Why Does 150 Years of Expertise Matter?
You’ve heard us speak a lot about our technology. You’ve heard us talk of our leather purveyor and partner, Freedman's. But what happens before our skilled craftsman makes that first cut or stitch?
In comes Wickett & Craig, one of the only specialty vegetable tanneries in the US founded 150 years ago in 1867. Vegetable tanning is an intensive and eco-friendly process that allows leather to take on deep, exquisite colors and then grow better with age. The process takes the skilled Wickett & Craig team six weeks to transform a hide into beautiful leather. Their leather is then used to craft luxury goods, such as shoes, bags, and belts, and high-class equestrian gear, such as saddles, bridles, and harnesses.
Hides are initially prepped for two days of rehydration and hair removal. The hides are then moved to a tanning yard where they will soak in a proprietary blend of natural tannins for two weeks. After this tanning, the hides are removed and split into desired thickness once all excess moisture is removed. Hides are then drum dyed to bring out the rich coloring, along with fat-liquored to condition them with oils and waxes. English Bridle leather, the leather all NIGHTWATCH® halters are made of, are then further conditioned through a process called hot stuffing to increase durability. Once the correct color is achieved, drying and dehumidifying commences for a period of three days. Lastly, all hides are staked to soften the leather and then graded before shipping. Read more about the process of vegetable tanning here.
The Protequus® team only accepts the best, because we truly believe our horses deserve the best. For this reason, we are proud of the skilled leather partners and team behind our NIGHTWATCH® smart devices.