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Wickett & Craig English Bridle Leather

Updated: Dec 18, 2023

Wickett & Craig is one of the names in the industry that folks know because two main things:

1. The amazing quality of their products

2. They have been around for a LONG time, like a really long time.

Though it was founded in Toronto, Canada in 1867, Wickett & Craig moved its operations to Pennsylvania, United States in 1990, marking itself as one of only two vegetable tanneries in the United States.

Vegetable Tanning

The process of vegetable tanning leather is a labor and time-intensive method requiring plenty of skilled workers, the right materials, and proprietary recipes to get it just right. Veg-tanning is a natural and eco-friendly process that produces durable leathers primarily recognized for the way they develop a rich patina over time as well as their striking colors.

During the process, the hides are cured to prevent bacteria from growing; put into a liming solution to remove hair and fat residues, de-limed to lower the pH levels; “tanned” over the course of a few months depending on the tannage by moving the hides between different drums filled with tanning solutions of varying concentrations; removed from the drums and dried over several days; then finished with different oils/greases/fats depending on their intended use.

Wickett & Craig English Bridle

One of Wickett & Craig’s primary tannages is it’s English Bridle leather. It is a traditional leather used in a variety of cases including classic equestrian gear (straps, saddles, etc.) to high-end leather goods (like those of Imperial Pine Leather, wink wink). The hides are drum dyed for a very deep coloring and hot stuffed with oils/waxes to give it a strong smooth and flexible body. The leather is crafted to have a flawless finish with an even surface.

In addition to it’s English Bridle tannage, Wickett & Craig is well known for its Show and Traditional Harness leathers that use their proprietary mix of oils and waxes giving them a weatherproof surface with the ability to repel water. The Traditional Harness also goes through a process of jack glazing in which the oils are brought to the surface giving a high gloss finish. The Harness tannages are primarily designed for equestrian gear but are also split to thinner weights to be used in high quality leather goods such as wallets, belts, bags, keychains and bracelets.

The Leathers We Use

Imperial Pine Leather strives to use the highest quality materials in our products, which is one of the reasons we choose to include Wickett & Craig English Bridle in our products. We have found the English Bridle tannage to be an amazing leather with some beautiful rich colors (such as the Zucchini Green lineup released in August 2023), that provide a stark contrast to the usual blacks, browns and tans of leather products.

We are excited to expand our use of Wickett & Craig leathers in future production and will keep you all informed when the next line of vegetables drop…ever wonder what Chili Pepper Christmas would look like?!

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