Bridle leather, a natural material with over a 1,000-year history, will forever be rooted in the horse riding culture of the British peerage. It is the prime leather for tack and harness and has long been admired for its resiliency. Among all the many types of leather, bridle leather is first-rate to prevent horseriders being thrown due to weak bridles or tack. Despite its great strength and durability bridle leather has an exceptional softness, and with care maintains a beautiful appearance throughout its long working life.
The leather is very attractive when used for men’s accoutrements. However, since tanning bridle leather may take several months from scraping to polishing, even in the UK there are only a handful of tanners with the skills and the time to make authentic bridle leather. Glenroyal, for its part, also only uses the most carefully selected, high-quality hides available. Our leather comes in five thicknesses, and the experienced eye and hands of our craftsmen will choose the ideal hide for a particular product. This very labour-intensive process ensures that finished Glenroyal products deliver both the robust practicality and understated elegance our customers have come to expect.
Bridle leather is leather tanned with vegetable tannin before having beeswax or beef tallow worked in by hand.
Glenroyal bridle leather is made with age-old, traditional British dyes containing no chemicals. It is the use of such natural materials that burnishes the character of your leather the more you use it, and deepens your enjoyment as you notice new changes and shading with each passing year.
Being a natural product, periodic care is required to ensure you will enjoy many years of faithful service from your Glenroyal products. To clean, first slightly dampen a cloth with warm water and gently wipe off any dirt, and then leave the product to dry in a warm room. When dry, rub the leather with wax to replenish lost oil. Use Dubbin wax made specifically for bridle leather. When the wax is dry, finish by brushing with the included brush. Without using too much force, brush the leather in a single direction.
Glenroyal, known for luxury-quality bridle leather collections, released a new range in the spring of 2016: The British Cordovan Collection. Cordovan leather is some 1 - 2 mm thick and is made from the fibrous muscle beneath the hide on a horse’s rump. In Europe, this rare material can only be obtained as a raw hide from a handful of breeders of horses bred for the table. Cordovan tanners have mourned the dwindling availability of this hide in recent years, but Glenroyal has chosen to work with Clayton of Chesterfield. Clayton is a prestigious name in British leather manufacturing with over 175 years of history. Known for its bridle leather, the tannery carries on the tradition of handmade cordovan production following in the footsteps of a long and noble European tradition. Our much admired “British Cordovan Collection” is renowned for its craftsmanship both at home and abroad.
Cordovan leather polishes up beautifully, the more it is rubbed the more lustrous it becomes. Glenroyal cordovan in particular is still manufactured according to centuries-old traditions and has both a soft matte appearance and a unique lustre compared to other European cordovans. Our craftsmen give our products a finish that ensures these sought-after qualities deepen as the leather is burnished with proper care and maintenance.
To care for Glenroyal cordovan products, choose a cream suitable for cordovan leather accessories. First remove any dirt with a proper dust brush, apply the cream according to the instructions, and give a final polish with a finishing brush.