Leather is probably one of the earliest items that came to be used by men. It has been stretched across time, woven through the history of the human race itself and has been its comrade throught thick and thin. The use of leather has been documented in ancient texts dating back to the Assyrian times and more recent findings have even placed leather items in Neolithic times, thus proving that even back then leather was an important commodity in everyday life.
There are numerous citings that provide a look into the tanning techniques that were employed during the older times when the modern chemicals were not available. Everything from drying in the sun to smoking were used to mold the hides into usable leather sheets. Early town planners also made sure to keep the tanneries away from the general populace owing to the smell emanating from them.
Fascinatingly, the early civilizations such as the Egyptians used leather in the form of scrolls for keeping records. It was later in the Roman times that leather came to be used as a clothing accessory in the form of dresses and shoes. Some ages later, when the empires of Middle East were at their height, leather goods gained popularity owing to their heat resistant nature. It was in these times that the earliest leather bags found their shape in the form of satchels used by couriers.
With the onset of the industrial age, the procedures of tanning have become sophisticated and complex but somehow the touch of a craftsmen is still required to give it eye-catching finish. Nothing replaces the touch of that age old experience. This is a further demonstration of the fact that leather has gone hand in hand with the history of mankind, maintaining those features of “craftsmanship” which even today with increasing automation are an essential part of the personal sensibility and solid experience of those carry it on, like the Antidote Store where we recognize that every piece of leather is actually a piece of history.
Fashion has always had a story behind it. A tale that has lead to the creation of an item that has changed the way the world functions. From the denim revolution of the late 19th century or the advent of leather bags for women in the 1850s, every great turn in fashion has had a lasting effect on all future generations.
The one difference that sets the advancements in the field of fashion apart from any other field is that they were all driven by necessity and not the pursuit of knowledge. That is why every corner of the globe has made some or the other contribution to the changing face of fashion. Every civilisation has made valuable additions to this field and no other item has been more influenced than handbags. From complete utilitarian ones to ones that radiate elegance, every leather handbag has been the combined result of a great many generations. A simple glance at the handbag history is enough to elucidate this fact:
Satchels: Also known as a messenger bag or rider bag. A small bag with a long sling worn sideways, heavily used by horse riders and cross country travelers. Commonly used by both genders during the middle ages.
Kiondo : A handwoven bag made from the twines of sisal tree. Highly utilitarian and indigenous to the tribes of Kenya. Introduced recently to the western markets.
Jute Bags : Very popular in India and the sub-continental area. Made from the threads spun from the coarse fibers of the jute plant. Famous for their durability and eco-friendly nature.
Doctor Bags: Made famous in 19th century America. As the name suggests used mostly by doctors but later on garnered attention of the women due to their immense spacious interiors.
The list goes on and on and on…… .Time and again the needs of people have generated masterpieces out of some simple sheets of treated leather. The story of leather handbags for women is steeped in history and has a great many tales to tell. Every stitch holds in it infinite memories and countless dreams. We here, at the Antidote Store, just try to present that story to you and we try to make sure that when you take one of them home, that you have story of your own.
All vast stores of knowledge take time to grasp and this spread of women handbags is no different. Just like a trusted mentor, the Antidote store will be with you to answer any queries and to quell your doubts because this journey has only just begun.
The one major thread that is common between Tendulkar, Steve Job, Zuckerberg and every other world renowned personality is ‘Inspiration’. It has always been the spark of that divine inspiration in a person that has enabled him to touch new heights of success and made it possible for him to turn all his dreams into reality.
Every story that begins with meagre seeds has always required hard work and perseverance but every time in every story there has been a spark of inspiration that has been the driving force behind that world changing idea. Excellence has always been a habit of those who keep trying but inspiration is like a lightning bolt, it is never foreseen and it never hits the same way twice.
There are no limits to heights one can achieve if they are inspired. A man inspired with the notes of a piano became the most celebrated composer in the world and another who simply wanted to play good cricket became a god. Greatness almost always has a precondition of hard work, passion and inspiration.
Even great corporate castles and fashion houses had humble beginnings and have reached the heights of success by their sheer force of will. Another name is being added to this list, the Antidote Store. Driven by the inspired ideas of a typical fashionista cum entrepreneur Tripti Singh, this one-of-a-kind leather store is looking to make a name for itself armed with simply it’s commitment to customer individuality. Every customer is a notch different from other and their fashion needs to be tailored accordingly.
