Tom Explains Materials: Straight Slit and Bias Cut

Tom Introduces Forest Green 1050d Ballistic Nylon
Olive, Wasabi, Cayenne, Sapphire, Storm, and Plum straight slit 500 and 1000d Cordura.

The fabrics we use to trim or edge our bags are often the same as our other fabrics but slit up into specific widths. Some materials are either “straight slit” (cut with the weave of the fabric, parallel to the warp) while others are “bias cut” (cut at 45 degrees to the weave). The bias cut trim goes around corners better (like on the flap of the ID); the straight slit is used where crazy curves aren’t an issue like on the handles of the Swift or the Color Key Straps. The specific width the fabric is slit to will depend the end use, and will match the size of the specialized folder on the whichever sewing machine is being used for that specific assembly.
- Tom

Tom Introduces Forest Green 1050d Ballistic Nylon
Straight slit 500 denier Cordura in Cayenne, ready to be sewn up in to Color Key Straps.

See our factory in action tomorrow in Seattle!

Visit our Seattle Factory Showroom/Retail Store tomorrow (Wednesday, 06/15) during our open hours of 11am – 2pm and you’ll catch a glimpse of our factory crew making bags. We’re at 4750A Ohio Avenue South, Seattle, WA 98362. Want to see a map?

TOM BIHN Top-Stitches

Oops, wrong photo.

Here we go:
Photos of Monday's Cut: Large Cafe Bags

TOM BIHN Imago reviewed by Whatever

Lisa and Lee at the new TOM BIHN Seattle Factory

New Seattle Factory Showroom Schedule

Our Seattle Factory Showroom is still open limited days/hours, but a little more often than before.

During the next couple of months, we will be open:
Wednesdays from 11am – 2pm
Two upcoming Saturdays: July 9th and August 13th, 12pm – 5pm.

If you’re coming in from out of town or just can’t make it to our showroom during our open hours, we’d be happy to open just for you by appointment. Email ( or call us (206-652-4123) to make your appointment. And stay tuned for expanded opening hours in the coming months!

Memorial Day Weekend

We will be closed through Monday for the Memorial Day weekend, opening again on Tuesday, May 31st. All orders received this weekend will be shipped on Tuesday. Over the weekend, we’re going to hike, go to the beach, hang out with friends and family, think about what Memorial Day is all about, and do some work, too. We hope you have a great Memorial Day weekend! See you Tuesday.

TOM BIHN New colors of Ultrasuede® Screen Cloth: Lapis and Asphalt
The Co-Pilot made a great camera bag for our trip to the beach.

Seattle Store Open 05/12 from 11am-3pm

Though it’s not quite ready, we know many of you have been waiting patiently to visit our new Seattle Store/Factory Showroom, so we’re opening it (again) just for you from 11am – 3pm on Thursday, May 12th.

Address: 4750A Ohio Avenue South, Seattle, WA, 98134
(Plenty of parking right in front of the store!)
Need directions? Start here.

Ristretto for iPad/iPad 2 In-Stock, Backorders Shipped Today

Those of you with Ristretto for iPad/iPad 2 backorders will be pleased to know that we shipped your orders out today — weeks ahead of schedule. The Ristretto for iPad/iPad 2 is now in-stock in most colors..

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Above: the Ristretto for iPad in Cocoa/Cayenne.

Updates on new and upcoming designs

A local friend who knits has given us good feedback on the Knitting Needle Case and Tom is continuing to refine its design.

Tom will be working with the Seattle factory today on some minor manufacturing issues regarding the Camera Insert. It’s still in development and we hope to release it soon.

The Diaper Bag concept is something Tom has been working on for several years; it consists of a few components that are completely new to our manufacturing process. One non-sewn component, which will hopefully be made to our specifications in California, has a sub-component that we were promised delivery on almost two years ago. This sub-component has no comparable replacement anywhere in the world and we just last week received an updated sample. Sure, we could have released something sooner, but it wouldn’t be the hyper-cool thing we envision. Bottom Line: the Diaper Bag is still under development and due to circumstances beyond our control, its release date is unknown.

There’s lots more in the works, but these are the three designs that you most often ask us for updates on. Stay tuned!

Seattle Showroom Open Tomorrow (04/16) 11am – 4pm

Though it’s not quite ready, we know many of you have been waiting patiently to visit our new Seattle Store/Factory Showroom, so we’re opening it just for you from 11am – 4pm tomorrow, Saturday April 16th.

Address: 4750A Ohio Avenue South, Seattle, WA, 98134
(Plenty of parking right in front of the store!)
Need directions? Start here.

Update on our new Seattle factory

We’ve been in our new factory for two months now and we find more reasons to love it everyday. Having extra space (while it lasts) is grand — we have plenty of light, plenty of power, and extra parking. Though we seem to be in a Bermuda Triangle as far as convenient espresso goes, we are in all other ways very happy to be where we are. We’re getting folks trained and certified on the forklift, optimizing how sewing machines and finished product fit into the new space, and finishing up sorting through rolls of fabric and boxes of parts; all of the things you might expect after a big move. We’re putting the finishing touches on our new Seattle Retail Store/Factory Showroom and, while we are planning a grand opening later this Spring, we will be open on Saturday, April 16th from 11:00am – 4:00pm for everyone who has been patiently waiting to see our new location.

Stay tuned to the blog for more updates on our factory, including new photos and video.

April Fools! We’d never quit making bags. It’s what we do.

A few people have called, concerned we were really going to stop making bags and go on tour instead. It’s not true: we’d never quit making bags. It’s what we (love to) do.