Handmade Leather Bags
Your search for rugged, one-of-a-kind, well crafted, sturdy, durable handmade leather bags designed to last a lifetime (and more) ends here. Our bags and items are hand cut from carefully selected, beefy hides and created the old fashioned way, one at a time, with painstaking attention to detail on our workbenches in our Charlotte, North Carolina studio in the eclectic Plaza Midwood neighborhood. We call an old tractor factory home, and under our work lights, with an American flag proudly displayed overhead to the sound of the train cars passing under our workshop window, we spend our days designing and building the kind of bags that will last for generations to come. In fact we joke that we make bags your grandchildren will fight over one day.
We over-engineer each bag we make…we go overboard in using hardware and buckles that are much stronger than bags of these sizes will ever need, the leather is thicker and much studier than the industry standard leather bags and our stitching involves the heaviest thread we can find. We select some of our leather from the best tanneries right here in the U.S. like Horween Leather. From the copper rivets to the steel buckles and fasteners, we splurge on the very best we can find to make your use of bag over and over again possible. We have no interest in assembly line, cookie-cutter, low quality flash-in-the-pan accessories…we are making heirlooms here at ColsenKeane Leather.
By intent, we do not use sewing machines to create our goods. Each stitch is made by hand as we wrestle these bags into formation. Each hand punched hole has four pieces of heaving gauge thread connecting the corners of our leather bags together. Why is my bag being stitched by hand better than by machine? Simply because most machines are not strong enough to penetrate the ten ounce hide that comes from our American cattle.
Many of our ColsenKeane clients come to us with overly stuffed and flimsy leather or canvas bags that have, frankly, suffered from shoddy design. We value you what you carry and how you carry it by providing you with well-constructed, long-lasting durable design. And, because each bag is handmade, we are able to customize each bag to the needs of our clients. Some people just want the simplicity of a cavernous bag, while most want and insert and divider or two.
Travellers often want the option to convert the leather bag in to a backpack that is easier on your shoulders. Others tell us they need a strap across the back of the bag so they can put it over their roller board suitcase as they run through the airport. I had a request the other day for custom dimensions and we can do that too, in fact helping your realize your dream bag is our passion! Most of our clients get so excited about the customization process that they ask us to take pictures along the way so they can see what went into making the last bag they will ever need to buy. We’re happy to oblige.
Last month, I had a client bring in a dilapidated leather bag his grandfather had owned from the 1920’s into our studio. This bag has been used and worn over the years and it now sat on the family shelf as a reminder of days gone by. The family brought the bag here to our workbench where we were able design two new leather handmade bags that used most of the leather from their grandfather’s bag. Not only could they now have the daily reminder of their loved one but they also have the joy of using a custom bag just like their grandfather might have done in the 1920’s. We love vintage, reusing and creativity.
Our leather bag designs originated from sketches I drew after traveling the world and finding the leather bag selection lacking. I would buy what I thought was a high quality, name brand bag and it would fall apart, lose a strap, rip or tear or my stuff just wouldn’t fit in with ease. And now, after years of hearing what our customers are looking for in their dream travel companion bag, we have melded our original designs with those for which many of you have requested and thus our line of leather bags was born.
Our line includes small to medium sized shoulder bags, small and large satchels, backpacks, duffle and luggage style bags, tote bags and one of our more recent creations, canvas and leather combination bags. We offer our bags in an array of leather colors/types including crazy horse, scotch grunge, natural tan (vegetable), tan glazed, black, distressed brown and occasionally we get a limited run of unusual hides that we stumble upon and will offer a few bags from time to time in those leather hides. We try to keep our site interesting by constantly offering limited edition items and fresh designs and most of our business is from repeat customers. Nothing says we’ve hit our mark like our ColsenKeane customers coming back for more. It thrills us to no end!
So whether you’re looking to hike a mountain trail or make your morning commute through an urban jungle, we’ve got your back. Our bags cause your fellow commuters and airline passengers to stop you and ask where you found such a unique, well worn, incredible bag. If you don’t like compliments, you won’t want to walk into your boardroom or across your campus with one of our leather bags. They are statement makers and your story (what you spill on it, how many rain storms it’s been carried through) is what gives it its patina and originality. Our Natural Tan bags really lend themselves to showing character well as they start off a pale tan color and get warmer and deepen into an incredible dark caramel color the more they are handled, touched and used. Even sunlight affects their aging process and unlike most bags, rugged bags made like ours just get better with age.
We invite you to get a better glimpse of our process by viewing our workshop videos online as well as making the trek to our Charlotte, NC workshop for a personal custom leather consultation where you can be hands on in dreaming up your ultimate bag. Life is better wrapped in leather, as we like to say around here. So we invite you to ditch your department store searches and make one of our many ColsenKeane handmade leather bags your own today.