With Leather

By The Editors
April 19, 2013 9:00 am

Handcrafted products, nicely done. This is Made By Hand, a recurring series in which we celebrate great American things and the tradesmen who create them.

Leather only gets better with age.

A maxim as true for your trusty leather jacket as it isn’t for Mick Jagger.

So if it’s durable and handsome leather you seek, look no further than Freddie Matara, designer of custom-fitted leather goods — accepting clients in his Williamsburg workshop right now.

Freddie was once a frontman himself. His band was (awesomely) called Birthday, and he wore ornate leather cuffs onstage and off. So he decided to start making his own.

Now he peddles everything from Southwestern-style belts to ornate, hand-tooled cuff watches.

Freddie cuts his wares from a single-bend slab of vegetable tan leather, which he cures to a variety of deep, rich browns.

He then hand-stencils the pieces with vintage modeling tools before applying a custom blend of dyes and lotions till the leather reaches its desired hue.

The final step: embossing the cuffs, belts and watches with fetching metal components, also made in-shop.

You can order all of Freddie’s work from his Etsy store. Or pay him a visit in his studio, where he hosts clients over glasses of pork-infused, homebrewed whisky.

Because leather gets better with whisky, too.

Email Freddie to schedule a consultation. He’s also got his first ever gallery show opening this weekend at Fitzgerald’s in Williamsburg.

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