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Ruth Pullan Textiles & Leatherwork, Customer Spotlight #11

Ruth Pullan Textiles & Leatherwork, Customer Spotlight #11
11/12/2015

Not one to follow high street fashion and tired of poorly made accessories, Ruth Pullan decided to be the answer to her own shopping problems and create a British accessory brand under her own name. Between 2011 and 2012, Ruth embarked on a number of leatherwork courses with the Cumbria School of Saddlery. Applying the skills she had learnt from her time in Cumbria, Ruth slowly started to develop her own brand and product line. After hard work and determination Ruth Pullen Textile and Leatherwork was created. A company which is dedicated to providing the consumer with timeless pieces that are handmade from start to finish. We caught up with Ruth to learn more about her brand and the work she does. What were your reasons for starting your own textile and leatherwork company? I was working in a gallery at the time and surrounded by people who were making a living from making beautifully crafted things and I wondered if I could do the same. I had always been a maker and I subsequently found out that leatherwork runs in the family, my Great Grandfather was a boot and shoe maker so it seems a strange kind of destiny! This coupled with an increasing sensitivity to the problems of global mass produced items and the environmental and social impact of this pushed me towards learning a tradition craft where I could have complete control over the materials and suppliers I was using and most importantly, keep it all within the UK. What did you do before Ruth Pullan Textiles and Leatherwork? I worked in galleries for a number of years as I always thought I would like to run my own shop or gallery myself, selling other people's art and craft. The making has taken over at the moment but this original aim might well resurface if the right opportunity arises! Had you any previous leatherwork experience before embarking upon your course with the Cumbria School of Saddlery? No, none at all. I had making experience, dress making and sewing and I was already making products to sell but using British tweeds and local cloths. It was this that introduced me to leather as I was buying in the handles for my bags and was unhappy with the quality and potentially dubious origin of the leather so I went and learnt bridlework so I could make them myself. It's carried on from there, leather is such a wonderful material and the fact that I can make something which will last a long time is one of the most appealing things about working with this material.

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