Beautiful bags, entirely hand made and hand stitched with vintage saddlery and repurposed English bridle leather pieces. Designed and crafted in Bruton, Somerset by Caroline Strecker.
I have been collecting old bridle leather and brass harness buckles for years. I love the history that each piece holds, the heritage, the craftsmanship. Even if its in poor condition, with a little attention, the bridle leather regains its smooth, supple qualities, its strength and beauty. I wanted to find a way to re-use these wonderful old pieces, which have so much character. Rag of Colts is the result.
Old leather is the best leather
For me, the repurposing element is crucial. The patina, character and story being told in the old leather is far more precious and appealing than new leather. Its a process that cannot be rushed. Despite it being more time consuming to source and repurpose vintage pieces, the results speak for themselves. Each bag I create has its own distinct look and no two are ever exactly alike due to the unique heritage of the leather.
Everything is hand made. From the first cut to the final stitch and everything in between, there is not a machine to be seen in any part of the process. I use simple traditional hand tools and a needle and thread.
A "Rag of Colts" is an old English collective noun which has fallen out of use. It refers to a herd, 'rag' or 'rake' of young (male) horses. Each bag style is named after a member of my family. Beryl was my great aunt and Vivan Noverre Lockett who lends his name to the Messenger Bag and the Rucksack, was my great grandfather - an international polo champion and Olympic gold medal winner at the 1920 Summer Olympics in Antwerp.
Ordering a bespoke bag allows you to choose the strap colour, buckle design and rivet metal of your bag. You can even personalise each item with initials or a short message. Please don't hesitate to get in touch if you have ideas, suggestions, or need help with your design. These bespoke orders may take up to 21 days.
I usually have a few bags which are Ready to Ship. These tend to sell quickly so if you would like to be notified when I am adding stock to the shop, please leave your email in the form below. Your email address will not be used for any other purpose.