How it’s made
All Leather for Folkies products are made using vegetable tanned leather – that is to say, the conversion of the raw hide into leather is achieved by chemical reaction with tree bark, twigs, leaves etc. all mixed up into a lovely soup in which the hides are soaked for several weeks.
The resulting leather is just lovely, and will soften and take on a super patina over time.
The basic leather is European – much of it British in origin – and is dyed and finished in the West Midlands. Some leather is supplied undyed and then tooled and/or hand dyed by Leather for Folkies, and this leather is 100% British in origin. Leather from Africa, the Far East and America is not used for several reasons relating variously to quality, environmental concerns and animal welfare.
Occasionally, lining leather is used and this is normally mineral tanned pig skin, again of European origin.
Everything at Leather for Folkies is done entirely by hand, using bizarre and wonderful hand tools. This includes the stitching – so partly explains the relatively high cost of some items. Hopefully you can see and feel the difference. Stitching by hand is much stronger and longer lasting than machine stitching.
Cutting is also carried out by hand, rather than fly press, laser or any other 20th/21st century method! That’s not to say there’s anything wrong with those methods, it’s just not how things are done here.
Other bits and bobs
Linen thread is used throughout – this is a strong, natural product available in a wide range of non-garish colours. It is traditionally used in saddlery, bridlework and so on.
Metal fittings are all of the best quality. Most of the brass-looking bits are solid cast brass. (Occasional items are steel-based and brass plated where there is no alternative.) Silvery-looking things tend to be nickel-plated steel. Coloured rivets and buckles are available to special order.
Overall, Leather for Folkies products are designed with durability in mind, as well as to look fabulous. No specific guarantee is implied but most items should last for a few decades at least, if you look after them. Repairs and replacements of broken straps, tabs etc. can be carried out at any time.