Do you love all things leather? Do you have a passion for telling the stories of the past?

If you would like to become a guest writer for the National Leather Collection, please get in touch!

E: victoria.green@nationalleathercollection.org

Spotlight On … Saratoga Trunks

6th December 2018

Newest post in our weekly microblog series ‘Spotlight On …’, which will focus on some of our key curiosities and most unique leatherworks. This week’s entry is written by Philip Warner, and explores the history of the ‘Saratoga Trunk’. From the well to-do of upstate New York to 20th Century Britain, this trunk is a well travelled and familiar part of contemporary pop-culture.

Spotlight On … the Great Exhibition

29th November 2018

Newest post in our weekly microblog series ‘Spotlight On …’, which will focus on some of our key curiosities and most unique leatherworks. This week’s entry is written by James Hawksley, and looks back to the Great Exhibition in 1851 and it’s leathery legacy in our museum collection.

Origins of Leather: Being Human 2018

24th November 2018

This week’s blog takes a retrospective look at #OriginsOfLeather event for the Being Human Festival. In this post, Victoria Green briefly recaps the lectures delivered by our leathery professionals, and the highlights of the festival. From ‘Old Roast Beef’ to Nun’s teeth, it was certainly an interesting week!

Spotlight On … armadillo handbags

15th November 2018

Newest post in our weekly microblog series ‘Spotlight On …’, which will focus on some of our key curiosities and most unique leatherworks. This week’s entry is written by Graham Lampard, and discusses the changing attitudes towards the explicit use of raw materials in fashion, via two of our most recent acquisitions – an armadillo clutch and a crocodile handbag.

From aprons to middens: Bonfire Night’s leathery legacy

8th November 2018

Newest post in our weekly microblog series ‘Spotlight On …’, which will focus on some of our key curiosities and most unique leatherworks. This week’s entry is written by Victoria Green, and explores the leathery story behind the Gunpowder Plot of 5th November 1605. See how leather and key objects in the museum collection tie in to the infamous conspiracy.

Death in the Woolpack: hide Porter’s Disease

1st November 2018

Newest post in our weekly microblog series ‘Spotlight On …’, which will focus on some of our key curiosities and most unique leatherworks. This week’s entry is written by Philip Warner, and looks at one of the perils of working in the leather industry; anthrax! Names after the ancient Greek word for coal, this disease was Yorkshire’s silent killer …

Spotlight On … St. Crispin’s Day

25th October 2018

Newest post in our weekly microblog series ‘Spotlight On …’, which will focus on some of our key curiosities and most unique leatherworks. This week’s entry is written by Victoria Green, and looks at the patron saint of leather-workers, St. Crispin. Read about how Northampton is celebrating St. Crispin’s Day here.

Spotlight On … Decorative Caskets

18th October 2018

Newest post in our weekly microblog series ‘Spotlight On …’, which will focus on some of our key curiosities and most unique leatherworks. This week’s entry is written by Graham Lampard, and showcases two of our favourite highly decorative leather caskets.

Spotlight On … Mouse-Skin eyebrows

11th October 2018

Newest post in our weekly microblog series ‘Spotlight On …’, which will focus on some of our key curiosities and most unique leatherworks. This week’s entry is written by Victoria Green, and takes a look at the truth behind one unusual, leathery 18th Century beauty trend in an attempt to answer the question; did women really use mouse-skins as false eyebrows in the Georgian period?

So, you’re afraid of flying?

4th October 2018

Newest post in our weekly microblog series ‘Spotlight On …’, which will focus on some of our key curiosities and most unique leatherworks. This week’s entry is written by James Hawksley and uncovers the truth behind our First World War Flying Coat and the fearless men who wore them.

A World That Never Learns!

27th September 2018

Newest post in our weekly microblog series ‘Spotlight On …’, which will focus on some of our key curiosities and most unique leatherworks. This week’s entry is written by Dr. Mike Redwood and explores the theme of innovation in tanneries, and its magic ingredient of strategy, product and process.

Telling the Story of Leather!

20th September 2018

Newest post in our weekly microblog series ‘Spotlight On …’, which will focus on some of our key curiosities and most unique leatherworks. This week’s entry is written by Victoria Green to introduce the National Leather Collection’s newest project ‘Telling the Story of Leather’, and explain why we’re trying to make archives more accessible.

‘Why Open Days are our Favourite Day.’

13th September 2018

Newest post in our weekly microblog series ‘Spotlight On …’, which will focus on some of our key curiosities and most unique leatherworks. This week’s entry is written by Victoria Green and shares the success of Heritage Open Day 2018, and future plans for the collection.

Spotlight On … Leather and Superstition

6th September 2018

Newest post in our weekly microblog series ‘Spotlight On …’, which will focus on some of our key curiosities and most unique leatherworks. This week’s entry is written by Graham Lampard and looks at unlucky number thirteen, and what superstition has to do with our curious leather figurines.

Spotlight On … Secondhand Books

30th August 2018

Newest post in our weekly microblog series ‘Spotlight On …’, which will focus on some of our key curiosities and most unique leatherworks. This week’s entry is written by Nell Thomas and explains why she spent a week setting up a secondhand bookshop for the community, and what is so glamorous about pre-loved books.

