AWordintheWoods

A Word in the Woods

Toronto, Ontario · 3 Sales

AWordintheWoods

A Word in the Woods

Toronto, Ontario 3 Sales On Etsy since 2015

5 out of 5 stars
(1)

Announcement   About the artisan, Michael Zimmermann.
I design leather goods for people who love heirloom-quality everyday gear...

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I camp and canoe in the Canadian backcountry as much as possible, and what started out ten years ago as simple repair jobs for walks in the woods inspired me to design and make my own leather goods for city survival and country commutes.

I stitch each of my designs by hand in my maker’s workshop in east Toronto.

What I relish most is working with you on custom designs, where personal needs and experiences shape each piece uniquely, and each handcrafted item is a blank canvas ready to tell the story of its new owner.

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Please connect with me on social media:
· facebook: awordinthewoods
· instagram: awordinthewoods
· twitter: @awordinthewoods
· blog: http://awordinthewoods.com

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COUPON

Bummed about the current Canadian dollar? Me too!

Canadian Etsy customers can use the code "PROUDLYCANADIAN" to receive 5% off your purchase. Thanks for shopping local!

Announcement
Last updated on 08 Aug, 2016

About the artisan, Michael Zimmermann.
I design leather goods for people who love heirloom-quality everyday gear...

• · • · • · • · • · • · • · • · • · • · • · • · • · • · • · • · • · • · • · • · • · • · • · • · • · • · • · • · • · • · • · • · • · •

I camp and canoe in the Canadian backcountry as much as possible, and what started out ten years ago as simple repair jobs for walks in the woods inspired me to design and make my own leather goods for city survival and country commutes.

I stitch each of my designs by hand in my maker’s workshop in east Toronto.

What I relish most is working with you on custom designs, where personal needs and experiences shape each piece uniquely, and each handcrafted item is a blank canvas ready to tell the story of its new owner.

• · • · • · • · • · • · • · • · • · • · • · • · • · • · • · • · • · • · • · • · • · • · • · • · • · • · • · • · • · • · • · • · • · •

Please connect with me on social media:
· facebook: awordinthewoods
· instagram: awordinthewoods
· twitter: @awordinthewoods
· blog: http://awordinthewoods.com

• · • · • · • · • · • · • · • · • · • · • · • · • · • · • · • · • · • · • · • · • · • · • · • · • · • · • · • · • · • · • · • · • · •

COUPON

Bummed about the current Canadian dollar? Me too!

Canadian Etsy customers can use the code "PROUDLYCANADIAN" to receive 5% off your purchase. Thanks for shopping local!

Michael Zimmermann

Contact shop owner

Michael Zimmermann

Reviews

Average item review
5 out of 5 stars
(1)
Stropheus

Stropheus on 18 Jul, 2016

5 out of 5 stars

I had a custom job done for the 40oz Klean Kanteen water bottle. I could not be more please with the result right down the the belt loop and red para-cord!! Highly recommend!!

Updates

Options, and even more options! I'm getting my photography in order and will be adding products regularly.
Here's a variation of my "Rustic" Field Notes cover, now with a thong closure.
This is the only time you'll catch me "cutting corners" in my work. grinning
Measuring the right distance for the PALS webbing on a custom attachment for a water bottle holster.
View all 11 updates

About

Authentic, handcrafted leather goods inspired by the elegance of everyday utility

In 2015, I decided to quit the digital industry that I had called home for two decades, and focus on leatherwork as my one true passion.

I take pride in good craftsmanship and building practical, heirloom-quality solutions that cater to modern life.

FAQ
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Q: What are “Top Grain” and “Full Grain” leather? Why does it matter?

A: The best strength and quality comes from the outermost layer of the hide (known as the “grain”).
Most cheaper leathers are produced by splitting the inner layers to produce more square feet of material per hide, but full grain leather retains the outside layer for maximum strength and durability.

It is considered by many to be the most genuine of leathers, retaining all of the hide’s original textures, character, and strength.

This quality comes at a cost, as full grain leather usually commands a higher price. However, for quality, long-lasting goods—especially ones you depend on—it’s well worth the investment.

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Q: What is “Vegetable-Tanned” leather?

A: Tanning is the method of transforming a hide into usable leather. As its name suggests, veg-tanned leather uses a process involving organic materials, derived from sources such as tree bark.

It is contrasted with “chrome-tanned” leather which commonly uses chromium sulphate, and colours the fibres of the leather a bluish-white tint.
Chrome-tanned leather is quicker to produce, and much more prevalent in large industrial processes in the shoe and garment industry.

Vegetable-tanned leather is typically the choice for leatherwork artisans because of its versatility when carved, stamped, dyed, and finished by hand.

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Q: What's the difference between "Hand-Stitched" and "Machine-Stitched" when it comes to leather?

A: Well, of course, just having a machine or a human isn't going to automatically make thread stronger, or details more accurate. In fact, either machine or hand can be better or worse in terms of quality, depending on the materials, and the care placed into the setup/work.

However, there is one specific difference where hand-stitching wins out — resistance to unravelling. A hand-sewn saddle stitch (used on all my projects) involves two needles through every hole, and that means a very good, redundant system of securing two or more pieces of leather.

A machine will perform a lock stitch, which can continuously unravel down the line if the thread is broken at any one point.

Quality goods should use very strong thread, so this is unlikely, but if you want an objective indicator of long-term quality, a good saddle-stitch won't let you down.

Sometimes a good illustration can help:
https://www.google.ca/search?q=saddle+stitch+vs+lockstitch&tbm=isch

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Q: How long will my item last? Can I get it wet?
A: The short answer is obviously, "It depends."
However, through good care and maintenance, every single product you invest in should last many years — if not a lifetime — in performing its intended function.

You don't need much in the way of maintenance. Leather components should be occasionally conditioned to replenish oils, especially if they are exposed to sunlight and harsh elements. With light use, once a year is appropriate.

Leather and metal components should not be exposed to or submerged in water (especially salt water) for extended periods of time. This advice also applies to cats and BBQ ribs.

While you do want to keep your leather dry, if it's intended for use in the outdoors, I make sure your item is conditioned, oiled, waxed, buffed, and in some cases, finished with a thin top coat of acrylic. I use wax thread that will resist rot or moisture absorption. If it gets a dunking, just make sure it's not left covered and soaking for an extended period of time — most of the time, you're fine to just remove it from the wet conditions as soon as you can, and go about using it as intended.

Most leather finishes that you find at shoe care stores will be appropriate for the leather used.

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Q: Do you do custom work?
A: Yes, I do, but within some specific time, skill, and category constraints.

Contact me with your ideas, timeframe, and budget, and we'll take the conversation from there. I will let you know if there's something I can't or won't do.

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Shop members
  • Mike Zimmermann

    Owner, Designer, Leathercrafter

    While I’m a city-dweller, I'm also an avid outdoors enthusiast. I enjoy hiking and canoeing the Canadian backcountry. This led to other interests such as bushcraft, blacksmithing, and leatherwork. I love making and designing heirloom-quality gear.

Shop policies

Last updated on

Accepted payment methods

  • Accepts Etsy gift cards