I finished this all-white sleepsack a few weeks ago, but it took until now to get some decent pictures taken... This sack was made from the from Sav-Mor "Artisan - cream" upholstery hide I mentioned here, but had never used before, and it was designed to be a prototype in my size to try out some production techniques and materials.
At first I was excited to do a sack in a leather color I had never used before. I'm always trying out new things to see how they'll work, and it's always fun to have new gear, right? In this case I was surprised at what I found: basically this hide sucks for sleepsack use.
Why you ask? Well, first, it has a very strong smell - almost like the paint they used has solvents that are so strong they just won't go away. I tried airing it out, both before and after sewing, and weeks later it is still so strong that it can give me a headache. It's a real problem. Usually I love the smell of leather, but this isn't that - it's more of a chemical vibe. Blech!
Second, I initially liked the color and the smooth, even surface - I thought it might be a cool change of pace from the basic black. I was thinking the off-white color and subtle sheen could produce a clinical, otherworldly look. But in the final piece, the corrected leather surface grain almost looks like plastic. That's not a good thing...
Third, the hide has a softness that I thought would make a luxurious and sensual feel. But in reality it turned out to be spongy and clingy - in a bad way. It makes getting in and out of the sleeves a pain in the butt. Turns out a slightly stiffer leather may work better for sleepsacks.
Finally, the last straw is this leather seems to be so coated as to not breathe much - if at all. This makes a big difference that you can feel right away - compared to other sacks I've made, this one is like wearing a plastic bag. It feels like you are going to overheat right away, especially when you pull on the hood. Usually your body heat can dissipate through the leather, but this one is so sealed, it's like being in unbreathable plastic wrap. I know, some of you are thinking "Plastic wrap? Sounds great!". Well, it ain't so great IMHO, but if you want that sort of feel (and maybe live in a cool climate) - this is the hide for you... otherwise, stay away!
Well, now that I've bagged the hell out of it, please enjoy the pictures! And spare a thought for the suffering the poor model/slave (that would be me) is enduring for the purposes of his art and your edification...