1) How long is the processing time?
All the leather items are Made-to-Order: After you place an order for any leather item, I will be making that item from scratch. This takes several hours, but given my schedule, it may be 1-2 weeks until I finish your item.
Other items, such as the beeswax bars, are pre-made, so if that's the only item in your order, it shouldn't take more than 1 week to get it shipped out. If extenuating circumstances (such as a vacation, or an important life event) mean I can't get your pre-made item to you within a week, I will contact you to let you know.
2) What's the process for getting a custom tooled or painted item?
If you request a custom tooling on an item, or custom tooling and paint job, I will usually follow up to ask for more information about the custom design, and may provide a sketch of what I'm imagining, so that I can be sure to make what you envision!
3) Will my item be unique? Or will my item look exactly like in the photo?
For pre-designed items, such as the corsets or waist cinchers, since each one is individually hand made, I like to make slight differences between them, so they're all unique. If you really won't be happy with anything other than an exact replica of what's in the photo, let me know, and I will do my best, but there will naturally be some variation no matter what: different leather pieces take the dye differently, and my designs are hand drawn, and I, alas, am subject to human error.
4) How closely does the color in the photo match the real thing?
In terms of color, dyed leather looks very different in the sun than in the shade. Paint will look the same, because it's sitting on top. In general, dyed veg tan leather will be much redder in sunlight; what seems like a normal brown in the shade will seem like a vibrant red in the sun. Here's the dye colors in the shade vs in the sun:
My photos are often more red/saturated than how the piece looks in real life. I know that color is very important, especially for such a central piece of your wardrobe! If you're concerned about the color matching an existing item you have, please feel free to get in touch!
5) What are your products made out of? What is veg tan leather?
Most of my products are made out of veg-tan--or vegetable tan--leather or oiled leather, with some acrylic paint, leather dyes, and metal buckles here and there. Veg tan leather is the original way of tanning leather, using a solution made of tree bark, salt, and maybe some oils. It produces a leather that is tough/stiff, but can easily receive tooled designs and water shaping. It's a biodegradable material, that will naturally decompose if you compost it. If I'm not using plain veg tan, it's usually an oiled leather--a veg tan leather imbued with a fair amount of oil to make it more water resistant and supple.
Most leather products you buy are made with chrome tan leather or even vinyl (aka plastic made to look like leather); chrome tan uses chromium salts and acid baths, and is not biodegradable. Chrome tanned leather is supple and lovely, and can take on vibrant colors, but it's pretty terrible for the environment, and not particularly natural.
I do use acrylic paint (which is plastic-based) when I can't achieve a color with leather dye, such as on my Guild Patches. My leather dye is water based, and has a low toxicity, but is not 100% biodegradable. I eventually plan to switch to home-made, natural leather dyes!