Mini Masterclass: Personalisation

Personalisation – Create Something Unique

By the nature of leather (every skin is in itself unique) and the little differences that hand-crafting delivers every time, each Tusting piece is already unique. However, the addition of personalisation to the new owner, a mark that imparts not just simple identification, but something entirely extra, something reassuringly and solely theirs, brings significant additional appreciation. No wonder it is an extremely popular addition to our bags, especially when shopping for a gift.

So how is it done?

In days gone by, a variety of possesions, from travel trunks and suitcases, to sewing boxes and notebooks were monogrammed with letters hand-painted by a specialist artist. This later gave way to stencilled letters – still painted, but requiring somewhat less skill.

With leather-goods, we now use heated brass blocks to emboss letters into leather permanently. Heated to over 130°C (around 270°F), the blocks are finely carved and, when pressed into the leather, deliver their exact shape as an embossed brand, denaturing the natural proteins in the leather and marking it forever. Something similar can be achieved by pressure alone initially, however, such marks will diminish over time as the leather is only compressed and will tend to bounce back into its original shape.

Foil Embossing

Whereas the brass alone delivers a ‘blind emboss’ where simply the altered leather is visible, to replace the carefully hand-painted letters of old, we now have heat-sensitive metal foil. Most often used in gold or silver variants, a whole panoply of colours is available, allowing huge choice for the customer, though gold is certainly the favoured choice. The ultra-thin foil is composed of a carrier film covered in a fine metal layer containing a heat-sensitive adhesive. This is placed between the leather and the hot brass blocks and pressed briefly into the leather. The heat causes an instant transfer of the metal particles to the leather which then adhere permanently, leaving the carrier film to be peeled away.

So finely can the brass be carved, that some very detailed patterns of foiling are possible, allowing this process to be used to create detailed artwork or typeface on the leather.


The Extra Mile

In a process devised by us some six or more years ago, we specialise in adding an even more unique layer of personalisation to our leather-goods. Taking a handwritten note and creating the brass carving from it, we are able to transfer an exact facsimile onto the leather, as if it were written there originally. This process has enhanced many, many gifts since then, covering not only notes but short poems, quotes, excerpts from greeting cards, and even a paw print from a beloved pet!


If you would like to know more, please get in touch


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