Leather Bags

  • How To Get Scratches Out Of Leather

    At Pad & Quill, we use very high-quality full-grain bridle leathers in all our bags and leather iPhone and iPad cases. Full-grain leather is an amazing thing, it is extra thick, super durable, and among the highest quality of leather available. Our full-grain leather is of the "pull-up leather" variety. This leather has waxes, dyes, and oils deeply impregnated in it instead of being painted or coated with color. This process gives the leather a beautifully rich color & depth. You will find this leather used on the highest quality couches, leather jackets, boots, and of course, our all of our leather bags.

    One of the best features of our full-grain pull-up leather is that it ages with you and develops a stunning patina over time. High-quality pull-up leather scratches. That is a fact of life. With use, these scratches build up over time, blend together, and soften into a unique and gorgeous patina.

    However, not everybody likes scratches on their leather, or maybe there are one or two unsightly scratches you want to remove. Read on for our tips on removing scratches from leather, and how to get scratches out of pull up leather. Continue reading

  • How To Take Care Of Leather

    how to care for leather

    At Pad & Quill, we use extremely high-quality full grain leathers from one of the most reputable leather tanneries in North America. Our leather bags and cases are fully oiled, tanned, and waterproofed from day one. We are confident in the quality of the leather, and it's workmanship, which is why we guarantee it for at least 25 years.

    However, well-maintained leather can last much much longer if it is taken care of properly. There are leather bags from over 100 years ago that are as good now as they were the day they were made and maybe even better!

    All products made from leather will age with time. The aging effect on leather is called a "patina" and can't be replicated by any artificial means. A patina develops from everyday use and handling of your leather product. As you use the bag, it gets marks and scratches, lighter spots where the leather flexes, darker spots where your hands touch frequently, and smoother spots where it rubs. The oils and waxes from the leather move around and balance everything out into a bag that has a character and life-story that is as unique as you are. These leather goods become true heirlooms to their owners.

    This is why we are proud to release three new leather care products: our waterproofing Leather Balm, conditioning Leather Oil, and our deeply restoring Leather Cleaner. With proper care, your leather bags, wallets, and cases will stand the test of time and age beautifully as well.

    Continue reading

  • Meet The New Pad & Quill Leather Bags

    leather roll top backpack and leather tote bag

    We are proud to introduce Pad & Quill’s latest additions to our leather bag lineup: the Roll-Top Backpack and the Leather Tote Bag. Adhering closely to our core design principles of superb craftsmanship with unfettered fashion, the bags are stylish, functional, and iconic. Our roll top backpack is a ruggedly charming leather laptop backpack that harkens the James Dean in us all. While the leather tote bag features a refined and classic look that looks straight out of Mad Men. Continue reading

  • iPad Pro, still deciding

    The Contega folio case for iPad pro

    Mr. PQ is good to me, I think.  I arrived home last week to find a brand new Apple iPad Pro propped cozily in our new bookbindery Contega iPad Pro case.  Mr. PQ knows how I love a good book, the more vintage the better.  So, there it was, the iPP(iPad Pro) in all its shining metal and glassy glory.  It was big, but this didn’t surprise me, I’d watched the Apple bigwig presentation on a big screen.  It had four, stereo speakers, at least that is what my 17 year old told me; something about left/right differentiation and sound perception and that did impress me.  It has a multitasking and split keyboard feature; neither my hands nor brain work this way so I have no comment.  

    As most people are aware, I am a very reticent early adopter and generally ascribe to Stockholm Syndrom any technical insight I might stumble upon.  Which is why when it came to making our a case for my iPad Pro I rely on our CNC design engineer to create a Baltic Birch frame, that, in spite of its streamline look and feel,  is as durable and beautiful as all of it’s predecessors.  Chris Stapleton never sounded so good!  (the Country Music Awards notwithstanding).  

