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Welcome to my website

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Belts
Bags
Tankards
Keycases & Pouches
Belts
Bags
Leather Tankards
Keycases & Pouches
Bits & Pieces
Celtic Buckles
Western Leatherwork
Leather Tanning
Bit & Pieces
Celtic Buckles
Western
Visit the Tannery

 

For a good many years, I have been producing top quality hide belts, handbags and accessories, using entirely traditional tools, methods and materials.

I also renovate and restore all sorts of leather items. These have included antique gun cases, camera and binocular cases, leather writing table tops and fire bellows (both domestic and blacksmith's). I have a working knowledge of the techniques and materials which were used in the original manufacture of these items, and I am able to produce authentic restorations.

 
A pair of bellows made in 1886, before restoration . . .
. . . and after restoration

A brand new pair of bellows, made from English ash

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PRICE LIST

A price list of my products, together with ordering information is available here.

CONTACT

If you wish to contact me to discuss a special requirement, you can do so by e-mail at
celticleather@ntlworld.com

If you would rather 'touch, feel and sniff', most of my products are on permanent display at

The Shoe Box, 45 Leys Avenue, Letchworth, Hertfordshire SG6 3EE



Much of my work has a Celtic theme, using knotwork and zoomorphic designs derived from the Book of Kells, the Lindisfarne Gospels, and Celtic crosses throughout western Europe.

The following photographs illustrate a part of the range which is available

.

Belts
Most people are not straight-sided, so why are most belts made straight? The gentle curve which is built into my belts ensures that there is no 'bagging' at the back and sides, and the belt lies flat against the waist. These belts are individually hand-tooled, dyed with colour-fast saddle dyes, and hand-polished to a lustrous finish. The solid brass buckles are cast in sand moulds, and polished by hand. All my belts are guaranteed for the lifetime of the owner.

Belts

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The 'Celtbelt'

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The 'Celtbelt'. The example at top has alternating Celtic knotwork and thonging along its length. The lower belt has a continuous knotwork design along its length.

Bridle Leather Belts
A range of extra long belts for larger people

Made from top-quality English Bridle Leather, these belts are hand-sewn for strength and durability, with solid cast brass buckles. This leather is pre-dyed in Black, Dark Havana, Tan, Burgundy and Blue, and will accommodate waist sizes of 50" (127cm) and beyond.

Bridle Leather Belts

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The Quercus Belt
The heaviest belt in my range, the Quercus is made from 6mm (15oz) Oak-tanned leather, from the UK's last
remaining traditional oak-bark tannery.
These hand-sewn belts are triple stitched for strength and durability, with solid
cast brass buckles, and are available in a range of colours.

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If you wish to order a belt, I will need to know the fixing length you require. Please refer to the price list for further information.

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Bags

Carved Black BagThis bag is hand-carved in 4mm hide, and is approximately 25cm in diameter. It has an internal divider, with a zip-fastening pocket. All fittings are in cast brass. A range of knotwork designs is available, or the front may be left plain. This example is black.

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Tooled Tan BagThis bag is hand-tooled in 4mm hide, and is approximately 26cm wide. It has an internal divider, with a zip-fastening pocket. All fittings are in cast brass. A range of knotwork designs is available, or the front may be left plain. This example is tan.

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Tooled Square BagAnother popular design, in 4mm hide, approximately 25cm wide. It has an internal divider, with a zip-fastening pocket. All fittings are in cast brass. The front may be carved, tooled or left plain. This example is saddle brown.

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Carved Lions Bag

The little Celtic lions look fierce, but they're just a pair of pussy-cats!

If you have a particular Celtic design which you would like on a bag, let me have a drawing or a picture . . . I'll see what I can do!

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Leather Tankards
Leather tankards have been in use for hundreds of years, and examples have been recovered from Viking and Saxon sites. They were widely used throughout the medieval period in taverns and ale-houses.

These tankards can be personalised with initials in Celtic lettering, and make unique gifts for all occasions.

Tankards
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Super-rugged tankards, made from heavily grained 6mm hide. Available in brown or black, the heavy graining on these tankards does not lend itself to tooling, but initials may be added to the base.

