I may decide to return the item unrepaired if a proper repair appears impractical due to such things as not having matching leather or if the leather is dry and brittle from age.

  Contact me if you would like advise on how to repair the item yourself. There is no charge for this service. I may be able to supply new matching luggage hardware and other supplies such as rivets, snaps or clasps if needed. Contact me

  If I give you advise it is still up to you to decide if the information is appropriate. I accept no responsibility for your results. That goes for the 'Tips' also.

                                                  Typical Repairs

 Replacing zippers in handbags, repairing stitching and linings
 Replacing zippers in motorcycle jackets, replacing worn pocket linings.
 Hem leather coats and repair stitching
 Replace knit cuffs and waist bands on bomber jackets
 Replacing snaps and fasteners

 I do not repair Harness, Saddles or Shoes.

I sell products for polishing and referbishing worn leathergoods. These leather care products and their uses are discussed on my leathergoodsconnection.com site.


  Baseball gloves can be relaced by making a needle out of mechanics wire. Attach a 4" piece to the end of a new rawhide lace with masking tape. Start wrapping the tape in the middle of the of wire then lay the wire alongside the lace and keep wrapping the tape till the wire is covered. If you do a lot of this kind of repair contact me for the special brass needle used for rawhide.

  If a brass or metal tooth zipper isn't closing properly perhaps it only needs a new slider of the same type that you can get from a new zipper. A lot of use wears away the sides of the slider. You can first try carefully squeezing the back of the slider on the sides so that it is narrower. If you replace the slider, first remove the metal stop by carefully straightening it. Remove the old slider, replace with the new one and replace the stop.

  Plastic coil zippers can sometimes be repaired by zipping shut and carefully re-engaging the teeth in the damaged area, then heating the area with a blow dryer. Plastic becomes soft at about 110 -120 degrees F. It has a memory and may return to it's original shape when soft. Don't overheat and be sure to protect the surrounding leather or vinyl from the heat so that it won't be damaged.

  If you lose a lot of weight and want to shorten that expensive belt, it's best to do that from the buckle end. Even if you make a messy job of it, it won't show when you are wearing it. Punch 2 holes and cut between them with a razor knife to make the slot for the buckle tongue if needed. To refasten, use new rivets, or fold the leather around the buckle and make 4 holes at the corners of a square. lace heavy thread through the holes in the shape of a square. If you need rivets, send a s.a.s.e. and tell me how many, they install with a hammer.

  Loose ends of threads can be melted to stop the seam from unstitching if synthetic thread like nylon has been used. Melt the thread with a soldering iron to make a bead on the end or hold a lit match near the thread. Be careful not to get too close or the thread will burn. If it does, quickly wet your finger and press the fire out.

Remember, you are on your own if you try these tips yourself. Contact me +

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