    From there, Bruce in St. Paul, took over and crafted a stately and durable cover of Buckram Linen with a delightfully grippy internal surface that enables multiple propping positions as well as a surface to grip the otherwise greased pig like surface of iPP metal.   And yes, it holds the Apple Pencil nicely which is great because at a C-note per pop, the Pencil is not nearly so expendable as the various nubs and stubs that litter the bottom of my backpack.

    For you luxury leather aficionados, our craft partners in Leon have designed a Valet Bag that is far too versatile to define as a sleeve.  It props, it protects and it holds Apple’s  Smart Keyboard and iPencil.  This Valet Bag might easily be one of my favorite of the iPad cases we have produced.

    Finally, for those living the ironic life of being a minimalist in an iPad Pro world, we have crafted the Oxford luxury leather iPad Pro case.  American herdsmen produce great steers which explains why the Oxford folio case for iPad Pro can be crafted from a single piece of full grain bridle quality saddle leather.  The durability of leather combined with parachute grade thread used for stitching illustrates why we have no problem offering a 25-year warranty on all of our leather iPhone and iPad cases. 

    While I took possession of my iPad Pro a week ago, the jury is still out regarding whether I will weave it into my lifestyle or gift it to one of our many hard working employees.  At any rate, I’ll likely need to lock myself in my bathroom to actually have a go at iP Pro.

    Kari (Mrs PQ)

  • The Evolution of the Briefcase, From Roman Legionaries to the British “Red Box”

    Pad and Quill Leather Attache Briefcase

    Despite its humble beginnings, the global business bag market has become a behemoth industry in its own right $9.4 billion in sales in 2014. The very word “budget” comes from the same Latin or Irish derivatives for leather bag. Before the 17th-century clothing often didn’t have interior pockets, so bags were an absolute must long before they were a luxury. Business has always necessitated a bag, and the briefcase has long reigned supreme in its domain. So let's take a trip through time to see how the briefcase has evolved: Continue reading

  • Briefcase to Cafe Racer

    Mr. PQ was busy becoming a major radio star the other evening but I had no idea what his topic was to be, I wasn’t allowed to be at the PQ World Headquarters while he was participating in 9to5Mac’s weekly podcast.  This has nothing to do with the fact that the FIFA Women’s World Cup is competing in Canada this month.  My exclusion from the taping also clearly has nothing to do with my propensity to scream insanely at the television when a goal is scored or mutter incoherently at the oops-I-fell-so-clearly-Christie Rampone-knocked me-over smathlete.   Who am I kidding?  When it comes to world-class soccer, I revert to my 18-year-old Colorado self; this would be the self, weaned on Bronco football, who lived in the mile high city where exuberant cheering is an art form.

    Art forms have been a significant point of conversation in the PQ household, or at least this is how Mr. PQ asserted his claim that surely the best way to be motivated to create world class backpacks and briefcases for Pad & Quill, was that he be fully immersed in the artful, gritty, urban world of the Café Racer.  To do so meant purchasing an artistically rich cafe racer motorcycle, specifically, a Triumph, preferably a Thruxton.  He appealed to my accounting side: “it’s a great tax write-off”.   Sorry babe, the IRS won’t see it that way.  He appealed to my affection for history: “Mom is English, it would tie me to my heritage.”  Honey, scones and tea would do the same but I don’t see you clamoring for them.   He appealed to my sense of nostalgia: “Steve McQueen and Anne Margaret rocked the Triumph in iconic photos and movie shots”. Me, having a lifelong love for Anne Margaret wavered.

    Original Photo by Cal West, 1964. Original Photo by Cal West, 1964.

    Once Mrs. PQ wavers, it’s not terribly hard to push her over.  Especially when the one pushing has worked 70-80 hours a week, month after month, year after year, putting food on the table and a roof over our heads.  There are people who might view Mr. PQ’s new bike as a mid-life crisis, I’d say it’s a ride well earned by a guy who’s taken loyalty and devotion to an art form.

