The Saddlery is owned and run by Steph Rubbo, a qualified Saddler and keen follower of all things equestrian, who loves the look and longevity of leather. A chance encounter reading The Last Horsemen by Charles Bowden ignited her passion for creating high-quality leather goods. Since then, I graduated with a Diploma in Saddle, Harness and Bridle Making from the Worshipful Company of Cordwainers and am a Society of Master Saddlers Qualified Saddler. I produce beautiful accessories and bridles and leather goods, winning top prizes from the Society of Master Saddlers.
All my products are made from top grade materials that are robust and improve with age. I use English bridle leather, waxed linen thread and solid brass or nickel- plated fittings.
English Bridle Leather
Only the best hides are chosen for the labour intensive tanning process that makes full grain English bridle leather. A premium cut of hide, it is durable and favoured for its consistent structure and thickness. The result is leather that looks good, ages beautifully and feels comfortable in the hand. And it smells wonderful! I choose each hide individually and because it is a natural product, no piece of leather is the same.
My hides are sourced from the best bridle leather makers in Britain. For smaller items such as watchstraps or luggage tags, I pare down the leather to give a strong yet pliable finish.
I work with vegetable-tanned leather in a wide variety of colours including Black, Red, Navy, Dark Green, Hazel, London Tan, Burgundy and Brown. If you have a particular hue in mind, I are happy to source it for you.
Other leathers can be sourced on request.
Saddle Stitches and Waxed Linen Thread
Each piece I make is carefully stitched by hand with a classical saddle-making technique using two needles to make double-handed saddle stitches. This strengthens the seams, making them twice as strong as machine-sewn stitching. If an individual stitch wears through, the rest of the seam will hold, unlike machine stitches.
I use top quality twisted linen thread – a natural fibre that is strong and ages well alongside the leather. Sourced from superior suppliers Somac or Lin Cablé, I hand- finish threads with beeswax, which helps preserve the stitching against wear or rot.
Threads are available in many different colours for your selection.
I mostly use solid brass or nickel-plated brass buckles and hardware. The best choice for their durability and resistance to rust, they should last as long as the leather. A range of styles and finishes are available.
The supreme quality of bridle leather means it gets better with age, becoming more tactile over time. To protect your leather item and maintain its natural oils, use a trusted leather balm or conditioner if your leather begins to feel dry, such as Sedgwick’s Leathercare. Rub the surfaces with the treatment then buff with a clean lint-free cloth or a soft brush once the solution has dried.
Although sturdy, bridle leather can become dry and crack if it isn’t looked after and especially if damp leather is dried too quickly. Pet collars and leads are especially vulnerable. Should your item become wet, sponge off any excess moisture and let it dry naturally. Well cared for, your leather goods should last forever!
I can make repairs to many leather goods. Because I stitch by hand I can do work that is difficult or impossible to restitch on a machine, or if the item is in a fragile condition. Each repair will have different requirement. Some bring an item back into daily use, some preserve an item that has emotional memories for you. In each case I will discuss the reasons and options with you before I proceed with any work.