Please check below for a growing source of information regarding the processes I use to create my leathergoods, the materials I use, and the services available. If there are any additional questions I can answer, please feel free to send me an email.



In a nutshell, it means exactly that. I do not own a sewing machine, nor would I use one for the type of products that I create. Sewing machines offer great benefits in many applications; namely, they are incredibly quick to use, and each and every stitch is identical in a line of stitching. However, stitching with a sewing machine does have a downside when we are talking about items that we want to stand the test of time. 

Every item I produce uses primarily what is called the saddle stitch. The saddle stitch differs from the lock stitch of the sewing machine by basic mechanics. Essentially,  when sewing a line of stitching with a machine, the top thread is looped through the bottom thread for each stitch, which “locks” the stitch in place. The top thread and bottom thread never actually pass through the material or leather; the only thing holding the two pieces together is the small loop that was created by the machine where the two threads meet. If you’ve ever had a line of machine stitching unravel, this is the reason why. The top thread is only held in place by that little loop, and if the thread breaks the rest of the seam will quickly unravel.

When hand sewing using the saddle stitch, we use one continuous piece of thread with a needle attached at each end. After making a hole with a sewing awl, we pass each needle through the leather. So, the top thread ends up on the bottom, and the bottom on the top – which means every stitch is essentially doubled in terms of strength and durability. If one side of the stitch breaks, the piece will still be held in place by the other side of the thread. This makes hand sewn items using the saddle stitch incredibly durable.

The downside (if there are any!) to an item being hand sewn is that the stitching will rarely look as perfect as a machine sewn item. As with most things hand made, machines can always be more exact – but in a world of mass produced everything, I find there is something quite special about creating something completely by hand, and I take great pride in the quality of my stitching despite its tiny imperfections.

For a detailed explanation of the differences between machine sewn and hand sewn leather, please check out this video:



In the leather world, there are two basic methods of tanning leather using two different types of tannins – plant-based and Chromium. Tannins are used during the tanning process to preserve the skin and, ultimately, turn a hide into leather (plant based = vegetable tanned, and Chromium = chrome tanned). The type of tannin used determines the overall look, feel, and durability of the leather. 

Chrome tanned leather tends to be softer, thinner, and more pliable than vegetable tanned leather. Chrome tanned leather is fantastic for clothing, gloves, linings, and the like – in fact, many of the Nappa leathers I use as lining are chrome tanned due to the suppleness and bright colors that it can be produced in.

I choose to primarily use vegetable tanned leather in my shop. Not only is vegetable tanned leather created using a more environmentally friendly process, it tends to have less stretch than chrome tanned leather. Plus, you cannot beat the rich patina, feel, and smell of vegetable tanned leather!

For all of my strapgoods, I exclusively use vegetable-tanned leather with an aniline finish from Radermecker Tannerie. Located in Belgium with 150 years experience, Radermecker’s leather is sourced from beef and bulls of 100% European origin.

Below is a video explaining the difference between chrome and vegetable tanned leather, and a bit of the tanning process:

As a lifelong animal lover, I too have ethical concerns over using animal based products in my work. After extensive research into the alternatives to natural leather and weighing the pros and cons, I choose to continue to use natural leather (for now).

I choose to primarily use leather that is produced using natural tannins extracted from plant tissues, and is produced from hides that are a by-product of the beef industry. I source my leather from Radermecker Tannerie, an artisinal tannery located in Belgium who produces the leather that I use in an eco-responsible manner. You can learn more about their processes here.

At the moment, “vegan” or synthetic leather which is suitable for saddlery use is primarily produced using plastic and chemicals. While it is possible to use synthetic leather for many types of items, it has not (yet) proven to be a viable alternative for the types of products that I create. For now, I choose to use heirloom quality natural materials in an attempt to leave the smallest environmental footprint possible. 

Traditionally, hand sewn leatherwork is done using linen thread. Linen thread is an natural thread made from flax, and has a very fine and luxurious appearance. It also features a high tensile strength and does not stretch.

When working with linen thread, the thread is coated with beeswax prior to stitching. This allows for a couple of things – for one, the thread glides easier through the leather when hand sewing.  More importantly, however, the beeswax gives the thread a protective coating to ensure its longevity.

I use 3-ply, unwaxed linen thread from Barbour for all of my items stitched with linen thread. I hand wax the thread with beeswax while I am stitching. It is possible to purchase pre-waxed linen thread, but I prefer to wax the thread myself.

Typically, horse halters, bridles, browbands and belts would be stitched with linen thread as aesthetically linen gives a finer finish. However, linen thread can degrade if the item is subjected to extreme weather conditions without being cared for properly. For that reason, things that will really see the worst of the elements (i.e. turnout halters and dog collars) are usually sewn using either Polyester or Nylon thread.

Polyester or Nylon thread is a synthetic thread that is incredibly strong and durable. Polyester thread is typically associated with hand sewing in the leatherworking world, while Nylon is usually used on a machine – although both are suited for hand sewing depending on the leatherworker’s preference and application. It is said that Polyester has better UV resistance, but Nylon is a bit stronger. Synthetic threads stretch, which means that it is crucial to maintain proper tension while sewing to keep the thread from tearing the leather. The overall finish of the stitching with nylon and polyester is still quite luxurious, though due to the slight sheen and overall look of the thread does not make for as fine of a line of stitching as with linen. Synthetic threads have a purpose, and I typically use them on all of my dog collars and some of my halters specifically for the extra durability unless otherwise requested.



Yes! While repair work is not my primary focus, I do offer repair services for strapgoods. Please contact me for a quote.

Though I am trained as a traditional saddler, I currently only offer repair work on strapgoods (i.e. bridles, halters, belts, collars, etc.). Some examples of possible repairs:

  • Broken strap replacement
  • Replacement buckle/snap;
  • Missing or broken keepers;
  • Restitching;
  • Shortening/lengthening straps.