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Wickett & Craig English Bridle Leather

“Natural, eco-friendly, peerless.
For more than 150 years we’ve been perfecting the traditional craft of vegetable tanning. A labor-intensive method, it produces superior leathers full of character.” – Wickett & Craig

Wickett & Craig was founded in 1867 and is one of highest quality tanneries in the United States of America. Located in Curwensville, Pennsylvania, Wickett & Craig produces high quality vegetable tanned leather. Vegetable tanning is one of the oldest forms of tanning, the tanning method requires tree bark in order to convert raw hide into leather. Much more eco-friendly compared to chrome tanned leather and much more labour-intensive method that requires skilled workers.

Workers at Wickett & Craig

Vegetable tanned leather is known for its longevity, durability, getting better with age and rich with patina. The best hides are sourced from North America, dehaired and tanned for 14 days in their tanning liquors. After tanning the leather is a blank canvas to be finished and dyed in a variety of ways. The different colour dyes are applied through a process called drum dying.


Drums used for drum dying at Wickett & Craig

The English Bridle leather is further hot stuffed, that is the core is nourished with waxes and tallows for deeper concentration of colour and greater durability. After leather is then stretched out on a perforated stainless-steel screen, where the hides are air dried in a climate-controlled, dehumidified space for around three days.

 


Perforated stainless-steel screen used to stretch and air dry leather

After the hides are sprayed one more time with a mix of special waxes for feel and protection, then with polyurethane for abrasion resistance. The last stage is to iron the leather to render the surface smooth and even. At the end the entire process takes around six weeks, much longer than chrome tanning, "but the results speak for themselves." - Wickett & Craig


Finished Leather at Wickett & Craig