Form Leather is a new bespoke leather atelier handcrafting minimalist cases for technology in San Francisco. The laptop cases and phone cases are made by wet-forming leather on wood forms, an old leatherworking technique. We combine European saddle-stitching with die-cutting, selecting each step in the process for precision and beauty. The leathers are selected from the best tanneries in Italy and France, after careful consideration of their environmental practices. Because we make each piece one by one, we are able to offer many customizations, such as painting and inlaid leather.
Form was founded by Christine Valenti, who has been designing leather goods for 16 years. After years of working with samplemakers and factories, she became keenly aware of the impact of the samplemaker on a prototype. The small details, such as the radius of a curve or the size of the stitch hole make all the difference in the overall impression of the final piece. Because those details are so important, she learned the craft in order to execute them exactly the way that she wanted. In doing so, she fell in love with the process itself. “There's a beautiful balance between the physical precision and the strategy that is completely fulfilling to me,” she says.
1. No animal is slaughtered for its skin. The tanneries we work with get their hides from the meat industry. The leather is then a more sustainable option than just throwing it away.
2. The first step in the tanning process is vegetable tanning. This is where the raw hide is treated to stop the decomposition process. While this step can involve terribly damaging chemicals, vegetable tanning is better for the environment. In particular the tanneries we work with predominantly use tree bark and a grain grown on trees. The trees themselves are not destroyed to obtain these materials.
3. We only work with tanneries using best practices in water consumption and clean technology. In recent decades, there have been many advances in the processes available in reducing water consumption and treating the water that is returned to rivers and soil.
4. No chromium VI, ever. Chromium VI is a known carcinogen still used in some tanneries.
Every product is made by artisans in our San Francisco atelier, even down to the dust bags the products are shipped in.