A watch strap is an easy thing to take for granted, until it breaks on you. Only then do you realize that a well-made strap, while not as technically complex as the watch movement themselves, is a feat of manufacturing in its own right. There’s fitting, splitting, pressing, stitching—and that’s just a fraction of what it takes to ensure the pretty face of your watch remains fixed to your wrist. In total there are more than 30 procedures required to make a watch strap.
It’s a craft, and it’s clear that if you can master a watch strap, you can probably make any number of other leather products, too. At least that’s the bet Shinola is making with its newly-opened leather factory. The watch brand recently opened a 12,000 square-foot factory dedicated to making leather watch straps. In a couple of months it will begin cranking out small leather goods like wallets, iPad covers and keychains, as well. This factory is the newest addition to the watchmaker’s 60,000 square-foot complex in Detroit, and it’s a testament to Shinola’s well-publicized conquest to revitalize craft in America and its homebase city.
Every Wednesday is Wearable Wednesday here at Adafruit! We’re bringing you the blinkiest, most fashionable, innovative, and useful wearables from around the web and in our own original projects featuring our wearable Arduino-compatible platform, FLORA. Be sure to post up your wearables projects in the forums or send us a link and you might be featured here on Wearable Wednesday!