I’m Nabil, sole craftsman and creator of Orange Leatherworks. Located in Ottawa, Canada, my goal as a maker has always been reaching the highest level of leathercraft, offering you bespoke, handmade products that challenge today's deep-rooted trends of unsustainable, fast fashion and disposable items with beauty, thoughtful design and the finest materials I can find. Orange Leatherworks is fundamentally human, and I believe that anything made with human care and attention carries with it the spirit of the maker.
what I think
In the past, a large portion of products were manufactured using natural materials and processes. As our understanding of science grew, we gained an ability to engineer and produce synthetic materials at a cost significantly lower than their natural counterparts, and in much less time. Consequently, the demand for natural fibers and materials drastically fell, along with much of the time-consuming, human-based manufacturing techniques. Something that once was as commonplace as a locally tailored wool suit, has been driven way into exclusivity by factory produced, plastic-based clothing that is orders of magnitude cheaper. The effects of this on us and our planet are profound. I believe we can do better.
What I use
Virtually all leather is a by-product of the meat industry that ought not be wasted. I chose to work exclusively with vegetable tanned leather that is produced sustainably and ethically from Italy, USA, UK, and France, which are all countries that operate within strict environmental regulations regarding both farming and tanning. The cost of doing business within such a regulated industry is relatively high but carries with it the benefits of being both ecofriendly and luxurious. Vegetable tanning, as the name implies, is a natural tanning process that relies solely on organic tannins to color and process a hide. It is an extremely time-consuming process based on generations of passed on knowledge and experience. The result is indeed expensive... but also completely biodegradable, possessing beauty with longevity and feel that is simply unmatched.
How I work
All of my products are designed and handcrafted by myself in my workshop. Each panel and piece is precisely hand cut and hand sewn, one stitch at a time. My designs and crafting techniques prioritize function and a luxury finish without expenses spared on material and time. I'm a bit of an idealist, so if it can be made nicer, I put in the time necessary in an effort to realize the ideal. Each stitch is carefully accounted for in the design process, and placed in a way that allows stitch holes to align at key locations in the work. Tolerances for these measurements are usually a few tenths of millimeter. Each bare leather edge is beveled, and progressively hand sanded and naturally polished to a glassy finish; edges are not coated! The sum of these details is what I believe distinguishes my products. There is no detail too small.