Leatherwork

To find out more about my dog collars and bags, choose from the menu. My leather items are also available to buy at this Etsy shop.

Types of leather and what I use them for:

Chrome-tanned leather is produced by a modern tanning method using chromium salts. It can be produced quickly and is generally the cheapest leather. This leather is strong and very resistant to staining and won't absorb water or stretch if it gets wet, but it doesn't cope as well under heavy wear as vegetable-tanned leather, and with heavy-duty use will start to look manky after a year or so. You can see this if you buy an inexpensive leather belt, which soon develops cracks and wear, particularly around the hole it's fastened on.

Vegetable-tanned leather is produced using a very old tanning method, using plant material such as oak bark. The hide has to be soaked in the solution for a year or so for the tan to develop. Vegetable-tanned leather, if properly cared for, is extremely hardwearing and can last a lifetime. However, it can absorb water and become misshapen due to this, and if it gets wet frequently or for long periods, the leather can start to deteriorate.

Bridle leather or harness leather is vegetable-tanned leather that has been treated with oils to make it resistant to moisture so it can be used to make horse tack.

In addition to the basic types, leather can get its colour from a few different methods. It can be dyed, in which case the colour goes all the way through the leather and is generally colourfast, and this is usually done at the tannery in a drum. It can be pigmented, where a surface covering of thin coloured polymer is applied to the outward-facing side; the pigment in this case tends to obscure the grain of the leather, although some pigmented leather is embossed with a grain pattern. Or it can be stained, which is usually carried out by leatherworkers rather than at the tannery, where a dye is applied to the surface of the leather. Stained leather is often not colourfast and the colour may come off on things it comes into contact with. Stained and pigmented leather will both reveal the original colour of the leather beneath if they are scratched or cut.

For most of my collars intended for adult dogs, I use dyed vegetable-tanned leather. This leather is strong and long-lasting and the colour won't come off on your dog's coat, and minor scratches and wear won't reveal the underlying leather colour. These collars do need proper care and your dog should not wear them for going swimming, however. Occasional slight wetness from rain etc. is not a problem provided if the dog does get very wet, the collar is removed as soon as is safe and left to dry at room temperature before putting it back on.

For my puppy collars, I use pigmented chrome-tanned leather. This leather is ideal for puppies with their tendency to get into wet mucky situations. Often young puppies can take a while to get used to travelling in the car, and can end up saturated with saliva, and sometimes even worse things! The chrome-tanned collars can be rinsed of anything really revolting and wiped clean with warm soapy water. It doesn't matter that the leather gets a bit manky-looking because the puppy will have outgrown the collar by 6 months old! I don't stain the edges of the leather (they are left their natural colour and burnished) so residues will not come off on your dog.

I make a few collars from plain brown English bridle leather for people who want the benefits of vegetable-tanned leather and do a lot of outdoors work with their dogs in all weathers. Oils from bridle leather collars can mark dogs' coats, and I find the collars do tend to smell a bit with age.

Price List

Collar Neck circumference Strap size Price
Standard 14-16" 3/4" £35
Medium 12-14" 3/4" £33
Miniature 10-12" 5/8" £30
Toy 8-10" 1/2" £20
Rolled Samson
very thick leather, black only
choice of stitching colours
15"+ 1" £40
Puppy collar 8 weeks+
simple flat collar
choice of colours
8-11" 1/2" £7.50
Twill lead
for small dogs and well-behaved medium dogs
at least 39" long lead 3/4" hand loop £36
Chevron lead
for bigger dogs and pullers
at least 39" long lead 1" hand loop £40
Flat Samson
very thick leather, black only
choice of stitching colours
15"+ 1" £33
CUSTOM ORDERS
Jingle Bells collars (seasonal) other decorative collars, any sizes or items I don't list
all any £various

Size table, prices are in GBP. If your poodle is between two brackets, it is recommended to use the larger size collar. P&P to UK addresses is £3 for up to 15 collars or £4.50 by signed-for insured postage. Postage to other countries and different postage options are available. If paying by PayPal, there is a charge of 20p + 3.4% per transaction (further fees may apply for international payments). Collars are generally made to order, so bear in mind if you order there may be a delay of a few days before your collar is ready to post.