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  • Backing Exotics

    Firstly, Thank you Peter for starting this forum! I "as so many) have admired your amazing work for a long time! I have a question about working with exotics that hopefully someone can answer! From what I understand, the skin needs to be split down pretty thin - (1mm?) and then backed either with a split suede or some either kind of material, I've seen the term Micron used but have never been able to find out what this is exactly, I know that Mando have a material called Mycro (by Giardini I think) in two thicknesses that I understand is intended for backing. So my question I guess is: is this right? Thin outer layer of exotic, inner layer of suede or micron/mycro/something else and then lining layer of goat for example?

  • #2
    Hi James, Usually the alligator skin is split quite thin when it comes from the tannery. depending on the size of the skin its about 1mm or just under. It definitely needs to be backed or else it will always fold and bend at the creases between the scales. Mycro is what i usually use and I get it from Mando. Its relatively inexpensive and works great. you can skive it and edge finish it just like real leather. This is the backing if you want to keep a soft structure. If you want it stiff then i use Salamander(a bonded leather) as a backing for a structured bag.

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    • #3
      Question about backing exotics for structured bags ? What is the best solution ? Backing with salamander directly on the alligator (or other) ? Or backing with Micron and only edge glue the Salamander for structure ? This means an extra layer ... which can make the bag more heavy. Any opnions ?

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      • #4
        Just back it full with with Salamander if you want it rigid. That’s what I do on the Dream bag. Front back and bottom backed with Salamander and the gussets with mycron to keep them a bit softer.

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        • PeterNitz
          PeterNitz commented
          Editing a comment
          its glued completely. I use saregum. Same for lizard and python as those are even thinner than croc. Its not enough with just the lining but the skins are too think and the "hand" is not nice, thats why it needs a backing to correct this. Also with python and lizard the leather would be too weak unless its backed.

        • Aurelie
          Aurelie commented
          Editing a comment
          Ok thank you very much! Micron is it what they call “microfibre” at mando? What thickness do you use?

        • PeterNitz
          PeterNitz commented
          Editing a comment
          I believe they call it Mycron at mando. I have 0.8 and 0.3 thicknesses

      • #5
        Peter, do you use the same method for non exotic leathers that needs structure ? Like for ex. Lagun, Swift or Epsom ? Backing directly with bonded leather ? Would it effect the appearance of the leather grain ? Make it less natural ? I sometimes experience a difference in backing directly or first with micron.

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        • #6
          To be honest I never use those types of leather(which seem to me need to be soft construction) with stiff backing. But for example if I were to make a dream bag in Lagun then I would need to back it as that model needs to have a stiff construction, but i think it would not affect the grain at all.

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          • #7
            Well, I don't have that much experience, but… there are 2 materials widely used here, the "Recouro" (which I believe to be similar to Salamander) and the E.V.A. (Ethylene Vinyl Acetate).
            The "Recouro" crumple and doesn’ t recover its form after handling during the bag sewing or frequent use, ruining the final product. The E.V.A is easier to work with, leaves no marks due to its malleability and is very light, however, I don’t know if it is a prime material to be used with fine/exotic leather, I don´t know much about its durability after frequent use of the bag. In a small cosmetic bag I have it follows without flaws.
            I send a photo of E.V.A 3mm, "Recouro" 0.5mm and leather´s appearance stiffened with E.V.A.

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            • Martine
              Martine commented
              Editing a comment
              Hi Vanessa,
              your picture looks nice, thanks for showing, what glue do you use for backing with EVA ?

            • Vanessa Franco
              Vanessa Franco commented
              Editing a comment
              Hi Martine ! I use rubber-based contact glue, it is better spread in EVA when glue is new (more fluid). I spread the glue using that plastic bottle I´ve told before.

          • #8
            Thank you Vanessa, Martine and Peter this is super super helpful!

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            • #9
              Has anyone been able to find out which is the best product among those listed here? https://11must.com/best-glue-for-leather/

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