    Kari

    Mrs PQ

  • Backpacks, Briefcases and Jurassic World

    “You’re wearing that, I didn’t know you wore that.”  The “that” Mr. PQ is referring to is an exquisite leather and copper bracelet he bought for me while on a recent visit to our manufacturing partners in Mexico.  It is also the “that” which has been on my wrist constantly for the past 6 weeks, how it took him that long to notice is beyond me.  The man is a stickler for fashion details.  This is never more apparent than when he is talking product design and Apple accessories.  Mr. PQ can spot a hand pounded copper rivet on a backpack or a Japanese nickel cast zipper on a briefcase from a mile away.  While the aesthetic details drive his designing mind, functionality governs the genesis of any new leather, tech-lifestyle products.  It’s a match made in heaven.

    The hybridization of some species can be an Indominus Rex type disaster, not so the marriage of 24 oz wax canvas and full grain American Steer leather when it’s crafted into a new line of  backpacks and briefcases.  Allow me to insert a note of gratitude toward Universal Pictures for their release of Jurrasic World, in which Chris Pratt screams across the screen on a Triumph Scrambler , the same weekend we had selected to release our new line of gorgeously versatile backpacks, and briefcases, inspired largely by Mr. PQ’s mid life crisis aka “the beast” aka Triumph Thruxton.

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    To be bequeathed with the PQ ampersand, a backpack or briefcase design needs to stand up to the rigors of a daily commute, passing through 4 seasons of slush, snow, sweat and slop, while still retaining it’s rugged beauty.  Mission accomplished!  We are fairly certain that if you are the poor tourist plucked up and digested by Tyrannosaurus-Rex, your Pad & Quill Backpack would live to tell about it.

    PQ Bags Stillwater-101 crop

    Our new line of Backpacks and Briefcases will go with you from the conference room to the cottage and back again, and will easily become your go to bag for all the adventures you pursue.

    Check them out and we think you will agree!

    Kari

    Mrs PQ

  • When in Mexico...

    Most folks are familiar with the phrase, “when in Rome do as the Romans do.”  While on this trip to visit our friends and manufacturing partners in Leon Guanojuanto Mexico I learned a new phrase, “a donde fueras,  haz lo que vieres”.  A loose translation of this old spanish saying is, “where you go, do what you see”.  A donde fueras, haz lo que vieres in Leon means eating quesedillas under a makeshift tarpelin tent and paying scant attention to the bubbling pot from which the meat is pulled, (I’m not certain but I think I saw an eye wink at me).  Most delicious street food I’ve encountered, and a Mr. PQ favorite.  He wants me to make this comida at home, but I’m reasonably certain this feat can’t be replicated in the United States, because it’s not just the ingredients.  It’s the hot desert air and the cool shade of the tarp, it’s the seasoning of a griddle that’s achieved by thousands of quesadillas passing over it and being cleaned exclusively by a quick scrape.  It’s rumble of diesel trucks passing through the manufacturing district and banter of uniformed children walking home for a mid day meal, which happens to occur around 2, a phenomenon, to which I could grow accustomed.  An hour break in the afternoon to slow down, eat, rest, breathe, then you reconvene for dinner around 8.  I explained to Alvaro, our designer of leather iPhone wallet cases, we eat supper around 5:30 or 6.  He was mystified how we could go 12 hours sin comida (without eating).  I’ve never given it a second thought but I’d guess the practice evolved from farming life where supper, bedding down and rising up were all characterized by “early”.  Alvaro and Mr. PQ have been busy with iWatch accessory designs and we think you will enjoy what we are doing with Italian design, luxury leather and regional hardwoods.

    Apple Watch, Apple Watch, Apple Watch Apple Watch… it’s going to be big and I’m nervous as heck with anticipation of trying to understand and use the thing.

