The British Leather Industry

The British Leather Industry

The British Leather Industry became a global importance around the late 19th Century. Walsall, a town located in the West Midlands, became known as the centre of the British leather industry, producing and exporting saddles, bridles and harness. Why Walsall? It is unclear as to why Walsall became the centre for the British leather industry. Maybe it was due to the town already having an established Lorinery or Saddlers Ironmongery industry. What is Lorinery or Saddlers Ironmongery? Lorinery or Saddlers Ironmongery are specialist blacksmiths who produce horse-related metalwork such as stirrups, bits, buckles, spurs and saddle trees. In the 1830s it was a local Loriner ‘Thomas Newton’ who claimed to produce the towns first ready-made riding saddle. The Introduction of the Sewing Machine Around 1860 the sewing machine was introduced, which sped up the production of some leather items, particularly harness traces. By 1861 there were 60 known companies in Walsall making bridles, saddles and harness, as well as 15 Tanneries and Currying works that actually produced the leather. Export...
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