What is Vegetable Tanned Leather?
We use the finest full grain vegetable tanned leather. Unlike most shop-bought products, vegetable tanning uses natural tannins found in bark, fruit and leaves. It is slow, traditional, sustainable, and leaves the leather with the most delicious smell and feel!
This gentle method allows the leather to continue to absorb water and oils throughout its lifetime, developing a rich patina with use. Your items will mould to you and your lifestyle, improving with age.
How are RBL products made?
All leather items made at Red Bike Leatherworks are made solely by hand: there are no machines here! The patterns are hand drawn and tested; the leather is cut by hand and every hole and every stitch is made one by one.
To make sure the pieces are strong and durable, we use the traditional saddle stitch. This is a centuries-old technique using waxed thread with a needle at either end, tying a tiny knot with each stitch. Unlike machine sewing where a broken thread leads to unravelling, with saddle stitching if the thread breaks only one stitch will come undone. This ensures each RBL product has a longevity unmatched by mass-produced items.
Belt size guide
Please use the following guide when ordering a belt. It is always best to use a current belt, measuring from the base of the buckle to the hole that is most used, to get a true belt size.
Caring for my leather products
Your leather item will be happy in all elements - getting wet in the rain won't hurt! Every so often it will benefit from a little TLC, either through cleaning with a simple saddle soap or feeding with a leather conditioner. This will help keep the leather supple and prevent it drying out.
If you wish to purchase an item, orders can be made through the Shop section of this website or by contacting me through the form on the website, or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Once you have decided on the style and colour choice, you can add extras such as linings and personalisation.
When placing an order, I will give you an idea of the lead-time. This will vary depending on how busy we are. Do be aware that we are producing high quality products by hand, which will take time!
Most orders are made-to-order and the estimated lead-time will be given when an order takes place. Please note that making times will change during different seasons, so make sure you leave plenty of time if you have a deadline! For made-to-order items, you will receive updates on your item's progress and an email notification when it is dispatched. On the occasion that we have a pre-made item in stock, shipping will take place within three working days.
Smaller items will be sent via Royal Mail Signed For® at a rate of £4.95
Larger items will be sent via Royal Mail Special Delivery Guaranteed® at a rate of £7.95
A signature will be required on receipt.
If you are an international customer, do let me know on first contact and I will price shipping accordingly using Royal Mail International Tracked and Signed® services.
Please note: we are not responsible for customs charges and will declare the full value of the product on posting
Collection in Person
You are also welcome to collect your item from the RBL workshop near Saffron Walden, Essex. If you wish to do this, get in touch and I will give you directions!
Returns and Exchanges
I am so confident that you will love your purchase from Red Bike Leatherworks that I offer a full money back guarantee, including for orders that are customised by leather choice, lining, etc. The only exception to this are items that have been initialled (unless faulty) as these cannot be resold.
If you have any problems at all, let me know as soon as possible. An exchange or refund will occur if the item is returned in its original, re-saleable condition within 14 days of receipt. Unless the item is faulty, the customer is responsible for return shipping and I strongly recommend using tracked delivery to ensure it gets to me unscathed!
If you do wish to return your product, get in touch and I will provide the return address.
All data is handled in a sensitive manner: your data will never be sold or shared with outside companies or third parties.
Why 'Red Bike'?
The name Red Bike Leatherworks is a nod to my Dad, whose love of cycling and adventure was infectious and who was fascinated with all things leather! The bags are named after places he loved, from Jamaica to Essex and many stops in between.
Do you repair items?
Simply email a picture of the item that you'd like repairing and I'll take a look. Some items are straightforward to repair, some more tricky, so I will provide a quote depending on the time it will take to complete.