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  • Welcome to the Veg-tan life!

    First off, I want to thank you for supporting my humble business by purchasing my handiwork! It means the world to me that you believe in the things I do, and your purchase helps keep food on he table, a roof over my head, and I get to keep honing my craft to bring you better stuff next time! About the leathers I use: I believe in being kind to the environment, that's why I made the choice to only use Italian or Japanese vegetable-tanned leather that are by-products of the meat industry. No animal is killed for it's skin with Maverick Made. Customs. This is also why you'll never see us craft with exotics such as crocodiles or snakes. Ethics and origin are huge priorities when deciding on the various materials I use for my products, Generally speaking, there're 2 common tanned leather types you should know about - Chrome-tan, and veg-tan. Chrome-tanned leathers account for about 90% of leathers that come out of tanneries from all over the world! These leathers are tanned using chromium salts, other heavy metals and nasty chemicals such as arsenic and formaldehyde. Tanning with such chemicals drastically increases turnover from months to days as compared to traditional vegetable-tanned leather. Chrome-tanning is still the preferred method for most industries like fashion, automobiles and upholstery because of its quick turnaround and significantly cheaper manufacturing costs. About vegetable-tanned leather: Considered to be the benchmark of the industry with it's strength and durability, veg-tanned leather can last for more than a lifetime if well cared for. Dating as far back as 3000BC in Sumer - modern day Iraq and Kuwait, the tanning process uses natural vegetable tannins to change the protein structure within the hide, changing it from a raw animal skin into leather. The organic substances applied in the process preserve, strengthen, and eve color the hide. Tannins in leather – like those in wine – each have a distinct effect on the substance to which they are bonded. While grapes provide the tannins for wine though, vegetable tanning uses tannins from tree bark, leaves and roots (among others). Common trees used include the birch, catechu, chestnut, mimosa, oak, and willow. No synthetic coatings on this leather means that the surface can breathe, absorb moisture and oils, and take on a distinct patina over time that gives it a special value even when it has seen many years or miles of wear… sometimes especially then. In summary: Chrome-tan Pros Significantly cheaper material Softer, lighter, and heat/moisture resistant Wide variety of vibrant colours because of synthetic dyes and chemicals Cons Prone to cracking and separation of layers Will not gain a patina because of synthetic coatings or chemical treatment during tanning process Gets weaker overtime Extremely damaging to environment, wildlife and people, with chemical byproducts dumped (legally or illegally), especially in developing countries Veg-tan Pros Tanned with natural oils and tannins from trees, leaves, roots, etc Sweet aroma Extremely hardwearing, lasting a lifetime or more if cared for Gains patina from absorbing bodily oils Most environmentally friendly method of tanning leather Cons Significantly expensive material Long tanning process Uses a lot of water Feels stiff at first, and may take awhile to break in More susceptible to water damage What to expect of your new vegetable-tanned product? It's going to feel stiff, and your cards will feel super snug at first. Fret not, with some usage and patience, the leather will soften as the fibers start to shift and mould around your cards or item. Eventually, it will feel nice and supple, and getting your cards out will get easier. A patina will develop. It's not looking tired - it's aging beautifully the way it's supposed to (like you, I suppose!). Patina is a sign that you're using the best quality full-grain veg-tanned leather commercially available, this means the grain is tightest, and resists moisture very well. Full-grain leather incorporates the entire grain of the hide with all the imperfections and inherent toughness of the material. Sidenote: The term "genuine leather" is a double entendre in the industry - it does mean real leather, but it also often reflects the lowest quality of the hide (aka split leather separating the tightest grain with the loosest and weakest). Many popular fashion houses opt for genuine leather to save on costs. How to care for your product? The best care is non-neglect! Keep using it - the oils from your hands or body will constantly nourish the leather, keeping it from moulding or drying out. Keep away from extremely wet or hot places. If you do get your product soaked, remove all items from it and dry it in a well ventilated area, away from direct sun to prevent sun-tanning or drying out the natural oils within the leather. In front of a fan, by a window, overnight is fine. This product is also really good for nourishing your veg-tan leather goods. Every 2-3 months is great, 6 months if you're busy, yearly at minimum if you want it to last. Anything else? Just pop me a message here to say thanks or ask for any advise! Thank you for taking the time to read through this! Enjoy handcrafted, gentlefolk!

  • Making Vegan Leather - Batch 1.1

    From where we left off, I baked one of the trays with the 3-layer (twice folded) SCOBY pellicle and it turned out a little burnt at the edges. It also uses quite a bit of electricity, which I'll be saving from now on, because I doubt I'll be baking it again. Perhaps a proper dehydrator would solve the problem with the burnt edges? It's Day 4 since I started drying out the rest of batch 1's SCOBY. The one on the tray is significantly thinner than the one on the tarp, but thankfully both of them are significantly suppler than the one that was put in the oven. I would count these as successful experiments of SCOBY leather. Unfortunately, I didn't document the process of peeling off the thicker (once folded) piece of SCOBY leather from the tarp, but it was definitely a lot suppler as well as tougher to peel off the plastic tarp. It turned out to be 0.09mm thick. It also took the texture of the tarp, which was kind of cool. I would say that starting off with a thicker piece of SCOBY pellicle is more beneficial to achieving a better, stronger outcome. Too thin, and the SCOBY leather feels brittle after dehydration. I noted there're some air bubbles trapped between the layers of folded SCOBY. Where the pellicle touches, they successfully laminate, at least strong enough to hold themselves together when being peeled out. Either way, I'll be trying to craft something out of this first batch of vegan leather! Final notes of making vegan leather: Thicker, unbroken SCOBY pellicle dries to thicker, suppler vegan leather Always wash excess yeast bits off before drying off Squeeze as many air bubbles out as possible when laminating pellicle Over baking increases dehydration time with the risk of burning SCOBY, making it brittle and stiff Sun/air drying SCOBY achieves better results, feels suppler and stronger tensile strength SCOBY pellicle takes texture of surface it dries on Vegan leather may need some sort of waterproofing/resistance for added durability Vegan leather is also translucent, perhaps because of how thin they are Moisture content of SCOBY pellicle is expected to be >90%. I would probably have to start with at least 10mm to achieve somewhere close to 1mm leather In the next post I'll talk about my experience crafting with SCOBY leather, and the additional processes involved in making it a little bit more durable and water resistant. Till next time, gentlefolk!

