Naskali Leather

Naskali Leather

Finland
jyri@naskalileather.com
Finland
From the boxing ring to your special moment: The story of Naskali leather bows

It’s said that Finnish men are the strong and silent type, not ones for expressing their emotions. I’m not one of them. I like to show that I care, also by making things with my hands. These hands have been through a lot: they have fought more than 200 boxing matches, earned several Finnish Championship titles and represented Finland in the ring across the world. I am a sensitive soul in a tough fighter.

For years, I’ve been brewing ideas as to my next step. I had finished my boxing career and run my own barber shop and hair salon for over 12 years. It was a good life, but I really wanted to find a way to combine my strengths – what could it be?

Then one spring evening I was leisurely smoking my pipe on the terrace of my sauna, when the idea about working leather began to take shape. The inspiration I needed came from a practical need: a leather pouch for my pipe. It became my first piece.

Working leather started out as a hobby, a source of inspiration much as boxing used to be. But the feeling of working this challenging and unforgiving material continued to grow, and the idea of creating something new and beautiful out of second hand leather would not leave me. Old punching bags and boxing gloves are a testament to its strength and endurance. I realised I wanted to give them a new life as something casually elegant that would last from generation to another. Since nothing speaks style like a sharp bow tie, I decided to make a leather bow tie with a decidedly old school vibe.

Each bow tie is handmade from soft and supple leather, either second hand or reindeer leather. When working with it, my most important tool is the awl, naskali in Finnish, which I use at almost every stage of the process. The second hand leather I use comes from flea markets, recycling centres, friends' attics and boxing clubs.

I have recently also started to use reindeer leather, a traditional Finnish material that is strong and buttery soft. It was a natural choice for me as someone who is proud to be Finnish and who has had the honour of representing the Finnish boxing team for nine years. My reindeer leather bow ties are made of ethically sound reindeer hides: I only work with mature animals’ hides that bear the signs of a life fully lived.

The Naskali leather bow tie signifies my journey from a national boxer to a proud craftsman. It represents the Finnish sisu: determination and courage in pursuing your dreams. My carefully crafted leather bow ties are beautiful and elegant, yet masculine and rough. They are your perfect companions to dinner parties, autumn weddings and business meetings – whenever you want to make the moment count.

-Jyri Naskali