The SWANclothing Original Adjustable garter is back. Again. Also… Work explained, more than you ever wanted to know.

The Original Adjustable style of SWANclothing sock and thigh high garters are back because you asked me to bring them back {thank you!}.

Being a SWANclothing “Classic” the Original Adjustable style garter has no 3d printed components. Here’s the official info…

“The Original Adjustable style can be worn on your calf or thigh. Anchored flatteringly with recycled leather and a garter grip at the front. Using jewellery quality sliding hardware on both layers of stretchy elastic. Topped off with a silver metal swan bead. And available in TWO SIZES and TWO types of GRIPS. The standard grip works well with nylons, stockings, and medium weight tights or socks. The heavy grip works well with  medium to heavy weights of socks and thigh highs.”

I probably don’t talk enough about how I do what I do, I know it’s important, but I am usually just busy making things, and communicating with you, which is my favourite thing.  Up to 4 people work on each SWANclothing leather garter, I’ve adjusted the price on the Original Adjustable style to a more realistic price so that I can offer them for sale again. The new price reflects the lengthy making process and the number of people involved. And I wanted to explain that process a bit here using this style as an example. The prices should actually still be higher, but hey. Also, read this if you haven’t… Fashin Pirate Arabelle Sicardi’s excellent and perfect rant about handmade and prices and production for lingerie. I’m sort of a lingerie-jewellery hybrid, but I am most certainly handmade, and the info applies. I’ve used the link where Gabrielle Adamidis from Hopeless Lingerie adds a pile more of useful info.

Here are some of the steps in the making of the SWANclothing Original Adjustable style garter…

-Materials are sourced. Generally this isn’t so mysterious anymore, I’ve been doing this for a while and I know where to get what I want. Mostly I order them in from other countries, as we do these days. The elastic is simple, and for the garters we use what grips your legs best. The standard garter grips on these are deadstock vintage, not inexpensive to buy. The heavy grips are deadstock too. The sliders are the jewellery quality sliders you have seen around here for a while, they’re lovely, also not inexpensive to buy. And the swan beads are the swan beads, we do love the swan beads. So everything gets shipped in from all over.

-Recycled leather is carefully sourced. This is a special case for the materials, and a hard part. Because I won’t use new leather, we source used leather jackets mainly. Meaning we go to thrift shops in town and look for them. They need to be a specific weight and colour of black, and this has to stay as consistent as possible for the hand cutters, the laser cutters and sewers and final product. It takes a while to find the jackets. They are then cut apart and any glued-in lining is peeled out. This is unpleasant and time consuming. In the end using recycled leather is much more expensive to use than new leather, but to me it’s important, and I know many of my clients appreciate it too.

-This specific design is laser cut by a company here, sometimes I will hand cut them too. I have them laser cut in batches of 400-1000 to keep the price down, I’m charged by piece of leather laid down, the number of files I give them, and leather “tabs” cut. This gets very expensive because of the added factor of my using only recycled leather, so… each piece of leather I have laid down is actually quite small, therefore many are used. When we get them back from the laser cutters each piece is carefully cleaned around the edges and sealed. Laser cutting leaves a sooty edge on leather. Another meticulous situation, masks and gloves are worn type thing, it takes a while. They are left to dry overnight.

-Gluing and placement is the next step. At the moment the person who does my leather sourcing, and who takes the jackets apart, and seals the edges of the leather tabs, also takes care of this. Another meticulous situation but there’s not much explaining to do. I’ve made templates to follow for placement. Hardware is slid onto the elastic and all elastic glued in place. Another drying day is needed here. It’s been suggested to me to skip this step, but because of the amount of “stuff” placed between the leather, it needs to be VERY securely held in place for sewing. Also, the added bonus of… You CAN NOT pull these things apart unless you use PLIERS. Believe me I’ve done it. So they are indeed very strong.

-Then sewing. I’ll be sharing the sewing duties with another sewer this time around, and have done this in the past too. Someone or I will take care of the leather sewing, another sewer deals with the elastic sewing and hand finishing and swan bead placement. We don’t finish off lines of sewing using a machine, we do that part by hand too. Knots are tied, and then the thread ends are hand sewn back through and hidden. Next the swan bead is a pain in the butt to put on, but it’s worth it, I mean duh. With a combination of elbow grease and daintiness we wrestle them into place.

-These have no 3d printed components but I’ll mention the process here a bit. I love the control over the design I have with 3d prints, and the programs I work in, my brain loves it, it’s meditative actually. And it’s not “handmade” but it is most certainly “brainmade”. For me to make a new file (design) takes me now from 2 days to 3 weeks if I have to rework it a lot. Sometimes I have a prototype printed locally, and when I am happy with my design I’ll stop reworking it. Then I send the file to get printed in other countries, since no one prints metal in Canada yet, ahem. After they are printed the 3d prints are hand finished, not by me but by the printers (not sure I can say “print” more than that). And they ship them back to me. Printing is about 3 weeks.

-Shipping is handled by still another person here at SWANclothing. We use a combination of new and recycled materials. Though as much recycled as possible, for instance the cardboard. Anyway, shipping is shipping, I’m not going to go into any descriptions there. But we keep it pristine and protective, and take pride in it, enough said.

If you want to know more check my About, my making of SWANclothing blog category, and my making SWANclothing Flickr set. That’s all I can think of at the moment. If you’ve come this far and read all this, that is awesome, I appreciate it, as I appreciate all of you who follow me and are a part of SWANclothing. Much X from me.


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