  • Making Vegan Leather - Batch 1.0

    With the first batch of leather collected from Wild Boocha's brewery, thankfully only 5 mins away from where I live, I quickly got to work because I was pretty excited to find out how SCOBY leather feels and behaves. I was blown away at the amount they gave, as well as how big the pellicles came in. Homebrewers have their pellicles in mason jars, so they're only as big as the container the kombucha's brewed in. Luckily for me, Wild Boocha's containers were massive, and it'll do me good having large pieces of SCOBY for large pieces of leather. I had to wash the excess yeast off under running water for a bit. The pellicle was very fresh and it felt extra slimy, probably due to the excess yeast. After washing, it was noticeably less slimy. I laid out some newspaper on the kitchen counter to see how large, and how thin the pellicle was. The second piece was much thicker than the first, and also much larger. It weighed what felt like 3-4kg. My guess-timation, but it was impressive nonetheless. I laid that one out on a big blue tarp I had lying around. My aim for the first batch was just to dry them out to see exactly how much moisture is lost, and how much pellicle would be left that would be my vegan leather. From my research, it was pretty evident that most of what a SCOBY pellicle is is water, so I expected to be losing about 80-90% mass. I folded the thin pellicle into 3, and the thicker one into 2. The larger, once folded pellicle, I left on the tarp, whilst I cut the other into 2 and placed them on aluminium baking trays. I proceeded to "bake" one of the trays at 50 degrees Celsius, for 2 hours at a time to try to dehydrate it quicker, and left the other 2 out in the sun for the day. I also knew that leaving them out to dry would take a few days. After baking the one tray for about 4 hours, I saw that most of the (visible) moisture from the pellicle was out! Officially, I had made my first successful tray of vegan leather out of SCOBY! Elated, but upon inspection, I realised that it was paperthin and felt like parchment. They weren't kidding when they said SCOBY was mainly water. It also felt brittle at the edges, possibly due to the over-dehydration from baking. Peeling the SCOBY off that baked tray was precarious. It often started ripping from the burnt edges, but its tensile strength from the material itself was strong, considering it was 0.01mm thin. I'm already impressed, thinking that if it was even 1mm thick, it could very well serve it's function as a leather alternative for smaller items Fast forward 2 days, the other 2 sun-dried pieces were on their way to being dried out. As an organic material, drying out would reveal the differences in thickness throughout the material, as shown in the photos below. For me, I have no problems with it. As a crafter, I accept the beauty in naturally made things, and I also have no intention of making vegan leather made out of SCOBY look like real leather. I think it takes something special about the material away. I'm quite happy that SCOBY leather looks and feels the way it does, in all it's weird "ugliness", and funky yeast-y smell when you put your nose to it. In the next post, I'll be showing the results of the sun-dried pieces, as well as some other notes on the material. Till next time, gentlefolk!

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  • Contact Us | Maverick Made.

    How to Reach Out Custom or corporate orders? Workshops and lessons? There are a few ways you can get in touch with us. Instagram: @maverick_made Email: maverickmadecustoms@gmail.com Chat With Us! Tap the button on the bottom right. Alternatively, You Can Reach Us by Filling Out the Contact Form Below. Submit Thanks for submitting! We'll get in touch with you soon!

  • Our Story | Maverick Made.

    Our Story Maverick Made. Customs was born out of a passion project to create an affordable motorcycle tank strap for a Triumph Bonneville T100, with the best possible leather we could afford. ​ That one project took many little practice projects, which ignited a burning passion to create meaningful, unique, and thoughtful everyday carry items for discerning individuals who care about handcrafted quality, ethically sourced materials, and exceptional wear for years to come. Respecting The Resource As a single craftsman running Maverick Made., I am aware of the stressing nature of the material on our environment and animals. No material is perfect, but I make efforts to ensure that all my leathers are by-products of the meat industry, off-cut exotics from suppliers, sourced from reputable tanneries that have certified waste disposal systems in place by LWG, and are of the highest quality to last as long as you need it to. ​ No animal is killed solely for its skin, and efforts are made to reduce negative environmental impact, from the source, to you. This Is Us I am Shaun, the craftsman and founder of Maverick Made. Customs. I was a full-time food delivery rider when the COVID-19 pandemic hit in Singapore. 2020 was supposed to be the year I got "a proper job", only working deliveries solely as a means of decent income between jobs. ​ Working tirelessly throughout the pandemic made me realise 2 things - I love working alone, and my life is not worth risking for faceless conglomerates. The latter, I realised after a couple of minor accidents and many inefficient algorithmic changes that extended my working hours. ​ After the 2020 lockdowns, I saved and bought a Triumph Bonneville T100, which was what essentially started my leathercrafting journey to make accessories for it. I am now a full time craftsman since October 2020, chasing my dreams to have my own retail studio that provides high quality leather goods, supplies and workshops. I owe my thanks to all my friends and customers who have believed in the work I do from Day 1.

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