When it comes to the finest leather with an artistic appeal to it, bridle leather is what comes to our mind. Just like Shoulder leather, bridle leather is known for its longevity and strength.
So, what is bridle leather, and why is it used? Let’s find out the answers here.
Bridle leather refers to the technique used to give finishing to the cowhide. In bridle leather, the flesh and grain side of the leather is stuffed with greases. Then, wax is used to finish the leather. Since the entire process is labour-intensive, bridle leather is expensive compared to other leather.
Leatherworkers and tanners would agree that bridle leather is an artisan product. It requires careful handling and expert craftsmanship to turn animal hide into perfect bridle leather. The fact that each piece is hand-finished the way tanners did it hundreds of years ago adds to the charm of the leather and makes it extra special.
The extensive detailing and hard work that goes into producing bridle leather make it a premium product for a select market. Buying a bridle leather product means investing in an archaic tradition and skilled craftsmanship. Since the products made out of bridle leather are durable and long-lasting, you can pass them onto your next generation.
The purposes of this leather
Bridle leather is widely used for producing leather accessories like straps and belts. One can also find wallets and handbags crafted from bridle leather.
Straps and belts made from bridle leather can stand the test of time and go against the elements.
Besides leather accessories, bridle leather use is popularly in the equestrian business. Interestingly, tanners first produced bridle leather for horse riders.
The History of Bridle Leather
The use of British bridle leather can be traced back to a century ago when horses were the primary means of transportation. Even the term bridle is derived from bridles, a headgear worn by the horses. Initially, bridle leather was produced and designed to make bridles and reins, and thus the name.
During the Victorian era, the equestrian industry was booming. The need for horses for World War I further amplified the need for battle horses. Walsall was the epicenter of equestrian trade and manufacturer and supplier of saddler products across the globe. Soon, British bridle leather became equivalent to high-quality and heritage. Up to this date, the same skills are used to produce premium quality bridle leather.
What are the primary characteristics of bridle leather?
Bridle leather is strong and robust: When cut, bridle leather feels strong and lasts longer.
Bridle leather has a smooth finish and even surface: The hand finishing technique used when producing bridle leather offers it a smooth finish. In addition, the treatment of the flesh side also plays a crucial role in making smooth bridle leather that is comfortable on the skin.
Bridle leather has a waxy look: White wax is applied to the bridle leather to keep it nourished and shiny.
Bridle leather looks attractive: Bridle leather has a good depth of colour that changes over time and with use. When producing bridle leather, great care is given to eliminate natural imperfections that otherwise weaken the leather.