A FEW HOME TRUTHS ABOUT THE WORLD OF LEATHER CRAFT

If you've read My Story, you will already know I am passionate about the work I do. I also believe we all have a responsibility to try and minimise our impact on the planet. On this page you'll find a few home truths, things I stand for and commitments I make to my customers.

Not all leather is created equal - I could write an essay on this but the commonly advertised sign "genuine leather" is meaningless. Proceed with caution wherever you see it. If you want the very best quality, you need Full Grain Leather. If you see this advertised, you are getting something that will last a life-time. Just don't expect to pay peanuts for it.

1.

Vegan Leather - The current "hot potato". Unless you come across that very rare mushroom based bag, it is plastic people. Worse still the vast majority of vegan leather is PU (Poly-urethane) based, which by the way is not biodegradable. Yes I agree that real leather involves the loss of animal life but I would rather us try and use animals sustainably than produce yet more landfill destined plastic products.

3.

Being open about the facts - You've heard a few facts about leather. I don't believe it is practical to say "I shall never... use chrome, use vegan, use a machine etc". I have a business to run and every customer has a different set of requirements. My commitment, is to be open and very clear about the facts. You won't catch me jumping on any marketing band-wagons or "fads" when it comes to the materials I use. 

5.

I don't use spell-checkers - As per my blog, you are more than likely to find typos on my website. Frankly I would prefer to spend my time designing or crafting something.

7.

Use of chemicals - There are two main types of leather; "Vegetable Tanned" and "Chrome Tanned". Vegetable is treated with natural products, Chrome is chemically treated. The quality across both can be  good or bad. It's up to you to make the environmental impact decision.

2.

Handmade - What does "handmade" actually mean. The vast majority of leather products on the high-street, that display the handmade logo, are made using leather sewing machines. So a more accurate description would be "hand operated machine made". Should you care? Probably not, but truly hand-made and hand-stitched products will always cost more, as there is much more time and labour involved.

4.

I'm still learning - I see myself as much as an artist than as a business man. You will be able to scour the internet and find many leather businesses claiming decades of experience in leather craft. I don't have decades of experience and I don't intend to pretend I am perfect. I am learning and every day I see myself learn new skills and techniques. When you buy a product from me or request a commission, what I can guarantee is you will get something that is made with 100% passion and to the very best of my "current" capabilities. 

6.

Being a British Brand - This point is very closely linked to (5) "Being Open". I am passionate about supporting British Business and wherever possible I will source from and use British product. That unfortunately is very hard in today's business climate. What I do not believe in, however, are brands which claim to be "British" but are then sourcing nearly 100% of what they do from overseas. All of my products are designed by me in the UK. If I use a manufacturer to help me produce more quantities, they are in the UK. I also use a British manufacturer of hardware and fittings. It is only leather, which is important (generally Italian or US). Unfortunately the UK leather market does not currently off the variety needed for my customers.

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