FTC Leathergoods

Ruth Bryant Plus

“Handmade leather accessories”

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About FTC Leathergoods

FTC Leathergoods

Quality leather goods that are kind on the environment

Over 20 years ago I received a Tandy Leather Deluxe Starter set for Christmas. All through my teenage years I had been a keen horse rider and at one point changed from the English style to the Western Style, this had got me interested in the leather working that went into making the fancy tooled saddles used in the Western style. I made all the items that came with the set and then put everything away in a tool box at the back of a cupboard.

Forward 20 years. A house of my own, a husband, no children but several cats, and twice having been made redundant. While my degree had been in Environmental Science I had ended up in office jobs, normally in a small office attached to a small factory. I always had an individual streak and was never happy as part of a large organisation, I liked to do things my own way. After almost 10 years at the last company finishing up as their Accounts Manager, i wasn't overly keen on the idea of having to start again in a new organisation and trying to fit in and make a place for myself.

In addition, the second redundancy came at a time when I had some personal things to take care off, and when I was expecting work to soon start on some remediation work required on our garden. I knew I would need quite a bit of time off to sort things out and it didn't seem fair to start a new job and then keep asking for odd days or even weeks off. I decided I would stay at home until everything was finished. Fo me sitting around at home grows boring very quickly, so on impulse I dug out my old leather working set and ordered a small piece of leather thinking I could make a few bits and pieces for a charity I support. Things have just grown from there (and the garden is taking a lot longer than expected).

As I mentioned I did a degree in Environmental Science, this has given me a rather odd outlook on everything considered environmentally friendly. I decided that as much as possible i would use products that were natural and as gentle as possible on the environment. This is why I use Vegetable Tanned leather and try and avoid the mineral or chemical tanned ones. The dyes I use are all water based and everything is hand dyed, I don't buy any ready dyed leather. The edges are finished using Gum Tragacanth, and the topcoat is a water based creme wax finish, it means I can't get the high gloss finish I would be able to using a lacquer, but everything still has a wonderful soft sheen to it. My preference for thread is linen although a few early ;items were made with nylon thread as that is what I had available at first.

I love the feel and scent of real leather, the way the grain and dye can interact to give a gentle pattening on an item. How it can be shaped and will take and keep a design. The way it changes and grows softer with use. Everything about it is individual, no two pieces are the same, when you apply the dye you never know quite how it will come out. I know I can never make the same item twice. I want to help others enjoy the beauty of real leather and have a chance to own something that is entirely unique.