Perhaps it is due to growing up with a furniture maker father and a sewing motherbut from an early age I’ve always had a fascination with the traditional skills of those individuals who produce, by hand, simple, everyday and yet elegant items. Many of these now rare skills, once so commonplace, have thankfully seen somewhat of a resurgence in recent years, with a whole new generation of makers and consumers turning away from the mass produced to something inherently more substantial.
With this has come the inevitable band wagon and many of the words (‘Heritage’ being a prime example) once used to describe such well made items have been thrown around and overused to the point where they have, arguably, lost a little of their credibility. In the end what it comes down to is truly crafted items. Items that have been made with a passion for craft and attention to detail that will, over their lifetime develop a unique patina. Or, to put it another way, things that will wear in rather than wearing out.
One such company is one man operation Enstone Leather.
Based in a workshop somewhere in Oxfordshire Lloyd uses traditional saddlery techniques, cutting and sewing fine Itallian steerhide by hand to produce a stunning range wallets and custom leather goods.
These are much more than simply the kind of thing your grandfather might have bough though. Like many of today’s new generation of makers Lloyd brings a keen eye for design to his work.
A personal favourite is the Harrow with Coin holder in chestnut 30z full grain steer.
Much of Enstone Leather’s range utilises this vegetable tanned full grain leather. This means that the surface of the hide has not been buffed, sanded or coated to give the smooth surface often sought for fashion products. Full grain leather is much much stronger and has much more potential to develop a great patination with use. Vegetable tanned leather is a truly live material, it moves and develops marks as it comes into contact with different materials be that raw denim or the the oils from the skin. This process to adds to it’s ability to develop a surface that moulds to and maps the life of its owner
Find more of Enstone Leather’s fanatatic range here