Rugged Tankards

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All tankards are made from English hide, to traditional designs. They are lined with Brewer's Pitch, which has been refined to food-grade (BS:6920:1900) for use with consumable liquids, and are suitable for use with most cold drinks . . . particularly ale!
Large tankards hold approximately 1 pint, and small tankards hold approximately pint.


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Keycases and pouches

Keycases and Pouches

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A range of 6-hook and 8-hook keycases, in 2mm hide, together with a selection of belt pouches in 4mm hide. These items are available in a basic colour range of black, tan and saddle brown.

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Bits and pieces

Bits and Pieces

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A selection of small items.
Back left - Refillable lighters, with tooled leather case.
Centre - Pound coin holders (holds 15) with tooled leather cover.
Front left and right centre - Tooled leather hairslides.
Back right - Thonged leather neck-purses.
Front right - Bookmarks (tooled with pattern or name).

 

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Western Leatherwork

Carved SaddlebagsA pair of hand-carved Western saddlebags, made as a special commission. The design possibilities are infinite, and items of this type are the result of much discussion - it is important to get it right first time!

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Black SaddlebagsAnother pair of Western saddlebags, made from top-quality bridle leather. These were made for heavy all-weather use.

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Carved Western HolsterWestern holsters have to be tailored to fit both the wearer and the gun. Again, the design options are endless, but most guns (and wearers!) can be accommodated.

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What is Vegetable Tanned Leather?

Preparing Tanning LiquorThe leather that I use is tanned by the vegetable tanning process. Hides are prepared by soaking for up to two weeks in a lime solution to dissolve the hair roots. The hair is removed by a combination of mechanical and hand rubbing, and the hides are soaked in water to remove the excess lime. In the 'raw hide' state, the skins are cut to the required sizes - shoulders, butts, backs, sides or bellies - before being transferred to the tanning pits.
The tannery has 72 tanning pits, each containing a successively stronger solution of tanning liquor, made from oak bark soaked in water.Trimming the untanned hidesPlacing hides in Lime Pits
Each pit will accommodate about eighty hides. After a week in the weakest tanning liquor, the hides are moved along to the next pit, and this process
continues until the hides have passed through fifty pits. Most hides are completely tanned after fifty weeks, but some leathers - for shoe soles and heavy-duty applications - require a further twenty-two weeks of tanning to achieve their full strength.

The tanned hides are stretched, dried and rolled, and the back is

The Tanning Pits
Washing the de-haired hidesThicknessing the hidesshaved to a uniform thickness. A mixture of cod oil and mutton fat is rubbed into the surface by hand, to restore the suppleness of the leather.

When moistened, vegetable tanned leather will retain a stamped or carved impression. Much of the vegetable tanned

Rolling the hidesleather produced in this country is hand-dyed, and given further dressings of oils, making the leather waterproof and suitable for use in the manufacture of high quality saddlery. The leather that is used for most shoe uppers, clothes and upholstery is tanned by a quicker and cheaper chemical process.

Dyeing and dressing
I wish to thank J & F J Baker & Co Ltd (Hamlyns) of Colyton, South Devon, for their hospitality in allowing me to visit their tannery and take the above photographs. This is the only remaining traditional oak bark tannery in England, and most of their machinery was built before 1914. The grinder which crushes the oak bark is driven by a water-wheel that is well over 100 years old! All of the finishing processes are carried out by hand, and the end product is pure quality!
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Did you Know . . ?


PRICE LIST

A price list of my products, together with ordering information is available here.

CONTACT

If you wish to contact me to discuss a special requirement, you can do so by e-mail at
celticleather@ntlworld.com

That's the end of the story so far! I will be adding to this site soon, as time and patience permit, so please call again.

In the meantime, please be kind enough to sign my guestbook.

 

Free Guestbook from Bravenet.com Free Guestbook from Bravenet.com

LINKS

If you are interested in crafts in general, this is a good site to visit:

 

The only remaining traditional oak bark tannery in Britain can be found at


Copyright © Terry Dear Celtic Leather 2014


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