All BONZ garments are cut and made individually. Unlike most clothing that is mass-produced on production lines, every garment is treated as a "one-off". Because these garments are made from a natural product, each one has its own unique characteristics and no two garments are exactly the same.
Our lambskins are dyed in drums at the tannery, usually in batches of 800. Each skin in a batch is unique due to subtle variations in colour, texture and wool types. BONZ jackets require an average of 27 skins, and to get the perfection we demand of our products these must all have near the same variations. The team at the BONZ factory must then sort through each batch of 800 skins to find the 30 BONZ jackets hidden within – making order in the chaos. The sorting and matching of skins is more art than science, and those responsible for it at our factory have each been doing it for more than 3 decades.
Each panel on our garments is drawn by hand. This process must be exact as otherwise, you can end up with inconsistent sizing. We use a very small skin size, which results in a very low cutting yield. In addition, Lambskin is prone to natural flaws and blemishes, all of which must be marked and avoided before laying the pattern. Using 44% of each skin would be considered a ‘good’ cutting yield.
Cutting and Shaving
Each garment is individually cut using the lines that have been marked by the pattern layer. Areas of the panels that will overlap such as the seams and hem of the garment are then shaved to prevent too much bulk and to enhance the drape of the garment. Custom designed clippers are used to leave a smooth finish for the machinist.
The sewing machines that are used are industrial heavy-duty machines known as “walking foot” machines. Because the raw materials used are quite bulky compared to fabrics, the machine “foot” which would normally just ride over the fabric has been made into a two-part foot that steps over the skins as it sews. These machines are not automated - the skill lies with the machinist. Being a natural material, each skin is unique and needs to be handled differently which is a skill that cannot be automated.
Grooming and Finishing
After being sewn, each garment is then transferred to grooming and finishing. If the garment has buttons attached, these are hand-sewn onto the garment as they are usually made from natural material such as horns and therefore irregular shaped. Hand sewn and shanked buttons are far more secure than those attached by the machine.
Inspection and Packing
Every garment is inspected both inside and out before being packed for distribution. It is at this point that the craftsperson stitches on and personally sign the quality guarantee – they are then confirming the garments meets the BONZ standards and is ready to be purchased and worn for a lifetime.