    A donde fueras… When in Iowa, do as the Iowans do.  This would include consumption of corn and tater tot hot dish.  It would also include working with Jason who is taking the concept of bumper case for iPhone to a resplendently natural level with beautifully crafted hardwood. Those details will be emerging soon!

    When at Old Mexico do as the Old Mexicans do, but we covered that in the first paragraph.  What we can’t wait to uncover is what Alex has been up to in designing a new line of leather and wax canvas bags, backpacks and accessories, can’t divulge too much more but suffice to say it will be a 'Triumph' of bag goodness.

    When in St. Paul… you stop in at the greasy, hole-the-wall, rail car diner, Chris and Rob’s and have hot dogs that are stadium good, to die for, dogs.  No one should watch how sausage is made, but it is pretty fascinating to watch our bookbindery staff craft our moleskin journal iPad, iPhone and Macbook Air cases.  Tom and Mr. PQ are designing a fairly well indestructible case that will release later this year as well.

    Now I'm off to ask Mr PQ what the over/under is that I will be unable to figure out my Apple Watch in the first week of having in on my wrist.

    Mrs PQ

    Kari

  • Mr. PQ is pregnant, I'm not.

    “I’m pregnant”

     

    No, not me, Mrs. PQ, it’s Mr. PQ who’s expecting.  He mentioned he has been working on some new things, but him not being the science-y type, male fertilization never crossed my mind.  The man who runs to the emergency room for morphine with a little back pain ought to handle the whole transition labor quite well, I’m certain.  I caught him crying as he sang along with Disney’s Frozen soundtrack the other day, so the hormones must have kicked in by now.  He watched the movie with our oldest, while the second daughter and I were backpacking in the Porcupine Mountains (UP-Michigan) over the weekend.  We hiked the trails with a much- anticipated glimpse of black bears as the state park brochures promised.  In spite of being in the most remote portion of the park, we encountered nary a bear, print or slightest indication that bears were local inhabitants.  I travel prepared for bear encounters, daypack slung with safety whistle, mace/pepper spray, sidearm, and hiking poles that double as spears a la The Edge.  On my last trek north with the oldest, all armament proved unnecessary as the one encounter we had with a bear resulted in me emitting a “mom” scream that sent the poor creature scampering to the next county, as the kid stood in utter contempt and disbelief that I’d ruined her wilderness photo op.  Given her propensity for selfies, I’m not so sure my scaring the bear was a bad thing.  This is the kid who, on day 2 of a 3 day canoe trip, exclaimed, “Mom, I don’t get it, do you mean AM or PM?”  This inquisition was in reaction to me directing, for the prior 48 hours, with the 12-hour clock that aviators, military personnel and outdoorsmen in general use to indicate direction.  No wonder the canoe was seldom pointed along the right bearing.

     

    I’ve been away a bit this summer, which brings us back to Mr. PQ’s pregnancy and my curiosity as to who supplied the egg, presuming there was an egg and not some bizarre asexual dinosaur from frog DNA experiment being carried out.  That could get alien ugly real fast.  Alas, cell coverage being spotty as it is in the wilderness, left his text to me broken into segments.   What he actually meant to say is that he is so excited about the designs and prototypes being crafted by our team he feels pregnant with anticipation for all the projects in the works.

     

    Our whiteboard area is piled with prototypes of Little Cases for iPhone 6, and a new design for the for the iPad Air.  We haven’t left out you lovers of leather dry goods, with gorgeous full grain being transformed into bags and backpacks you’d be willing to watch a 26.2 hour Frozen marathon to own.

     

    Nine months is a long time to await the arrival of a newborn, thank goodness the fall is almost here!

    Mrs. PQ

    Kari

  • Will Your Leather Bag Stand the Test of Time?

    A leather bag isn’t just a fashion accessory, it’s a style investment. Leather is one of the most durable, long-lasting materials out there, which is why it’s so important to take excellent care of your leather bag.

    Continue reading

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