Leather – February material of the month

Hell bent for leather

Unless you are of the vegan variety, you probably have quite a few things made of leather, mostly footwear and luggage.  Leather is a wonderfully versatile material, and I’ll always pick it over its plastic substitutes.  Working with leather requires skill, but is incredibly satisfying, provided you have the right tools.  In the last few years laser cutting has become more and more prolific as a tool for manipulating leather, and now features prominently in many everyday leather items.  We’ve featured some laser cut and laser engraved fashion previously, but that was only the tip of the iceberg.

Leather in fashion has seen its peaks and troths, and it’s definitely at its peak currently if the catwalks are the vogue yard stick.  Laser cutting is behind much of that popularity, and as always the fashion trend is driven by the hi-fashion avant-garde designers who push the concepts and boundaries of material use and perception.  Some of the notable ideas come from Visbol de Arce’s Anatomy collection, current king (or in this case, queen) of the fashion mountain Iris van Herpen’s Synesthesia, and a selection of rather unusual bags from James Platt.

More sweet leathery goodness under the cut:

Where visionaries lead, fashion houses follow.  Laser cut leather garments are now appearing in High street fashion outlets, such as ASOS.  The mass market appeal is certainly increasing, fuelled by fashion heavyweights such as  Louis Vuitton, Haider Ackerman, Valentino and Giles.

Quite a few Ponoko Personal Factory makers have used laser cut leather to create a variety of products.  These range from purely ornamental to quite utilitarian objects.  You can even find leather goods to adorn your cranial area.  There are the Haha Bird moustachioed neck warmers, Christina Westbrook’s masquerade mask cut from Dark Brown leather and Matt Borgatti’s seriously Steampunk leather and brass goggles that we’ve featured a while back.

Need something to carry stuff in?  Is it a camera?  A filleting knife?  Your credit card richess?  Not only do we have these carrying options covered (in leather), but the files for all these useful designs are available for FREE from the Ponoko showroom.  That’s a whole lot of free.

Want even more free stuff?  There is a free laser cutting file for the leather necklace, which has been cut from Driftwood upholstery leather.  This newly added, beautifully soft material is available in the NZ material catalogue.  US makers have the option of Mocha instead.  The thicker, stiffer Russet leather is also a popular choice and is the preferred material for Cuff Modern’s extensive collection of cuffs and chokers.  Russet’s stiffness makes it suitable for rings, such as the ones featured here from Megan Ellis.

Leather is available from both the US and the NZ hub, as well as Vectorealism and Formulor.

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