We use leather because we believe in structural integrity and functional style. Leather is unique because it is a strong natural material. It is a durable material that is able to last years of hard wear while maintaining its beauty. This prevents excessive landfill waste (leather is biodegradable) and money spent on one-season wear items. Leather can be dyed, painted, cut, edged and stamped to make one-of-a-kind pieces. As well, leather has the ability to be cleaned and repaired when needed. All our hides are cowhide unless otherwise specified, such as bison, moose or deer.
Everything is made with 100% solid, genuine leather. Trained as a saddler, I use materials standard to the equestrian industry. Having spent my early leatherworking career in repairing and refurbishing saddles over 100 years old that are safe to ride in, I know this leather is high quality. This is why I can back my products with a lifetime guarantee.
There are many different tanning processes and grades of leather. I select leather based on strength, durability and integrity, using predominately vegetable tanned leather. Vegetable tanned leather is unique because it builds a patina (softens, draws oils and deepens in colour) and gets better with age. It is a far more expensive leather due to the labour intensive process which takes more than two weeks.
I hand select hides which come from tanneries with high standards of quality within North America. The majority of my pieces are made with local American leather that is from Wickett and Craig. They are a family owned business that surpasses all environmental regulations, sources from local abattoirs which saves 2 billion pounds of hides which would have become landfill waste, and employs locally. These are all values that align with Sadelmager's philosophy and commitments.
Vegetable tanned leathers vary in grades as well. These leathers vary in softness by the amount of tallow used in process, the thickness, colour, texture and animal used. Each of these leathers are used in the shop according the project and the type of use the finished product will endure. For example, English bridle leather is tougher than most other leathers, however, over time smoothes into a strong yet supple leather which conforms to the shape it fits and is great for belts and satchels. Harness leather starts off a bit softer as it contains more tallow making it great for wallets and softer styled bags, while maintaining its strength.
As well as our leather, we believe in using the highest quality hardware available which serves to be both functional and stylish.
All of our hardware is hand picked to ensure its quality and durability to withstand years of work and wear while still looking great. Our hardware comes in a variety of shapes, sizes and styles. Almost all of our hardware is either solid brass or stainless steel unless otherwise specified. We also have a special selection of antique hardware, some as old as 100 years, to make your piece even more unique.
The majority of our hardware is sourced from a local, small, family-owned business in Wallenstein, Ontario.