A Tradition of Craftsmanship at Alfred Dunhill Leather Workshop
The gentleman who appreciates the craftsmanship and immense attention to detail of an IWC watch looks for this level of quality in other areas of his life. This week, we take you behind the scenes of the Leather Workshop at Alfred Dunhill®*, the storied menswear brand established in London in 1893. Founded a mere 25 years apart, Alfred Dunhill and IWC share a rich heritage that focuses on delivering the finest products and exacting service to their customers.
Alfred Dunhill define their leather goods as “designed to keep up with the demands and style of the modern, intelligent traveler”. Accordingly, items are made to last, and to be handed down through the generations. As a father passes his IWC watch on to his son, he entrusts him with his Alfred Dunhill leather pieces as well.
With highly skilled artisans crafting each item, and the use of exotic skins, dunhill leather goods are in a class of their own– and built exactly with the above- legacy, quality and endurance, in mind. At the East London workshop, vegetable and tanned leather is carefully selected, inspected for any imperfection, and cut on site, in a a manner consistent with production practices from the 1800s.
Preparing the leather by hand
At the workshop, customers get a choice of skin, finish, hardware and functionalities- all based on their needs and intended usage. Size, shape, color, lining and all other details are customized, creating a truly unique product to suit the most exacting taste.
Hand stitching to ensure the finest quality
Once selections are made, the craftsman hand edge dyes, brands, stitches, and creases every piece. It is a point of pride at the workshop that the same individual starts and finishes each item, with that person's name inserted on a card into the finished product.
Placing the hardware selected by the customer
As noted in this video by Tomasz, Alfred Dunhill’s bespoke leather expert, it is the workmanship which Alfred Dunhill is truly proud of.
The finished product: the work of a single craftsman
Once the leather piece is finished and inspected, it may be retrieved at an Albert Dunhill Home, an exclusive retail destination that is similary steeped in tradition and history. In London, the brand’s home is Bourdon House, the former London residence of the Duke of Westminster. In Shanghai, the brand is found in a 1920’s villa in the city’s French Concession neighborhood.
In the end, a man can come to expect an unrivaled experience when he selects an Alfred Dunhill leather product, and can rest safe in the knowledge that over 115 years of experience has gone into its creation.
Sooo, I noticed everybody and their mom seem to have fallen in love with my cosplay vest for Sniper (and I don’t blame you, it’s the best one I’ve ever seen as well). Anyway, I decided to share a little something about it. Here goes!
First of all - yes, it’s made by myself (and my mom) entirely from scratch.
- fake leather (basic brown & very dark brown)
- second-hand, jeans-textured, a bit stretchy pants I cut in stripes for the trimming
- cheapest shiny red lining
- the buttons I had made by a leather workshop dude. It’s cheap.
Almost every Sniper’s vest I’ve seen so far was made out of linen… and didn’t look too well, because this material is too thin and cheap, and come on, Sniper may have like one set of clothes, but at least this one is sturdy and well-made enough to last him for years. Besides, I bet that 75% of all his posessions are made out of leather.
Anyway - faux leather looks nice, is thick enough to fold just right but also not too much, being relatively light and making sewing easy.
The pattern I made using my dad’s old vest as a template, only slimming it down at the sides. Keep in mind that I’m rather on the tall & thin side, so the measurements here are suited for this body type.
All the pieces cut and in the process of being sewn together. I modified the back a bit, sewing it from two pieces because it gave me this nice vertical line along the spine which made the vest slimmer, more dynamic and more realistic.
This isn’t a tutorial or step-by-step, just some useful info I decided was worth sharing. So I won’t be getting to much into detail, sorry.
For the trim choose something rather thick and stretchy, otherwise it will all wrinkle and look awful. I used old jeans-textured grayish pants which worked perfectly (it still was a bitch to sew, seriously, trimming is the WORST).
On the side note - yes, the bullets are made out of marker cases, chopsticks and little pieces of pvc, hot glued together and smoothed with sculpting mass.
The collar is NOT a rectangle! Look up a tutorial on how to make a stand-up collar and make your pattern according to it. A rectangle will look bad and just flop down.
The pockets are of course functional (after all these years of female pants I can’t look at false pockets) and here’s how the rough pattern looked like. Be smarter than me and make the sides bigger.
Ammo pouch is basically two rectangles sewn together in a weird way.
The whole vest is also lined, because lining makes everything 100% more expensive, comfortable and pretty.
And the last thing - always weather your stuff even if it’s not a prop. Here’s a little close-up - you can see I painted the corners dark, to make the vest look more 3D, used up and authentic (plus a bonus side view).
And that would be all I guess. If you have any further questions about the vest or any other piece of this cosplay (clothes, props whatevs) just message me and I will answer… eventually. May take some time.
Bienvenue to Strasbourg, France! We found it to be a gem of a city, with medieval architecture, charming taverns and fondue bistros. La Petite France is an especially romantic section of town, with canals and bridges overlooking what were once leather merchants’ workshops.
A little insight into our concho making - mostly Japanese coins from Meiji, Showa and Taisho periods and American quarters and half dollars. Actually, it ain’t easy defeating the desire to take these bits of history and only… gaze, and gaze, and gaze upon…