Portamus is the accumulation of knowledge and passion built over a career spanning a quarter of a century.
We’re using all the best materials and components from the most wonderful diverse sources that we’ve wanted to bring together under one project for years. From traditional British woven fabrics and finishers to small Italian family run tanneries. Even our drawstrings are woven in the UK on vintage looms. If you’re a real accessories nerd you might be interested in…
Our Leather: It’s quite simply the proper stuff. When asked recently to describe it the following came to mind. “You know when archaeologists dig up a 11-century pilgrim and only find a bunch of bones and his boots? Well our leather is like that.”
It’s traditional vegetable tanned leather (no nasty heavy metals here) and will last considerably longer than any of us. Tanned in Tuscany by the family who run the small La Perla Azure tannery using traditional methods. They tan each hide to our exact colour and thickness specification (down to a 10th of a MM thick - 3.2mm if you really insist on knowing.). It’s truly wonderful and smells and even sounds (it has that squeak) like the leather of a bygone era.
Our Fabrics: Well… where to start… woven and finished by either British Millerain in Rochdale or Halley Stevensons in Dundee. Our fabrics have the best possible provenance.
These guys are simply the authority on traditional canvases and fabric finishing. I know it’s a cliché but what they don’t know about waterproofing and cotton canvases just isn’t worth knowing.
We’ve chosen the most suitable weights and finishes from their ranges to give our bags maximum utility and that timeless look. And a big thanks is due to Lynn at HS and Claire at BM for your help in finding just the right fabrics.
Our Lining: If you wanted the Grace Jones of the Linen world where would you go? Well Ireland of course. And that is where our Linen is woven It’s strong, beautiful, strangely smells amazing, and just works perfectly in our bags.
Our Tooling: Whist 90% of our products are cut by hand some of the tabs are cut using tools. These give a really polished and precise finish and are made by our friend Paul in Glastonbury. They’re a bit like giant cookie cutters - Plenty of pics on our social media if you want to see them at work.
Our Hardware: our frames and even our buckles are made to our own specification and powder coated to give the best protection possible against the elements. So far we’ve been unable to find a cost-pragmatic UK source for our hardware so we’ve opted to work with Alice in the far-east who we’ve worked with for many years who runs a family business producing bespoke metal work.