The Floto Story
On average a Floto leather bag will pass through 28 different work benches at our factory in Florence, Italy : cutting, skiving, gluing, sanding, painting, internal assembly, hand stitching, riveting, etc. - enough to make your head spin. Along the way take pride in our work. We work hard but we also find time to laugh and appreciate life. We arrive at work early, but we take a long lunch and nap. We work into the evening and then drink wine and eat pasta for dinner. This is what it takes to produce a Floto bag; and this is the typical day at our factory.
Welcome to the family!
How It All Started
In 2003 Joe Floto quit a job on Wall Street to produce the highest quality leather bags possible at a fair price. Turns out, the formula worked - what started in a tiny West Village apartment has grown into an online brand producing over 300 styles of leather bags and accessories.
Floto is an American brand. Every Floto Leather Bag is artisan made in Italy, but it was designed in Brooklyn and packaged in Connecticut.
Every original Floto design is sketched at our Brooklyn, NY workshop and then assembled at our North Haven sample lab. Over the years we have built a "mini-factory" in Connecticut to provide warranty service and create new styles. The Floto Lab is where an idea goes from the drawing board to a prototype - each new style is cut and and assembled by hand before being sent to Italy for production.
Our secret sauce is the ingredients we use to make our leather bags. All of our products are made with 100% genuine leather. We prefer supple vegetable tanned leather because it is strong, flexible, and has deep, rich color tones without any harsh chemicals. What sets a Floto bag apart is the supple and vibrant leather that we source from Tuscany's most famous tanneries. These tanneries are part of Pelle Concrete al Vegetale - which means they are commited to centuries old tanning traditions by using only natural vegetable extracts and oils + patience and time (3 months), to create some of the most beautiful leather skins in the world.
THE USA COMPONENT
Floto is an American brand – we are very proud to produce our second most important ingredient, the bag lining, at a textile mill in South Carolina. Our American made 8 ounce cotton duck canvas lining is more durable and lightweight than the standard synthetic liners available. We have received many offers over the years to move this production overseas but quality is more important to us than cost. We are also committed to creating as many jobs as possible at home.
The first stage of a production run is to cut all of the parts. Each leather panel is die cut with a hydraulic press. After cutting, the leather panels are carefully organized by color and part for the next stage.
After cutting, we use the highest quality skiving machines to thin the leather. Thinning the leather is necessary to seamlessly blend parts together and it also lightens the weight of the bag. The main advantage of vegetable tanned leather is its amazing strength and flexibility - we can lighten the load without sacrificing durability. Our leather bags average 1.6 - 1.8 mm in thickness. No one wants a heavy bag.
LEATHER SANDING AND PAINTING
To make a beautiful leather bag, the most important skill is sanding and painting the raw edge. At this point in the production process Sandro is applying the first coat of edge paint. After drying, the edges will be sanded a second time and then painted again.
The glue bench is where all of the leather parts are assembled for sewing. The glue provides reinforcement and holds the panels together temporarily so we can get a nice, beautiful, straight stitch.
FINAL ASSEMBLY FLOOR
The sewing and final assembly floor is where everything comes together to create an original Floto bag. From hand stitching, to machine sewing, to riveting, and zipper assembly - this is where the rubber meets the road. This is the heart of our Italian factory. This is our passion.