THIS IS IMPORTANT
Going are the days of cheap sheepskins, but it is going to take a while before the public realise this and we have to be prepared for this realisation, and it wont take long. Then WOW!
Fenland Sheepskin, the biggest sheepskin tannery in England, ceased trading on 28th March 2011 leaving only Devonia and ourselves. The loss of Fenland is a symptom of a greater malaise of the world tanning industry. Escalating costs, particularly oil, and a dwindling supply of the raw materials, Australia alone has lost 30% of their sheep, and an increasing demand from China for their home market is having an affect on the world demand and supply of sheepskins. There are more tanneries going bust and not in England!
Those of us in England who have sheep are in a unique position world wide. We have 53 pure breeds, over 300 recognised hybrids, plus import breeds and never mind the infinite number of crosses. We have THE BIGGEST DIVERSITY IN THE WORLD and given the long experience of Organic Sheepskins, they don’t have to be white and average and we have an International market as the World wide demand for organically tanned sheepskins is also rising particularly for baby rugs and for the rising number of chemically sensitive people.
THIS IS THE ONLY ORGANICALLY REGISTERED SHEEPSKIN TANNERY IN ENGLAND, NO NASTY CHEMICALS, NO POLLUTION
BDAA ORGANIC CERTIFICATE 323
MEMBER OF RBST FOR 30+ YEARS
BUT….IT IS AN IRREFUTABLE FACT THAT SHEEP MOULT AND
IT DOES NOT SHOW ON THE ANIMAL.
There is absolutely no point in sending skins to be tanned if they are past their ‘use by date’ when the animal has started growing a new fleece under the old one. It is a total waste of time and money, yours and ours. Lots!
Skins can only be tanned from animals slaughtered in the year that they were born or shorn.
DOWN BREEDS BEFORE MIDDLE OF OCTOBER, but better before.
HILL BREEDS BY 1ST WEEK IN NOVEMBER.
There are slight variations on this timing. If you are not sure, just ask.
DECEMBER: TOO LATE FOR ANYTHING.
As this is a strictly seasonal business everything comes at once. Our whole process is dedicated to tanning other people’s skins for them in the season. This process alone takes 3 weeks, unlike chrome or synthetic processes which are much quicker. You get what you pay for.
BUT… GET THE TIMING RIGHT AND WE, IN ENGLAND, WILL HAVE THE BEST SHEEPSKINS ANYWHERE!
Our lot waiting for their tea. Photo taken from the back of the tannery, wonderful view. This is an ‘on farm’ tannery and we therefore know first hand what the agricultural industry is being subjected to.
Any one involved in the farming industry, either large or small is only too well aware of the growing problems facing us. This tannery is situated on an agricultural holding. Red tape, global warming and diseases, not our fault, are only three of the extra pressures exerted on all of us.
ORGANIC SHEEPSKINS tan sheep and goatskins with a certified organic process. Started back in 1974 with a couple of home-bred kid skins. I believed, even back then, that waste was not an option. This process was researched and developed from then until certification in 1996.
As livestock margins get even tighter, a re-think for anyone who keeps livestock is essential. Consider all options.
The value of sheepskins can be a considerable part of the value of the flock. It can be more than the meat. There is a rapidly growing demand for trace ability, safe production methods, (the British flock is extensively reared, as we know) and a guaranteed chemical free product. Your own raw materials and our certified organic process can give purchasers exactly that. The certification is the guarantee of purity and protection from a litigious minded public who are being palmed off with cheap chemical alternatives. It is only a matter of time…..
Our Certification can be used as a marketing tool. even if your flock or herd is not certified. Certified skins can be stamped and sold with full certification. For your own personal use, or presents you know exactly what you are getting. We can even join your own skins together to make your own unique rug.
As each skin carries it’s own unique numbered tag through the system we can guarantee to return your own skins to you.
If you send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org we can send you the salting instructions, a copy of the Defra bumf to get your skins back and answer any questions you have.
N.B. If you are in Wales you will need to apply to Welsh Defra as they will need to come and have a look.
The info we need to know is:-
What breed or breed type?
When were they born/shorn?
When were they/will they be slaughtered?
We can do this!
HAIR ON HIDE CONTRACT TANNING
Pittards and Holmes Hall are joining forces to provide a tanning service for cattle and other heavy hides.
We are often asked about this service and are unable to assist other than suggesting sending the hides to Italy through Exeter Hide & Skin. Naturally people are reluctant to see this business leaving England and concerned over the transport and costs involved.
Pittards will co-ordinate the customer enquiries, advising on the importance of preservation, packing and transport.
Holmes Hall will undertake the process up to the wet blue and then transfer the hides to Yeovil for finishing. This will include splitting, shaving and retanning before drying and softening.
The contacts are:-
Pittards – Robert Painter 01935 474321
Holmes Hall – Nick Wardby 01482 449449
We can now therefore give a positive answer to enquirers as well as making this information available through the Real Sheepskin Association.
You too could even have your own tannery. England needs more like this one. See page 10.