The folks at Antidote store consciously decided to do one great thing rather than going for multiple mediocre things at once. This school of thought is now paying dividends for them and the Antidote Store is slowly but surely climbing up the ladder of public conscience. With their focus set on handcrafted leather goods ,they have cleverly side stepped monotony and boredom which is what most fashion startups fall prey to at this stage.
What the future holds for Antidote store is yet to be carved into stone, what can definitely be said is that they are redefining the fashion trends of the everyday shopper and with the needle-sharp focus on the customer needs, they are only set to grow bigger.
Knowledge never hurt anyone and when it comes to your precious handmade leather bag, there’s no such thing as too much knowledge. Keeping that in mind, we at Antidote Store are here to take you over the nuances of the leather trade. Once you’ve set your heart and hands on a leather product, it will be good for you to get to know the make and build of it. This will give you not only an acute sense of taste but will also help you groom your bag more efficiently. Leather basically comes in 4 forms depending on it’s grain ie the texture of the surface.
This type of leather has a untempered surface that has not been smoothed over or buffed up to remove the imperfections (or natural marks) that are present on the surface of the hide. The grain retains it’s natural properties which allows for better fiber strength and greater durability. The leather also has greater aeration, thus resulting in less moisture absorption from prolonged contact. Over-time full-grain leather forms a benign layer over it which extends it’s lifetime.
This type of leather is most commonly used in making high-end leather products and is the second-highest quality used across the market. The “split” layer or top layer of the hide is ground away , which makes it thinner and more ductile than the full-grain leather. Its surface is processed, treated and a finishing coat is added which results in a more shiny and plastic feel. The surface breathes less and therefore it does not develop a natural patina ie a benign coating over time. It is usually costs less but from a consumer stand point it has a greater resistance to stains than full-grain leather.
This type of leather is one that is formed once an artificial grain applied to the original surface of the hide due to commercial or production reasons. The hides that are used to create corrected leather are usually the ones that fail to meet the standards set for use in creating treated and processed leather. The scars, tears and bumps in the hide are buffed or ground off, and an extra coating of artificial grain is embossed onto the surface and then treated with stain or dyes. Usually corrected-grain leather is used to make pigmented leather as the solid pigment helps cover any faults or imperfections.
Hides are mostly made of 3 layers namely epidermis, grain and corium. Sometimes hides are often too thick for direct use and so they have to be split layerwise through the corium before preocessing. Split leather is created once the fibrous part of the hide which is left after the top-grain of the rawhide has been sliced away from it. After the slicing procedure, an artifical layer is applied to the surface of the split and embossed with leather grain. This type of leather is mostly used to create suede products. Knowing your leather bag inside out will not only pay dividends in style but will help you to increase its life. Feel the grain of leather and understand what goes into making it a masterpiece.
Purity is never a precondition for love, be it between two people or between a woman and her accessories. Yet when it comes to leather products, it becomes a necessity because nothing affects the image of a woman more than the genuiness of her wardrobe. The relationship, between a woman and her wardrobe, is sanctimonious and one that is hit everytime a fake product manages to sneak in that inner circle.
Fake leather or Faux leather is a fabric intended to give a leather-like finish to substitute for actual leather. As with all things artifical, faux leather also loses in all fields. It has negligible durability and the surface cracks easily. Additionally it has limited lifetime, it looks plasticky and quite frankly, reflects poorly on both the customer and the seller.
There are always some stores that have their ethical compasses pointing North and they inform their customers of the fabric quality but then again, such examples are too far and too few. But worry not because your resident experts on leather goods, the Antidote Store is here to provide you with a few tricks of the trade. So here’s what you can do
The most obvious indicator of real leather is it’s price. Genuine leather products will cost you a bit more but they’ll be worth your money. If any seller, whether online or face-to-face,gives you an offer that seems too good to be true then it probably isn’t.
Always check out the edges of the product. A pure leather product has a bit of rough edges whereas a faux leather one (since it is made out of fabric) will have almost perfect edges which might even feel unrealistic.
