When we select leather for Tanner Bates products, we’re looking for great quality leather that will last the test of time, while giving each item its own unique look. Luckily, some of the best leather is produced only an hour away from our workshop in Devon by J & F J Baker in Colyton, so we can choose each and every hide. This also means that the distance this leather has travelled to reach our workshop is minimal.
This leather looks, smells and feels amazing. As it ages it develops a distinctive patina, so the older it is, the more character it has.
The freedom of visiting the tannery means that we can wander around and uncover vintage hides that even Andrew, the tannery owner, had forgotten about. This was the case with our beautiful vintage OBT leather, which means we can offer our customers leathers that aren't available anywhere else.
(Photo - Vintage Oak Bark Tanned Leather From J & F J Baker)
There's something honest and old fashioned in being served by the man who makes our leather. We know every person involved in the manufacture of our leather including the man who coppices the oak to provide the bark for the tanning.
Bakers Oak Bark Tannery is the antithesis of a modern factory tannery. Leather is made in small production runs and every stage of the leather making process is carried out by hand. The resulting leather is exquisite and world-famous.
(Photo - Russia Kip Leather From J & J F Baker)
Scars, blemishes, irregular dyeing, parallel crease lines, surface white tallow are all natural and a part of the character of this unusual leather.
If you want uniformity in your leather then don’t go for our Devon leather. Their making processes are primitive by comparison to the European super-tanneries of France and Italy who make for and are mostly owned by the luxury brands.
If you are ordering an Oak Bark Leather product from us and are not sure do get in touch and we will happily send you a photo of any individual item.
(Photos - Russia Kip Leather From J & J F Baker)
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Perhaps you know that one of our favourite and very special leathers we use here at Tanner Bates is our Russia Kip Calfskin Leather produced at our local tannery in East Devon. It has a fantastic story behind it - which you may already know. However for those of you who don’t, we’d love to share this with you.
Provenance really matters to us.
Our leather is tanned in the old fashioned way, in small family run tanneries. It is a slow process, but uses only natural ingredients to create the tan. All of our leather is a byproduct of the meat industry. We are passionate about not wasting a thing.
Our Oak Bark Tanned Leather: The beauty of this story is that it is a truly local Devon story. The animals are bred, live and are slaughtered in Devon. The meat is most probably consumed in Devon. The hides are tanned locally, in Devon at J&FJ Baker & Co. We hand craft all of our products in small batches right here in our Devon workshop.