COLLABORATION: DOE LEATHER
Since 2017 we have been collaborating with Doe Leather to produce a very small batch of leather covers each year, designed to fit perfectly onto the Mark+Fold range of notebooks and diaries.
THE HISTORY OF DOE LEATHER
Founded by Deborah Thomas in 2013, Doe Leather makes covetable leather bags and accessories using the best materials and most skilled craftspeople. W Pearce and Co was founded Deborah’s great-great-grandfather. The Northampton tannery first produced leather linings for shoes and hats, and with the outbreak of WW1 they began supplying sheepskin jacket linings for the troops.
In the post-war years, they created special effects such as reptile and ostrich prints, and soon had the largest collection of embossing plates in the world.
THE HISTORIC SWATCHBOOK
When the factory closed in the 2000s, Deborah and her father rescued the swatch books of Master Patterns dating back to the 1920s, realising they could have another life. These original swatches full of colour and texture are now used to add the tannery history to each Doe piece. We are very lucky to have a small piece of this history sewn into our leather notebook covers in the form of the pen loops — each one different and one of just a handful of small swatches still in existence.
The leather notebook cover is made from bridle hide, which is the 'top tier' of leather grades. Durable and hard-wearing, this makes for a beautiful, long-lasting piece that will only improve with age.
The leather is vegetable-tanned — a slow, natural process which eliminates the common toxic chemicals used in the majority of tanneries worldwide. Both sides of the leather are finished with waxes and oils, in keeping with its traditional equestrian use which ensures the inside of a bridle is smooth against a horse’s face. With no artificial coating, the leather is allowed to age gracefully over time, developing a unique lustre or ‘patina’ and creating its own story in the process.
Deborah and Amy met through mutual stockist, The Garnered, and became friends, thanks to their shared commitment to provenance and quality, and telling the making story.
Working closely together, they developed a template and made samples, which were refined and tweaked before they settled on the final template. Perusing the swatchbook and selecting the pieces to use on each leather pen loop, is a delightful process that they enjoy each year.
It was in the second year that the subtle piece of elastic was added to the pen loop, to accommodate wider pens. Now in its fourth year, the collaboration continues and has now seen iterations in black, avocado green and havana brown.