Girth Straps – Shiny Side Up or Shiny Side Down?

Girth Straps – Shiny Side Up or Shiny Side Down?

Back in March, I asked my Social Media followers a question regarding girth straps and which side is the 'right' side. Don't Shoot The Messenger Well, before you all shoot the messenger, what I am about to tell you is what is known as the 'correct' way. Ask your Saddler/Saddle Fitter This doesn't mean that you have to go straight out and have your straps changed. The 'Correct' Way Girth straps should be stitched onto the webbs of your saddle with the dull side up (shiny side facing down). An awful lot of saddles are made with the girth straps the other way round (shiny side up). This is predominantly due to consumer requests. Whilst training for my City and Guilds Saddle Making qualification, I was taught to do everything the correct way. This includes hand-stitching girth straps into saddles with the dull side up as this is the safest and most durable way for them to be done. Customer's Preference Most customers don't like the look of the girth straps...
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Leather Repair Service

Leather Repair Service

If you follow me on social media, you will have noticed a leather repair advert, like the one above, has been posted out each month, since the New Year. It's just one way of reminding people that I carry out repair work without giving the hard sell. The main sort of repairs are usually as follows: Bridle headpieces, loop replacement, cheeks reduced, flash loop removed.Saddle stitching redone, girth straps replaced.Headcollar buckles replaced, restitched chapes.Girth stitching replacedBoots (Horse and Human) - replacement of zips or straps.Bag straps replaced, lining removed and replaced and a complete refurbishmentBelts shortened, buckles changed, replaced stitching Leather Repair Gallery This list is not the only thing I repair, I have also repaired car seats and a leather jacket. There is nothing that I won't have a go at, as long as it comes to me in a clean state and not covered in thick mud. Cost Prices vary from job to job but as a general idea, the minimum cost I charge is £10.00...
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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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Product Overview – Handmade Bridle Leather Belts

Product Overview – Handmade Bridle Leather Belts

With this month's January Sale taking place, I thought it would be nice to feature some product overview's during this month, starting with the bridle leather belts. Starting Out When I first set out on this journey of becoming a Saddler, one of the first items I ever learnt to make from leather was a belt. Technically the easiest items to make, once you have learnt the basics of cutting leather, preparing it and then stitching it together with a fancy buckle. British Raw Materials All belts that I make now are made from the best of British leather, usually, Sedgwick's which is finished in Walsall, just 40 minutes from where I am based. I use a variety of buckles but I prefer to use the top quality solid brass or nickel buckles that are produced by another British company, again located in Walsall, called Abbey England. The rich smell of real leather and the strong and durable feel of the buckles, coupled together give you a...
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