ENGLISH BRIDLE LEATHER BLOOM
Following up on our earlier blog post “THE LAST REMAINING CURRIER” we thought it might be interesting to focus on English bridle leather bloom, the unique natural oils and waxes that rise to the surface over time.
English bridle leather gets its name from what it was originally used for – a bridle – the leather straps on a horse’s headpiece and reins. While most have disappeared, a few tanneries still exist in the UK and in addition one currier who keeps alive the centuries old tradition of dressing leather by hand.
The vegetable tanning process uses natural products making it more environmentally friendly than other tanning methods. The art of currying leather requires manual labour, a range of specialist hand tools and rare skills learned over many years of apprenticeship. After the currier handsets the leather grain, the hide is then hand-stained and allowed to dry naturally. The final process is the application of greases. This labour-intensive process involves the hide being ‘fed’ a blend of natural fats, oils and waxes to give the leather a luxurious polished finish.
After time natural waxes and oils may come to the surface of the leather, giving it a white appearance or “bloom”. This is quite normal, and is a sign of high quality bridle leather. We polish all leather goods before sending them to customers and to ensure the best care for your handbag we provide care instructions, a pot of leather conditioner and are always available for advice. Bloom can be buffed away with a soft clean cloth while a small dap of the leather conditioner can be applied, allowing 2-4 hours to dry before use.
Here is an example of English bridle leather bloom on a green swatch of leather. The whiteness or “bloom” is a sign much appreciated by connoisseurs of leather. The polished section has been buffed with a soft cloth and a small amount of leather conditioner that we provide with all bridle leather handbags.