July 20, 2021

Tools of the Trade

Ever wonder how we at RoyalPoint make our leather products? This post will provide insight as to the materials, supplies and equipment we use in the production process.

  1. Pencil and paper: All of our products start on the drawing board and are designed using pencil and paper. It should not be surprising that our ROYALPOINT JANUS 929 pencils are the tool of choice;
  2. CorelDraw: This software is a Canadian alternative to Adobe Illustrator and is used to create the design for many of our patterns. It has the advantage of being purchasable outright as compared to a monthly subscription model, thus keeping our costs down which allow us to pass those savings on to you;
  3. Patterns: Our patterns are cut out of leather stiffener boards;
  4. Leather: We use a number of different types of leather. One of our favourites is our 99% veg tan leather which combines the beauty of vegetable tan with the finishes available through other tanning methods;
  5. Pattern weights: To keep our patterns on the leather during the cutting process, we use dressmaker pattern weights;
  6. Knife: Most of our cutting is completed using a Palosanto Euro Knife which is covered with a pigskin lining to make it more comfortable to use;
  7. Kwikprint hot stamping press: To brand our leather, we use a Kwikprint press with custom-made brass dies;
  8. Glue: Most of our gluing is now done using Ecostick 1816B. The advantage of using a water-based glue over a contact cement is the ease of clean-up and that elimination of harmful fumes which require ventilation;
  9. Sewing machines: Machine sewing is much more efficient than hand sewing. We have two sewing machine models which are used in the shop: a JUKI 563 (flatbed) and a PFAFF 335 (thin cylindre arm). The Juki is used for sewing flat seams and the Pfaff is used for more three-dimensional and gusseted items such as our bags. Both machines use speed reducers and Sewquiet servo motors;
  10. Thread: Our machines use 92lb Polyester thread. This thread size provides a perfect balance between durability and practicality. Polyester has the advantage of being more UV resistant than nylon thread;
  11. Thread zapper/burner: We use the Ultra Thread Zap to trim threads for the finished pieces;
  12. Snap press: We use a KamSnaps snap press for to affix our snaps and rivets;
  13. Burnishing agent: We use Tokonole (clear) as our burnishing agent. It is easy to use and provides excellent results. We apply it using a Japanese edge applicator;
  14. Edge paint: Most of our items are simply burnished using Tokonole, however for the edge painted items, we use Giardini Edge Paint;

Although there are many other tools in the shop, those listed above do the lion share of the work.

April 25, 2020

The Design Process

Design is key to the creation process. Sketches are your friend in this process.

Design is key to the creation process. Sketches are your friend in this process.

Like anything else, the design process is the crucial part of creating anything. A lot of thought goes into creating the design for different RoyalPoint products. Each design goes through many iterations before it makes it to the customer.

The first step is a quick pencil drawing to try to figure out the rough shapes, design components, and proportions.

Fashion art pen and ink leather
A detailed pen & ink drawing of the RoyalPoint Janus Zipper Pencil Case

It doesn’t need to be anywhere as detailed as the pen & ink drawing above. I would even suggest against it, especially making all the little dots for the lining, but it definitely gives you a good idea about what the final product would look like.

The next step is to create a digital version of the pattern and then print it on card stock. I use CorelDraw (got to support our Canadian suppliers when you can which also has the option to purchase the software outright instead of a monthly payment plan), but Adobe Illustrator is commonly used. The card stock is then cut and used as a template to cut out the first attempt out of leather.

The design then gets tweaked and modified several more times, each time being printed on card stock and then cut out in leather.

Once happy with the design, the pattern is then printed onto normal paper, glued onto bag stiffener (in this case Texon 626, available at Tandy and the like), and then the bag stiffener is cut out to form to use as a cutting guide in the future. An alternative to bag stiffener is 140lb watercolour paper (Canson XL is a good pick and then you can use it also to design your items too). Important design components are marked on this cutting guide which simplifies the production process.

Depending on the complexity of the project, preparing more formalized sketches or drawings often proves to be helpful. Although many designers prefer markers to prepare colour sketches of their designs, I prefer watercolour.

Fashion art watercolour leather
Watercolour of the RoyalPoint Janus Sharpener Case

July 18, 2019

Business Cards in Style

You worked hard to make that small talk, the conversation became interesting, will it lead to a new client, a new job, a new opportunity? You take out your business card and hope for the best. Wouldn’t you want to add to your chances, by having a business card case that exudes sophistication and style. Introducing, the RoyalPoint JANUS business card holder. Clean lines and simple elegance to go with every occasion.

This case is built to last out of 99% vegetable tan leather. Notice a scar or an imperfection, that’s the sign that you are handling a high quality product as the top layer of leather has not been shaved off. But this case can hold much more than simply business cards, feel free to throw in some cash, coins, or bank cards too.