I want a beautiful leather product.  How can I get one? 

Great, hand stitching beautiful English bridle leather into fabulous products is what I love doing.

You can order your own bespoke item using the website, just select the item, and the options you want, make payment and you will receive a confirmation email detailing your selections.

Can I customise an order further than the options given?

Yes.  I make all items to order, so most details can be changed.  All items are bespoke to the customer and are unique, the makes the list of variations endless and it isn’t practical to show every possibility.  I have covered the most popular selections on the website.

If you see a piece that you would like made or customised in any way please contact me directly by phoning 07733 320 969 or emailing enquiries@stephrubbosaddlery.co.uk to discuss your requirements.

How can I be sure about the colours I am ordering?

I make every effort to display the colours as true as possible, but rendition of colours on screen can vary due to the screen settings.  As a natural product the colours of the leather are subject to variation between batches.  I am happy to send out small samples of the leather stitched up in the thread of your choice if you wish to see the effect before ordering.

If colour match is important to you, please contact me by directly by phoning 07733 320 969 or emailing enquiries@stephrubbosaddlery.co.uk to arrange a sample of leather or threads before making your order.

Where do you source your materials?

My first choice is to always use a local supplier if possible, but to paraphrase the BBC “other sources are available”, or indeed sometimes necessary.  My preferred materials are those used in the making of equestrian goods, as they are the ones I know and understand best.

Leather is usually veg tan English bridle leather.  I use this because the quality products from makers such as JE Sedgwicks and J and FJ Baker is second to none, and the firm nature of the leather is the most suitable for the products I make.

First choice buckles and hardware are solid brass which may be plated in various finishes.  My main supplier is Abbey England who cast them in Walsall.

Linen thread comes from companies such as Somac in Chester, although I do admit to sometimes having to order French Lin Cable or Irish thread for the more exotic colours I love.

For some projects other materials may be more suitable, for more info on those, please contact me directly by phoning 07733 320 969 or emailing enquiries@stephrubbosaddlery.co.uk.

Is your leather ethical?

It is as ethical as I can make it.  By it’s very nature, leather can only be made from the skins of animals.  The leather I use is a by-product of the food industry, and most comes from cows, although soft nappa may be sheep or goat leather, and some pig suede.  The only exotic looking leather I use is cow leather that has had a pattern embossed onto it.

For my own working practices, I try to make every scrap of leather count.  Offcuts from larger projects such as a bag go to smaller items like a wallet, or coffee cup sleeve, then further on to watch straps, bracelets or key rings.  My laminated doorstops wouldn’t exist if I didn’t have pieces of strap left over from making belts.  I also use offcuts from a local leather merchants bin to source some of the softer “fashion” leather I use for smaller accessories.

The tanning of leather has not always been the most ethical, but the industry is now working towards a cleaner and greener future. An internet search on the subject will yield up lots of results but for further information the following are recognised industry bodies.



Do you use leather substitutes?

No, I don’t generally work with leather substitutes in any form or style.  The substitutes currently available are not able to fully replicate the properties of leather, and so I prefer to stick to leather for now.  Additionally, many of them involve the use of plastics in some shape or form, and I prefer to avoid the use of plastics if I can.

Do you do repairs?

Yes, I can and do repair a wide range of leather items.  The reasons for making repairs are as varied as the items that need repair.  Simple repairs to stitching, replacing buckles or straps are common and greatly extend the working life of many loved items.  Repairs can also be done to preserve an item that has an emotional attachment, or to bring a much loved piece back to a usable state.  I have sympathetically repaired WW1 binocular cases for family members to keep as a memento, replaced seats and backs on sets of dining chairs, repaired stitching and replacing panels on a much loved bag.

I can give an initial assessment from photos, but I need to see the item before giving a final quote.  Some repairs will have a set fee, but most are done on a cost of materials and hourly rate basis.

I’m local, can I visit the studio?

Yes, I love visitors, all the better to show off my lovely hand stitching and designs.  My studio is only a few minutes walk from Wood Green tube station in North London.   If you haven’t made an appointment to visit, please call me on 07733 320 969 before coming to ensure I haven’t popped out on an errand. 

What currency are your prices in?

All prices are in UK £ sterling.

What about returns / exchanges?

All items are bespoke and made to order.  Therefore I can only accept returns/refunds in the unlikely event the product is faulty in some way.

Full for details of my returns and exchange policies please see my Terms of Sale.

What if an item is faulty?

In the unlikely event that an item is found faulty I’ll cover all reasonable costs involved in exchanging it.  Please see my Terms of Sale for full details of my returns policy.

How long will it take to get my piece?

The time taken to complete your piece is stated in the product information.  This is a guide of the longest time it will take me to make your piece.  Many items will be completed in much shorter times.

I try to get it to you as quickly as possible so once I’ve finished your piece I will contact you to check someone will be around to sign for the delivery.

If there is going to be a delay for any reason I will contact you to discuss options.

What may cause delays in the making process?

Delays are most likely to be caused by materials not being in stock, or a busy workload.  I try to keep a stock of the items given as options on hand, but high demand may result in a delay while materials are ordered in.

Should there be any delay in production of your item, I will contact you discuss options, be that a longer wait, a substitution of materials, change in design, or in extreme cases a refund.

Do you send items to places outside of the UK?  

I can and have sold to locations outside of the UK.  Arrangements and costs vary from country to country, and many countries will impose custom duty and sales taxes on goods, and these will be the responsibility of the you the customer.  Often the courier firm will ask for payment of these items before they will make the delivery.   If you are based outside of the UK I suggest you email me at enquiries@stephrubbosaddlery.co.uk with details including the product you are interested in, and your location.  I can then let you know the process and an approximation of the additional costs for your location before you place your order.

How long will it take for delivery?  

If you are in North London, I try to deliver the item personally, especially if you are close enough for me to cycle.  I do prefer not to have to do any big hills!

Items sent within the United Kingdom are sent using Royal Mail Tracked and Signed For Delivery.  Allow 2-4 days for delivery.  In some cases it may be better to use a courier firm, e.g. for larger items, or items going overseas.  There may be an additional charge for this.  All delivery services will require a signature.

Please contact me for delivery times if you are ordering from outside the United Kingdom.  Unfortunately I am unable to handle customs and import requirements for other countries and so they are the responsibility of the customer.

What packaging do you use?

I keep packaging as minimal as possible.  For smaller items it may only be a paper bag or brown paper, and only as much as is necessary to wrap the item and attach any postage label.  I try to use natural products when ever I can, and that includes any filler padding.  There are some occasions that the item is at risk of being damaged in transit.  If I feel this is the case I may use bubble wrap, but this is recycled from parcels that have been sent to me.

I need my piece in a hurry, can you do anything to speed it up?

Completion and delivery times for on-line purchases are outlined in the product information prior to purchasing your piece.  Certain pieces may be available in shorter time frames, but this is not guaranteed.

If you do need your piece in a hurry please contact me and I will do my very best to accommodate this.  An extra charge may be applicable.