A characteristic we take pride in at Rugged Lot, is that we hand-stitch all of our pieces. Not only does this give a certain aesthetic that cannot be achieved with a sewing machine, it also provides a more durable product.
The image above is from "The Art of Handsewing Leathing" by Al Stohlman
As the image above demonstrates, the lock stitch produced by a sewing machine is two threads running parallel through the leather. Once a thread breaks, the stitch will loosen, causing the thread to unravel and the seam comes apart. With the hand-stitch method (saddle stitch), the two threads alternate sides and actually create two lines of stitching. If one breaks, the other holds the piece together and the seam will hold together. This process cannot be replicated by a machine, but by hand, one stitch at a time.