Each product is made with an incredible amount of handwork involved. From start to finish, belts and wallets will have hours of work invested in them to carefully create CDK Leather products.
Upon ordering, Clayton personally reaches out to the customer to discuss all of the details of the project and will begin to brainstorm ideas. Then, with a graphite pencil, he draws the order on the leather and sends photos to the customer for approval. Once the go ahead is received, the next step is carving. This process is done with a swivel knife and requires precision with a steady hand.
Then, using numerous metal tools each with different shapes, textures, and points, Clayton brings the piece to life by using a mallet to gently apply repeated, steady pressure to the tools to create the desired aesthetic. This process gives the leather dimension and sculpts the artwork. After tooling, the belt is ready to be dyed/painted according to the customers’ wishes!
Clayton then oils the piece to give the raw, natural leather some color and conditioning before sealing all of the hard-work thus far to protect the paint/dye work. At this point the “body” with all of the art work is glued to a liner piece of leather for durability, and then stitched on either by our Ferdco Pro machine or, if desired, by hand, with a thicker lace (buck-stitching).
Now, the product is nearly finished except for the edges. All of the edges are dyed to match the color of the piece, then slicked with a waxy residue to seal the rigid corners and topped off with some edge “kote” to polish off the piece.
By now, the belt, wallet, or whatever project ordered has had hours upon hours of handwork devoted to it and is ready to be shipped out!
All of Clayton's Leather work is handmade to order in Austin, Texas.
Please keep in mind; like a baseball glove, genuine leather needs to be broken in. This will take time and regular use of your piece. You will notice when first receiving your piece that it is quite stiff; with regular use it will begin to break in within a matter of weeks.
Natural darkening of your piece is to be expected. Over time, oil from your skin, moisture, and daily wear begin to set into your piece and you will notice the leather develop a natural patina. This is perfectly normal and to be expected!
I highly suggest keeping your leather dry and away from complete water submersion. Structurally, the leather itself will be able to withstand natural elements, however; the shape and paint of your piece may begin to disfigure & fade more rapidly if it is often exposed to water. Moisture added to leather can speed up the darkening process and shorten the lifespan of the product.
It is recommended to occasionally use a clean cloth with a small dab of olive oil to gently rub on the leather piece to keep it shiny, conditioned, and the colors popping!