A Hands-On Process

23 May 17


A Hands-On Process - GLOBE-TROTTER

A glimpse inside the Globe-Trotter factory reveals a meticulous attention to detail.

Many brands attest to employing fine craftsmanship, but few can compare to the extraordinary handmade artistry behind every Globe Trotter product.

For 120 years, Globe-Trotter has been manufacturing beautiful, handcrafted luggage with the original design and manufacturing methods changing very little since its Victorian beginnings. After moving from Saxony in Germany, where the company was founded in 1897, to London in the early 1930s, Globe-Trotter continues to apply the same traditional, handcrafted techniques and use the original machinery today – more than a century on.

A Globe-Trotter suitcase is made from vulcanised fibreboard, a unique material comprising multiple layers of specially bonded paper, making it lightweight yet extremely sturdy. One of the case’s trademark features is the moulded leather corners. Because of the pressure they are put under during the moulding process, the corners need to be trimmed (as seen in the above image) prior to being buffed and inked. The process of having the corners soaked, pressed, dried out and then pressed again takes a total of five days. They are then applied to the case by hand – a feat of great skill and accuracy.

A leather storage rack in the factory displays 3mm vegetable tanned hides, which are used for the suitcase handles, corners and straps. The leather comes from J&FJ Baker, a small, family-owned company in Colyton, Devon, which is the last remaining tannery of its kind in Britain.

The original Globe-Trotter suitcase design has barely changed over time, but the collections are constantly being updated for new seasons and the contemporary adventurer’s needs. Having such an impressive company archive means that many new designs are inspired by the past, such as the current spring/summer 17 line, inspired by an original suitcase owned by former stewardess Hilary Farish, who travelled the world with British Airways in the 1960s. Archival embossings are included in the collections, such as the Propellor luggage tag featuring a 1950s heritage logo.

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