Northampton, heritage tannery brought back to life by great – grandchild and transformed it into a leather goods brand

In 1908 William Pearce opened a tannery in Northampton specialising in relief prints to recreate the effect of exotic skins (snake, crocodile, ostrich and lizard) on cow leather. A florid activity started in a modest building and then moved to an Art Deco palace. In 2003, Michael Pearson, then William’s CEO and the founder grand nephew, was forced to close the company. Ten years later, in 2013, Deborah Thomas- the founder’s great-grandchild resurrected the abandoned tannery saving the significant historical leather sample otherwise destined for landfill. That’s how Doe Leather brand is born. The brand produces handbags and small leather goods, and it enriches every model with decorative details cut from the historic leather samples printed in the 1920s. Many of the zip fasteners, as well as other coatings and features, are made with vintage leather while the core of the creations is in British and Italian leathers. Each object is cut by hand by Deborah Thomas using a sling knife. The pieces are sewn using a beaded wool yarn. Work takes six weeks to complete each creation.


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