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Introducing ultra-thin casing leather goods

Engineered with elegance

Each day we move from place to place; from one corner of the city to another. And over time our movements become our routines: the journeys we make, the places we go and the things we take to get us there. We created our first casing leather goods collection to make these journeys more intuitive, more efficient and more enjoyable.

This collection of durable, ultra-thin carry goods signals a new category for Arc’teryx Veilance and a radical new approach to designing with leather. While it provides a different expression of unobtrusive, effective simplicity, it is born from the same lasting desire that drives everything we create: to innovate, to enable and to inspire.

Stitchless leather construction: setting a new benchmark for elegant engineering

Our newest collection comprises three styles of slimline casing leather goods: a card wallet, a billfold in two sizes and a passport wallet. By taking a traditional material and combining it with progressive technologies and ideas, we’ve created a collection that changes expectations of how leather carry goods can look and function. The exceptionally slim but strong wallets are the result of the innovative construction method we developed, where we laminate rather than stitch the leather.

We knew we had an impressive laminating technology that had huge potential. And that we wanted to create a new type of carry good that very few people — if anyone else — could make. But at the beginning of this intensive project we didn’t know the materials, form or construction methods that would enable us to do this. It was a case of starting from scratch and learning our way to an entirely unique product,’ Taka Kasuga, Design Director.

Combining simplicity with strength

As our equipment designer, Katie Mah, explains, ‘we wanted to create totally new products that didn’t look or function like traditional carry goods. We wanted to create something that had aesthetic simplicity, that was physically very thin but exceptionally strong and durable. That’s not an easy combination of attributes to achieve.’

To realise this combination, our design and production teams have developed new manufacturing processes and tools that enable us to efficiently and consistently create exceptional quality casing leather products that don’t behave in a way we’ve seen before. ‘By the end of the process, our workspace had become part design floor, part laboratory, part workshop.’

An iterative approach: explore, test, improve

The project to create this new collection kicked off in February 2016, with the first three styles launching a year later. ‘The first stage of the project was extensive material testing. We tried around 30 different materials to see how they worked with stitchless construction and how they responded with use,’ explains Chris Hodgetts, the project’s design manager.

After the testing stages, it was clear that leather had the most aesthetic and functional potential. From there our designers worked with Horween, one of the finest North American tanneries, to select a full grain combination tanned leather with waterproof treatment. Over time, its smooth, fine grained surface works in to accommodate the contents of each wallet and allows for a clean hinge point without distressing or significant patina. By combining this very specific material with our custom-built laminating machines, we have been able to find a new relationship between durability and low-profile design.

A new chapter in the Arc’teryx Veilance story

What we’re most excited about’, says Kasuga, ‘is that this is just the beginning. The casing leather carry goods illustrate what these new production methods can create, but we’ve only just started. The next step is finding out where we can push our design ideas, to create other new objects that solve other new challenges.’