Artisan Yoshiyuki Awajitani has developed five highly specialized techniques of his own for stingray leather craft. His artwork, a wallet, requires more than 100 steps to complete and he fully exercises his one and only craftsmanship throughout.
①Carefully selected and excellent quality materials
Awajitani goes through numerous stingray leathers one by one to confirm their softness and the feel of nodules, and carefully hand pick the ones match his criteria. If chosen incorrectly, nodules may get caught or come off.
②Elaborate hand polishing for slick and smooth surfaces
All the small nodules on stingray leathers are polished by hand with unique technique at the workshop. Awajitani repeats his hand polishing procedure thoroughly until he delivers the best glossy and beautiful finish.
③Gluing with extra care and time
The gluing method is selected on a case-by-case basis depending on the parts and the texture of the materials and joining surfaces. By applying the most relevant gluing techniques, Awajitani can provide required strength and durability in each part.
④Beauty and sturdiness of the products hand sewn with patented technique
Stingray leather is known as the most difficult leather material to handle because of its hard nodules and toughness. Awajitani has developed his original skill to hand-sew stingray leather so that seams are straight and strong.
⑤Multilayered and durable edges
Generally, cut edges of stingray leather are very hard and sharp. For this reason, polishing the edges is often very much important and painstaking task at the same time. Awajitani repeats a set of process, “applying coating agent, drying, and hand polishing” more than five times to get the results of beautiful and strong edges.
Possesses the world’s only patented stingray leather technology Master craftsman Yoshiyuki Awajitani
Stingray leather is called a swimming jewel and has been considered a lucky charm since ancient times.
Our workshop has established a patent for sewing stingray leather, which is highly difficult, and is particular about hand-sewing the entire process.
Only the highest quality leather is carefully selected, carefully hand-polished, and each stitch is carefully hand-sewn to create a durable and comfortable piece.Yoshiyuki Awajitani creates his wallets through over 100 steps.
Orders and aftercare.
Beautiful and durable technology
Generally, stingray leather is sewn by making cuts in the leather or by sewing in a zigzag pattern avoiding the scales. In that case, the corners of the scales may get caught and peel off, or the stitches may become loose and weaken.↓
Why did I choose hand sewing?
Stingray leather is a durable leather, but it can also be sewn with a sewing machine by carving grooves or drilling holes.
So why do I choose hand sewing?
It is to ensure that you can use stingray leather for a long time, as it is durable and produces horse mackerel.To achieve this, we thought that we needed hand-sewn that was durable and long-lasting.Unlike machine stitching, hand stitching is extremely durable and does not fray even if the thread wears out. And it’s also easier to repair.
The works of our workshop are sewn with high strength and are more difficult to break due to patented technology.
The strength of the fingers and wrists is different from that of a typical craftsman, as it requires extremely strong force, which can break an industrial sewing machine needle.
“Difference between machine sewing and hand sewing"
Machine sewing involves sewing with the upper thread scooping up the lower thread, so if the thread breaks, it may continue to fray.However, when sewing by hand, the threads are sewn in a crossing pattern, so even if one end becomes frayed, it does not continue to fray. This is why hand-stitching is still used for parts of horse harnesses and shoes that are likely to wear out.Hand-sewing, which requires time, cost, and skill, is not only tough, but also physically strong.
History of stingray leather
Stingray leather is a durable leather that has been used for Japanese swords and weapons since ancient times.
In familiar places,such as wasabi grater and shrine carpenter’s file,It has been with people for over 1000 years. It is also called “shark skin".
It is so durable that it is said to be the strongest of all natural leathers, and its pattern, luster, and durability are said to bring good luck and money.
The hilts of Japanese swords are made from the skin of particularly strong male males, and It is said that the feudal lords admired the beauty of the scales and had them make their own handles.
In addition, stingray leather was used not only in Japan but also all over the world because it was practical and beautiful.
Even today, it continues to exist in various forms, such as wallets, bags, kendo-armor, fishing rods, and graters.
Not all stingrays can be used as decorative leather. And it is rarely seen in the waters around Japan. It is limited to only a few types of stingrays.
In order to prevent the decline of natural rays due to overfishing, our workshop applies to the government and fishermen to land the fish, and the meat is eaten mainly by the locals.