A few months back I made this tote bag for my brother’s girlfriend. Now I made another one. It’s slightly different: its bottom is made out of rhubarb-tanned sheep leather, made from sheep that graze freely on the Lüneburger Heide in Germany. I liked the sound of that! I bought this stuff at Dictum (link), and it wasn’t really expensive. The only downside was the colour. In the pictures on the website the leather looks quite like normal fresh veg-tan leather – pale, no distinct colour. This stuff was yellow. So I decided to dye it. I used a dye that was labelled “light-brown”, but it resulted in this deep, dark brown colour. The process of dyeing also changed the feel of the leather: before it was quite silky and almost a bit velvety, and after it was glossy and smooth. The result was unexpected, but I quite like it in this bag. The lining is also different from the previous bag. I used a linen/cotton mixture that has a subtle pattern woven in. If you look closely at the picture below, you can see it has vertical blue, white and red lines. The fabric has a nice vintage-y feel to it.
I also used all nickel hardware with this bag, and book screws (or chicago screws) rather than rivets. This makes it easier to change the strap if it wears out. Besides, I think book screws are sturdier than most rivets. You do have to attach them properly, though. Vibration can cause them to fall out. I glue them together by putting a drop of superglue in the thread before screwing them together. If I ever have to take the screw apart, I heat it briefly with a soldering iron or something similar, which causes the glue to fail. The strap is new leather instead of recycled.