OH MY EYES’ chrome-free leather cases are handmade in the family-run factory Målerås Läder by Tommy Håkansson who is the third generation owner since 1989. Located in the deep forest in the province of Småland, Sweden, the village Målerås is known for its rich craft heritage, in particular glassworks, dating back to the mid 1700s.
Having grown up in the leather factory, Tommy Håkansson knew from an early age that he would take over his family’s heritage – his grandfather started the leather factory in 1947, and in the end of the 1960’s his father took over. From the start they mainly produced military straps and then moved over to bags, especially briefcases in the 1950s and pilot bags in the 1960s.
“I remember sitting in a small crate next to my father. The craft environment is still my reality 40 years later, Tommy says. “Time has almost stopped here. It looks and smells the same. As a child I could smell the leather, but spending my whole life here I have got so used to it.”
OH MY EYES has commissioned Målerås Läder to produce its leather cases by hand from Italian chrome-free, vegetable tanned leather.
The process starts with cutting the leather, the OH MY EYES logo is then embossed. As seen in the video, Tommy’s father then makes the leather edges thinner in order to be able to fold it – the button is attached and the case is finally sown together by Tommy’s mother. The process finishes with his sister folding it by hand.
“Vegetable tanned leather is easy to shape, and it ages with grace. The last 2-3 years we have noticed an increase in requests for products made from vegetable tanned leather, handmade in Sweden. We’re not that many leather factories left. Times are finally changing – it’s not a gold mine but we are happy to just make a living from it,” Tommy ends.