Tips and Advice

New Lines to my Store Coming Soon

May 24, 2020
I have been working on a few different leather items for me.
I have always been badgered by a friend of mine to make some leather watch straps. I have been putting him off as I have never made anything as thin and small as a watch strap! Anyway I have made a few now and given them out for testing. The first ones use buckles that I already have. But bridle buckles are a bit big so I will have to change that. Holes need to be smaller so I will be on the lookout for some smaller punches. And the leather needs to be thinner! blimey! I feel like I could just push the needles through without the awl!
The problem is though. I actually really enjoy a new challenge. And I have already though of some different ideas.

Oh and the leather that they are resting on is a piece of Mock-Croc before anyone starts trying to report me for CITIES! Hang on now that is another idea for a watch strap.

The next thing that I made is something that I have always wanted to do but just never managed to get around to it. A small messenger pad and a 2 gusset leather briefcase. Rather than take orders for bespoke versions of these I think that I may just make them as and when and put them up for sale. I could probably take ideas if someone wants something specific.
The small bag took me around 2 days to make and the large briefcase was around a weeks work. The leather was a bit thick and in places was three layers of around 5mm thick leather. Needless to say my fingers ached a bit after a few days of constant stitching!
As with my watch straps I have thought of some other ideas and my next design may just be a messenger bag based on a WW2 saddlebag.

Anyway, stay safe and have a nice day.


Corvid-19 disruption

March 27, 2020
I hope that this post finds you and your family well.

At the moment I am still able to complete and process orders. My buckle and leather supplier is still operating a limited service and should still be able to deliver everything that I need. And the Post Office is still carrying out deliveries. And as I work alone I can still continue to work. As my workshop is in one of my fields I am keeping my social distancing at around 200m!
Anyway. On a better note! As a big thankyou to our NHS and hard...
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Hand Stitching

November 24, 2019
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So just what is Handmade?

November 9, 2019

A quick search of the internet will throw up hundreds, if not thousands of handmade items. But what actually constitutes a handmade item?

The Cambridge Dictionary has its meaning as

“Made by someone using their hands rather than a machine”

With that in mind lets have a look at what companies and businesses class as handmade. Obviously, I am going to base this on leather goods as that is my craft. I will go through the basic process of crafting a leather belt and compare the differenc...

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White Stitching?

September 4, 2019
Just a few notes on white stitching on my handmade leather goods.
Firstly, white stitching does look nice on many of the leather colours that I use. That being said - it doesn't stay white for long!
White thread is actually described as whitey/brown thread. See even the manufacture can't keep it white for long!
By the time that I have waxed it - I keep a different piece of wax especially for white thread - it starts to take on a slightly yellowy/brown hint. Not much, but I can see it when it is ...
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Leather Colours

July 27, 2019
I only use English Bridle Leather from J E Sedgwick. These come in 14 beautiful colours;
  • Australian Nut
  • Black
  • Burgandy
  • Chocolate
  • Conker
  • Dark Green
  • Dark Havana
  • Hazel
  • Light Havana
  • London Tan
  • Navy Blue
  • Oak Brown
  • Old Oak
  • and Red

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Forces and Bluelight discount

May 19, 2019
In celebration of our hard-working Armed Forces and bluelight personnel I have set up a 10% discount especially for you. Check out your relevant discount service to access the codes.

For Armed forces visit and for the Emergency services check out

If you are not already a member of either of these services I would suggest that you join immediately (assuming you can - fortunately I can!). They offer discounts on many high ...
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New Camera Strap Designs

May 13, 2019
I have been experimenting with some new handmade leather camera straps recently. I have four out for field testing at the moment. Just to check that they all work as they should!
I have tried to think of something that is not common in the world of photographers and their cameras. Being Leather I know that they are stylish, and as they are made entirely by hand they are all bespoke. But I have also used some fittings from the saddlery trade. The Globetrotter shoulder strap for instance, uses a...
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So just how much weight can one of my handmade leather camera straps carry?

April 24, 2019
"Can your camera straps support the weight of my *insert camera model*? It weighs *insert weight*?" Is a very common question I am asked. And the answer is invariable. Yes! Yes it can!
Now as a picture is worth a thousand words I thought that I should test one.

So this is my Globetrotter camera sling supporting a 25lt water container. And yes it is full! so that is around 25kg supported quite happily.

This then made me think. What else could I hang from that strap. Hhmm! What's that in the backg...
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New Websites

April 17, 2019
I have been tinkering with some new websites recently. I decided now was a good time to have some web specific names and to split some of my store items. I also needed to buy up some domain names like using the recently introduced .uk web address. It was also a chance to play with some settings and see what I could come up with.

Having my store with Ecwid makes it easy as I only have to add the store to each website - and viola! there it is.

The majority of my websites ar...
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Simon Harrison Cordwainer at Oakside Saddlery Handmade, bespoke leather Made in England. Leather Collars and Leads for your Dog, Handmade, made to Measure Leather Belts, Leather camera straps, Leather briefcases and messenger bags, watch straps, And Leather rifle slings for Field Sports. All made in the Traditional Hand-stitched way


Simon Harrison

Oakside Saddlery

67 Windmill Rise



ME12 3QA

United Kingdom


Contact Me