Spotlight On … Samuel Pepys

23rd August 2018

Newest post in our weekly microblog series ‘Spotlight On …’, which will focus on some of our key curiosities and most unique leatherworks. This week’s entry is written by Victoria Green and looks at the life of Samuel Pepys. Travel back to 17th Century London, and sneak a peek in this famous diary as we present ‘8 things you didn’t know about Samuel Pepys’.

Getting your story right: protecting the history of the leather industry

16th August 2018

This week’s blog is written by Dr. Mike Redwood, and takes a look at the latest industry trend of re-creating ‘backstories’ to add legitimacy to a brand. Read how the National Leather Collection’s leather library protects the history of the industry, and what you could do to help keep it safe.

Spotlight On … Donald Campbell

9th August 2018

Newest post in our weekly microblog series ‘Spotlight On …’, which will focus on some of our key curiosities and most unique leatherworks. This week’s entry is written by Victoria Green and takes a look at how provenance makes an item more valuable, using the example of Donald Campbell’s driving gloves.

A week at the museum!

2nd August 2018

Last month, we welcomed Lily Langford to the National Leather Collection team to have a weeks’ work experience in the museums world. From auditing to photography, we kept her very busy with a collections management role! Read her reflections upon the experience here.

Best Foot Forward: Westwood vs. Pattens

26th July 2018

Newest post in our weekly microblog series ‘Spotlight On …’, which will focus on some of our key curiosities and most unique leatherworks. This week’s entry is written by Victoria Green and explores the connection between iconic Vivienne Westwood shoes and 19th Century leather pattens.

Spotlight On … Medieval music.

19th July 2018

Newest post in our weekly microblog series ‘Spotlight On …’, which will focus on some of our key curiosities and most unique leatherworks. This week’s entry is written by Victoria Green and takes a look at medieval sheet music and the roots of Western musical tradition.

Spotlight On … shadow puppets.

12th July 2018

Newest post in our weekly microblog series ‘Spotlight On …’, which will focus on some of our key curiosities and most unique leatherworks. This week’s entry is written by Graham Lampard and transports the reader to Indonesia to explore the art of Javanese shadow puppets.

Spotlight On … the modern museum.

6th July 2018

Wave hello to the modern museum! The newest post in our weekly microblog series ‘Spotlight On …’, written by our curator, Philip Warner. Explore the ingredients of a modern museum in a less than forgiving heritage climate, and discover how the National Leather Collection plans to continue to grow its success.

Spotlight On … Ball Games!

28th June 2018

Newest post in our weekly microblog series ‘Spotlight On …’, which will focus on some of our key curiosities and most unique leatherworks. This week’s entry is written by James Hawksley and, in celebration of the World Cup, investigates the surprisingly bloody, leathery history of ball games.

Spotlight On … Rupert Brooke’s Books

22nd June 2018

Newest post in our weekly microblog series ‘Spotlight On …’, which will focus on some of our key curiosities and most unique leatherworks. This week’s entry is written by Victoria Green, and takes a look at a designer bookbinding of a first edition of Twenty Poems by Rupert Brooke, and the poet himself.

Spotlight On … Wigs and Whigs!

14th June 2018

Newest post in our weekly microblog series ‘Spotlight On …’, which will focus on some of our key curiosities and most unique leatherworks. This week’s entry is written by James Hawksley, and takes a step back to the 17th and 18th Centuries to investigate the truth behind the trend of wig-wearing.

John Waterer & Luggage; a tale of two trunks.

7th June 2018

Newest post in our weekly microblog series ‘Spotlight On …’, which will focus on some of our key curiosities and most unique leatherworks. This week’s entry is written by Victoria Green, and takes a look at John Waterer’s love of luggage and the untold stories behind some of the travel-ware in our collection.

Mrs Underhill’s trees, and an apology to Coventry.

31st May 2018

Newest post in our weekly microblog series ‘Spotlight On …’, which will focus on some of our key curiosities and most unique leatherworks. This week’s entry is written by Philip Warner, with the help of some local leather industry buffs, and explores the story of our Bassett-Lowke model and the factory it represents.

Judging a book by its cover!

24th May 2018

Newest post in our weekly microblog series ‘Spotlight On …’, which will focus on some of our key curiosities and most unique leatherworks. This week’s entry is written by Philip Warner, and explores the history (and mystery) behind our 16th Century illuminated psalter.

LCW 2018: Whitaker Malem

17th May 2018

From the 10th – 13th May, Whitaker Malem hosted their first solo exhibition in their studio-space. With their ‘Transmorphic Superpeople’, the pair provoke thought about gender fluidity, objectification and sexuality, and show that leather remains topical.

LCW 2018: ‘Leather – Then & Now’

11th May 2018

From the 9th – 13th May, Bill Amberg Studio presented an exhibition at Leathersellers’ Hall for London Craft Week. Leather – Then & Now juxtaposes historical objects from the museum collection with their modern equivalents in a celebration of crafting excellence and good design.

Spotlight On … the Samurai.

