Ian Grant
Finest kilt accessories, heraldic & ornamental hand engraving

Quality Control

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Ian Grant's name is a by word for quality. He applies his own exacting standards to the craftsmen he engages.

Hand finishing is the final stage in making an Ian Grant accessory. This is a skilled process and is not so common these days when the priority is to keep costs in check with automated processes.

It does add to the cost but it also adds immeasurably to quality and to the life of the item. For example, apart from appearance and feel, plating on ill-prepared surfaces can only result in a poor quality finish which can tarnish quickly and hide other defects which will eventually become apparent. An antique silver finish is even more demanding: this plating process brings out all the detail and will instantly reveal poor quality stamping casting or finishing.

Full grain Full grain leather is the best quality and should not be confused with terms such as "top grain and "full top grain" which are two of the terms used when the grain is not genuine.

Because leather is a natural product it will contain markings such as "fat wrinkles". These markings and the natural grain variations should be seen and the feel should be supple and natural to the touch.

The better the quality of hide or skin, the less it has to be treated. Cheaper leather has the natural grain removed and an imitation grain embossed into the surface. It then has a heavy coating to cover up imperfections.
vegetable tanned leather is used in Ian Grant's belts and sporrans. This is a process of tanning using natural materials such as bark and other parts of trees and plants and dates back some 5,000 years. The highest quality heavier hides are tanned in this way.

Lighter weight hides are generally chrome tanned, a process using soluble chromium salts. This takes less time to produce. The surface is then given an artificial grain which hides imperfections in the original hide.

Because leather is a natural product it has natural markings which distinguish it from man-made materials. Lower quality leathers frequently contain a coating or a pattern to disguise these markings.