Oak Bark Belts
Devon has many great things to offer but one of its most unique is Oak Bark leather from J.& F.J. Baker & Co of Colyton. Unique also, (with the possible exception of the odd Tin mine), because leather production using this ancient method of tanning has been carried out on this site since Roman times and little has changed in the method in over two thousand years. The process is described very well by the company’s Managing Director, Andrew Parr on this clip found on their website and I thoroughly recommend spending five minutes taking a look.
I know of no other leather that has the history, heritage and durability of these Oak Bark tanned hides. The quality is unsurpassed and consequently these leathers are used in a wide variety of top end leather goods and shoes including the very best and most famous handmade shoes produced in England. Their bridle leather is less dressy and more natural looking initially than others I use but when worn for a short time develops a deep patina that only the finest quality leathers can possess. All leathers have what is known as a ‘handle’, meaning how it feels to the hand. Oak bark bridle leather’s handle is a mellowness combined with strength that sets it apart from all competitors due to the gentle nature of the curing process. Oak bark tanned hides are left to cure gently over a twelve month period, relatively undisturbed, whereas more modern tanning involves turning hides in drums akin to washing machines which imparts a ‘shaken not stirred’ condition to the fibres of the hide leaving it relatively spongy and loose in comparison to the dense nature of Bakers Leathers which possess a high tensile strength and lightness gained from their process.
I have humbly produced this Oak Bark Leather collection to celebrate Bakers Leathers, the Industrial Heritage of this country, the trades of old (some no longer in existence and some less savoury) and the excellence of England’s leather tradesmen and women who still command great respect globally and hope you enjoy the entirely handmade end result all made in British materials and hand stitched at 8 per inch with British Linen Thread.
For further information on our selection of English Bridle Leather Belts, please click on one of the links below. Or contact us today on: 07977 093913 or 01386 861572 (answerphone).