You may have seen on our website a page called ‘Rutherfords Restored’. This is an exciting new collaboration between ourselves and the Rutherfords workshop, where we breathe a new lease of life into vintage items of luggage.
In today’s blog, we are going to show you the beginnings of our work on restoring a vintage flapover briefcase, which is being completed for a bespoke commission.
The leather on this briefcase has developed a beautiful patina over time, this is something we would look to maintain the appearance of when restoring such an item, as the markings are unique to each and every bag, making no two items the same.
We dated this briefcase using the original lock, which is a type of lock commonly used in the 1930s/40s.
Stage 1: Disassembly
With this particular briefcase, it has clearly had a lot use, so in order to work with the item it is best to dissassemble the item into its component parts, piece by piece. This allows us to rework the different panels of leather where required.
This briefcase was originally a single-compartment flapoverbriefcase, however we are going to convert it into a 2-compartment briefcase as requested. This will be done by increasing the width of the gusset and adding in a central divider panel.
You may have seen on some of our previously restored items that we lined the interior with silky suede, however for this particular commission the briefcase will remain unlined. Typically inside an unlined briefcase, you can see the back-finish of the leather as the hides would arrive from the tannery, giving a very raw and authentic aesthetic.
The front and back panels on this bag however are quite worn out and heavily stained on the back, therefore it will be necessary for us to back them with an additional layer of leather. This will not only strengthen the original panels but also give a cleaner and undamaged surface inside the bag.
To do this, we first have to flatten out the panels, then reducing the overall thickness by taking 0.4 mm from the back of the panel. By this stage the panel is ready to be adhered onto a fresh layer of leather.
Stay tuned for more updates as we progress further with this comission.
Vintage & Classic Leather Luggage