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Back in 1966 when our little company was first started, by Uncle Steve Hanshaw, we had two colours; Black and Brown.
Over the years, people heard about the quality of our leather satchels and demand grew. We expanded our range of leather colours to include what is now called our Classic Range targeting the classic school colour schemes; Navy Blue, Royal Blue, Dark Green, Forest Green and a Red. . . making a total of seven colours.
The names have changed a little over the years to help distinguish them from newer colours we've brought into our range but the core colours remain the same.
As time passed more exclusive establishments noticed the durability of the satchels we make and the reasonable prices we were able to craft them for. . .
. . . as a consequence business continued to flood our way and we added more and more leathers to our range to help cater for the growing demand for different colour schemes.
These Modern colours, mixed with the Classics are the colour schemes of the most exclusive schools, clubs and societies in the land. Tagging along just behind them are our classic British Traditions.
Everywhere you look, you will see that this curated palette is deeply woven into our British culture. We are dominated by contrasting multi-coloured combinations that can all be blended from our wide range of leathers.
Our palette stayed that way until we were contacted in January 2011 by Anne-Marie Guarnieri from Hamptons Magazine in Long Island, New York. She wondered if it was possible to make one of our bags in Neon Pink as her instincts were telling her that neon was going to become a big trend!
We certainly knew the leather could be tanned in Neon colours - in the mid 1980s, we'd made guitar straps from Neon Leathers and we certainly knew how to make satchels - so the idea was born!
After a period of around 8 weeks a unique batch of leather was delivered especially from a well-renowned tannery in Europe. We handcrafted one of these out-of-the-ordinary hides into a satchel, wrapped it and sent it off on a long journey across the Atlantic Ocean.
On April 16th, 2011 the first Neon satchel in the world was delivered to a new home in New York, and Anne-Marie sent a few "TwitPic's" to show how much she loved it.
Anne-Marie's instincts weren't just right they were VERY right, in fact so much so they initiated the start of an explosion of NEON colours in the world of satchels. This trend would later be echoed by the likes of Alexa Chung, Sophie Ellis Bexter and Fearne Cotton.
Classic, Modern and Neon Leathers provide you with a lot of choices, but imagine sitting in your lovely leather chesterfield armchair, thinking about what colour you want your bag to be, then seeing the iconic Oxblood leather and not having that choice?
Satchel leathers are typically made from a smooth leather, very similar to the leathers used by Dr Martens on their boots. It's a hard-wearing leather and is consistent in colour, so it's perfect for satchels which are traditionally utility items - designed for everyday life and getting battered and worn.
You wanted more than that.
You didn't just want your satchel bag to be practical you wanted it to be stylish.
So we listened, and we introduced our Patent and Spickle Leathers. These have different finishes on them that aren't traditionally used on satchels.
There's a time as our children get older, when they discover the need to carry the things they own.
It's the start of their own journey, their rite of passage.
Their first bag is special. It's the one they will always cherish. It holds a special place in their hearts. As they grow older it's kept in a keepsake box.
Every now and then, they will get it out and wear it on a special evening; telling the story behind it, with glowing fondness, the bag constantly reminding them of the fun times they had as a child and the special people who were in their lives back then, and especially of the one who gifted it to them.
The smaller and younger ones love cute, the Japanese call it 'Kawaii' - but all the colours in our range lacked a certain ingredient.
That certain something. A feeling that talks so deeply, that it's hard to explain in our mother-tongue what it means.
Just like the way Cherry Blossom is a metaphor for the young and fragile.
Something so pretty, delicate and cute. The embodiment of Kawaii.
This is the inspiration for our pastel range.
Named after British confectionery to remind us of our childhood days; delicate and fleeting, but made tough and durable to ensure it will last decades, perhaps with a few extra wrinkles here and there as the ages pass. :)
When a leather is marked as "Limited" this means we currently have a good stock of the current batch of leather and can make all of our bags from it but it will eventually run out and wont be replaced. When a Limited leather runs low on stock, and we are limited to what we can make from the remaining hide and/or cuttings then it will be marked as "Small Goods Only".
When a leather is marked as "Small Goods Only" this means we currently have very limited stock and are unable to guarantee we can cut all of our bag patterns from the remaining leather. Generally though, all small leather goods (like notebook covers, credit card holders, etc.) will be able to be made from the remaining leather. If you are after a bag then please check with our team before ordering to verify if we can make your desired bag for you.
The colour tiles shown in our guide are the best representation we can get of our leather colours. The outer frames of the colours shown above are the actual CMYK code of the pigment used to tan the leather. The inner square is a hi-resolution scan of the leather itself after it's been tanned. Together, these on screen colour tiles give a good representation of the colour - but it's not perfect - and it never will be - and here are the reasons why:
We really recommend you see them with your own eyes.
So, we make a swatch pack. You can choose up to ten cuttings of leather -they are shaped nicely into little key-fob shapes that you can use to identify sets of keys later, and they are FREE. We'll that's not strictly true --- so let's explain; Previously, we gave the swatches away completely FREE, we shipped them all over the world - but people just took advantage of our generosity and the offer of 10 x FREE lovely leather key-fobs.
Now we charge £10 for the service - but when you pay you will also get a voucher for £10 of your next order - so effectively they are FREE if you are happy to spend £10 or more with us.
Before our schools got highly technical and sophisticated with their teaching methods, School Classrooms used to have chalkboards.
Throughout history, all manner of wonderful things, have been written on chalkboards all over the world. From punishments like "I must not eat the teacher's apple!" to wonderful mind-expanding formulas and number sequences.
Charcoal Black is named in honour of all those scribblings that have been washed away by the passage of time.