The story behind Delmotte Leathercraft
Ever since I was a child, I have been travelling to Calp, Spain, together with my parents. At the local market I bought a new wallet as I used to do every year. Every year, because by the following year, the previous one barely held together. The last one that I bought there, when I went on a trip with my partner Ellen, started to break down after only three months.
Early 2011 I moved in with Ellen in the lovely city of Ghent, where she was studying. To fill up my free hours after work and during her studies, I was looking for a hobby. I stumbled across an advertisement online for a workshop at a local leather goods store. It made me dream about a self-made, rock solid wallet. The next day I walked into the shop, and not much later I walked out with a bag of leftover leather and a starter kit to learn how to sew by hand. Using an online tutorial, I quickly got to work and made my first wallet. It was far from perfect and definitely not an eye-catcher, but at least it was sturdy. I ended up using it for more than three years and it not only left me with a wallet, but also an unprecedented sense of satisfaction.
The whole process behind it - from designing the pattern, to cutting and sewing the leather, to finally arriving at a tangible end product myself - gave a certain pleasure that I missed in my day job. The satisfaction I get from making leather goods has not let go of me from the start. It still drives me as a leather craftsman. That feeling, and the support of my partner, pushed me to become self-employed.
Since that first wallet, I haven't stopped fine-tuning my techniques and equipment, or looking for even better and more durable materials. I frequently followed workshops and, to top it off, I earned my diploma in leatherwork. As if that wasn't enough, I still study hours and hours of online instructional videos and devoured just about all the relevant reading I could get my hands on.
These days, of course, I make more than just wallets. In my workshop in the back of our little house in Lebbeke, I make all kinds of unique, timeless and durable creations by hand. I only use carefully selected, high quality leather, mostly made in Europe. With knowledge and respect for the material and its origin, I transform a residual product into something that has the potential to become an heirloom. Treat it with the same care with which I create it, and it will undoubtedly last a lifetime.