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Our Story

Welcome to Woodwards Leather

We specialise in making Quality leather bags and accessories. Based in the North East of England we have been in the profession collectively for over 40 years.

All of our products are designed and made by ourselves. Each bag is hand made.
Cut from selected pieces of leather and hand sewn the bag is then completed by one of our experienced craftsmen. We often customise bags so if you have something in mind feel free to contact us and we may help.

All of our leather is carefully sourced and we have great relationships with our suppliers. We follow the newest trends in leather industry technology, but we like our traditional way of working with leather even more. Nothing compares with the smell of the leather and the noise of the press when you open the door to the workshop.

We make everything to order. It takes us TWO WEEKS minimum for smaller products to complete and up to few months for bespoke ones. Then the product will be sent to you by post.

We love what we do and we hope you will enjoy wearing our bags.

Woodwards Leather team

The leather we work with

Vegetable-tanned leather ( is tanned using tannins and other ingredients found in different vegetable matter, such as tree bark prepared in bark mills, wood, leaves, fruits and roots and other similar sources. It is supple and brown in color. It is the only form of leather suitable for use in leather carving or stamping. Vegetable-tanned leather is not stable in water; it tends to discolor, so if left to soak and then dry it will shrink and become less supple, and harder. In hot water, it will shrink drastically and partly gelatinize, becoming rigid and eventually brittle. Historically, it was occasionally used as armor after hardening, and it has also been used for book binding. Vegetable tanned leathers present unique, recognizable and natural characteristics thanks to the heritage of expert craftsman and the use of old traditional recipes. We use this type of leather very often in our BESPOKE products which often are engraved.

Butt: this is that part of the hide or skin covering the rump or hind part of the animal

Merino/Mareno: this is the high end designer kind of leather if you might call it. It's what's used in most designer cars' leather seats also, such as the BMW M class. It is a very fine type of leather.

Relax: this leather is soft in touch, as the name say "relax" when you stretch it, quite flexible

Distressed: our favourite type of leather: the look and feel of the aged leather on a bag, wallet and also on the sofa, or chair is so inviting! This leather can be any type of leather that has been treated to age the appearance of the leather while not weakening the overall integrity of the product. as the look and feel of the aged leather on a couch, sofa, or chair is often considered inviting. The techniques vary, the leather is usually treated with a thin coating of some type of alcohol based agent, then subjected to a series of steps aimed at creating wrinkles and creases in the grain. This pre-distressed leather may also undergo treatments that effectively scrape the material to lighten the color in random areas.

Split leather (we use Suede: this is a type of leather with a napped finish, commonly used for jackets, shoes, shirts, purses, furniture and other items. The term originates from the French "gants de Suède", which means "Swedish gloves". Suede leather is made from the underside of the skin, primarily lamb, although goat, calf and deer are commonly used. Splits from thick hides of cow and deer are also sueded, but, due to the fibre content, have a shaggy nap. Suede does not include the tough exterior skin layer therefore suede is less durable but softer than "full-grain" leather. Its softness, thinness, and pliability make it suitable for clothing and delicate uses; suede was originally used for women's gloves. We do use sometimes our suede for lining. Suede has open pores so it may become dirty and quickly absorb liquids. We also use thinely skived leather for our purses, wallets and clutch bags.

Pigskin: as the name tells it comes from pig; it always has a velvety suede texture, it is never smooth. Pigskin has a heavier hand and less drape, this means it form stiff folds rather than loose drapery when worn on the body; it is thicker and stiffer than cow leather and suede; easy to recognize by the large pronounced hair and pore holes in the skin where the bristles are attached and by the velvety smooth suede finish; if you run your hand across the surface one way it will look lighter, run your hand in the opposite direction it will look lighter.

Nebuck: this is a top-grain cattle hide leather that has been sanded or buffed on the grain side, or outside, to give a slight nap of short protein fibers generating as a result a velvet-like surface.

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Our workshop