3rd May 2018

Newest post in our weekly microblog series ‘Spotlight On …’, which will focus on some of our key curiosities and most unique leatherworks. This week’s entry is written by Victoria Green, and examines a unique set of Japanese armour from the 18th Century edo-jidai period.

Spotlight On … Ellen Terry.

26th April 2018

Newest post in our weekly microblog series ‘Spotlight On …’, which will focus on some of our key curiosities and most unique leatherworks. This week’s entry is written by James Hawksley, and explores the life of Dame Ellen Terry through two of her personal belongings here at the National Leather Collection.

Spotlight On … Leather in Life, Art & Industry.

19th April 2018

Newest post in our weekly microblog series ‘Spotlight On …’, which will focus on some of our key curiosities and most unique leatherworks. This week’s entry is written especially for World Book Night by Graham Lampard, and explores three different bindings of John W. Waterer’s iconic book.

Spotlight On … Hungarian pavises.

13th April 2018

Newest post in our weekly microblog series ‘Spotlight On …’, which will focus on some of our key curiosities and most unique leatherworks. This week’s entry is written by Victoria Green and tells the dark story of 15th Century Hungary, and the bloody history of our little, leather-covered shield.

Spotlight On … Theatrical Doublets.

5th April 2018

Newest post in our weekly microblog series ‘Spotlight On …’, which will focus on some of our key curiosities and most unique leatherworks. This week’s entry is written by James Hawksley and investigates the mystery around one of our Shakespearean-style doublets, potentially owned by playwright Frank Gregory.

Spotlight On … the Crucifixion.

29th March 2018

Newest post in our weekly microblog series ‘Spotlight On …’, which will focus on some of our key curiosities and most unique leatherworks. This week’s entry is written by Philip Warner and examines the cultural importance of an embossed panel, depicting the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

Spotlight On … 16th Century jerkins.

23rd March 2018

Newest post in our weekly microblog series ‘Spotlight On …’, which will focus on some of our key curiosities and most unique leatherworks. This week’s entry is written by Victoria Green and attempts to unravel the mystery surrounding a 16th Century buff leather jerkin.

Spotlight On … the Glovers.

15th March 2018

Newest post in our weekly microblog series ‘Spotlight On …’, which will focus on some of our key curiosities and most unique leatherworks. This week’s entry is written by Dr. Mike Redwood and talks about the rich tradition of glovers, and protofeminism in the industry.

Impressions: Civilisation & Leather.

9th March 2018

Guest writer Tom Rusbridge gives his first impressions of the Civilisation & Leather exhibition, inspired by BBC Civilisations. Read his discussion of how leather has evolved throughout history and how this unique material is still just as relevant today as it was 40,000 years ago.

Civilisation & Leather.

1st March 2018

Wherever humans have inhabited, we find leather. Inspired by BBC Civilisations, the National Leather Collection presents Civilisation & Leather: an exhibition telling the story of mankind, from prehistory to present day. Read more about what civilisation means to us in this week’s blog.

Reflections on the Leather Industry Dinner.

22nd February 2018

At the beginning of February, our curator – Philip Warner – attended the Leather Industry Dinner at Leathersellers’ Hall. In his second retrospective blog, he reflects upon the up and coming designers featured, and our newest acquisition: a pair of James Bond’s shoes.

Spotlight On … Canes & Quivers.

14th February 2018

Newest post in our weekly microblog series ‘Spotlight On …’, which will focus on some of our key curiosities and most unique leatherworks. This week’s entry is written by Graham Lampard and looks at two weapons; a sword cane, and a Florentine quiver.

Reflections on the Leather Industry Dinner.

8th February 2018

At the beginning of February, our curator – Philip Warner – attended the Leather Industry Dinner at Leathersellers’ Hall. In this blog, he reflects upon the companion exhibition provided by the National Leather Collection and the modern leather industry.

Leather x Disney.

1st February 2018

Mickey and Minnie Mouse have been pop culture icons for decades, and are now breaking their way into the leathery world of fashion. This blog explores some of the most wanted Disney collaborations with luxury leather brands. Do you own any of these? Share and hashtag #NLCdisney!

WWI: Past and Present.

25th January 2018

To mark the centenary, the National Leather Collection is exploring the impact that WWI had upon Northampton and the leather industry. This week, we are telling the story of Private William Green and his war, through his souvenir from the front line.

Hide & Seek: The Fur Debate.

18th January 2018

Let’s talk leather and fashion! In our new microblogging series, Lindsey Riley of the London College of Fashion looks at how trends of the past are just as relevant today. This week’s post looks at fur, and how attitudes have changed through time.

Spotlight On … George III’s toilet.

11th January 2018

Newest post in our fortnightly microblog series ‘Spotlight On …’, which will focus on some of our key curiosities and most unique leatherworks. This week’s entry is written by Victoria Green and explores the glamorous history behind King George III’s commode. Nothing like lowering the tone to welcome the New Year!

Hide & Seek: Signature Piece.

4th January 2018

Let’s talk leather and fashion! In our new microblogging series, Lindsey Riley of the London College of Fashion looks at how trends of the past are just as relevant today. This week’s post looks at oversize branding and logos, comparing the modern and historical.