The most easily recognizable trait of real leather is it’s smell. Any product made of genuine leather will have a distinct and almost strong smell whereas fake leather would have no such differentiating smell.
If you have a keen eye, then check out the pores on the surface of the product. Natural leather has uneven pores on its surface whereas a synthetically manufactured leather would have an almost consistent and even patterned pores.
For the ladies with longer finger nails, try the fingernail test by digging into the material with your nail tip. If it’s real leather it will leave an imprint that would fade away very slowly. However if it’s fake leather, it won’t leave an imprint at all. Although useful, this is not the most definitive test as it depends on the force you put behind your nail.
If you are still not convinced over the genuineness of your new leather bag, then the best thing is to ditch everything and simply come to us. Put your trust in us and Rest assured, at the Antidote Store you will never have to worry about quality again.
So you just pampered yourself with a new designer leather handbag. Congratulations, it looks great on you. It definitely is worth every penny and second you spent hounding after it. Your friends are begging you for the details, your bag is the talk of parties and ooh the never ending compliments. Life is good.
So once you’ve taken it for a ride around your social circle, subtly trying not to look smug, what are you going to do next to make sure that bag retains that top-spot in your wardrobe?. Worry not, AntidoteStore is here to help
Here are a couple of pointers to make sure your leather bag remains theapple-of-your-eye.
1: Keep your precious away from moisture
Moisture is the arch nemesis of leather. Always keep your leather bags in a dry environment. If by some mistake you do get some moisture on your bag, don’t panic.
Slowly dry the bag with air or keep it in sunlight.
2: Cuts and scratches
If you do get some scratches on your new handbag, do not despair. Once you’re finished strangling the culprit, try rubbing the scratches with your finger. The natural oils from your finger work better than a damp cloth.
3: Cleaning and shining
Keep your leather bag clean to maintain its shine. A dry cloth or strips of old newspapers are best for such a task. Do not use alcohol or turpentine for cleaning purpose, you’ll end up discoloring the surface.
Timely cleansing also increases the life of the leather and maintains the texture.Having clean hands also helps. White leather surfaces naturally yellow over time.
4: Carrying weight
Leather stretches out over time but does noteasily go back to its original shape. If you stretch a leather bag or overstuff it, when wet or very humid, it will stretch even faster. Just learn to carry the right amount, and it’ll take care of itself.
5: If the leather gets too dry:
You can sub some leather conditioner or oils into it. These are used to maintain the flexibility of the leather.
6: Avoid handling chemicals such as bleaches, nail polish removers etc. around your leather bags. They can cause surface discoloration if spilled.
7: Don’t wrap it in plastic.The surface of your designer leather handbag still needs to breathe. This also helps in preventing any mildew growth.
8: Leather smell
Although you love your new designer leather handbag, sometimes its smell can be overwhelming. The smell also proves that the product is 100% pure and natural. In order to help with the smell, leave a small sachet of lavender petals in the bag for a few days or small drops of baby oil/ olive oil will also lessen the smell.
Such is the love of handmade around the world, that today there are shops and platforms that cater to only those curators who pride themselves on using the handmade. More and more people have begun to realize the thoughtfulness that goes into creating something from the hand. From your mother’s home made desserts, to the finely handcrafted porcelain from Belgium, the appreciation is for the finer nuances that only the human hand can create.
What is deeply moving about hand crafting, is that it is personalized on a very deep level. When you receive a handcrafted item, you know that it is made with love and someone has put both time and effort into creating it. And that is precisely why handmade products are so much in demand once more.
Machines do the job four times faster, but when you come home, tired from a long day’s toil, would you prefer to have a steaming cup of tea that has been created by someone especially for you or a tea dispensed from an impersonal machine?
The value of what has been created for you with affection and the labor of love, outweighs that of anything that has been mass produced in a factory or obtained from a machine. With this thought, and this ideology, we bring to you these finely crafted leather bags that are exquisite in their designs and will make excellent gifts. The luxurious feel of the items that we create, is nonpareil. They have a unique identity, a character of their own, and they become a part of who you are.
Ditch the mass produced culture & make more personal connection with things you buy. yourself with the care and effort of the truly handcrafted, and you will feel the difference from the moment you set your eyes on it.