Perfect for the floor or decoration: Hayley Hanson’s hides are ethically produced in Britain and she has her own micro-tannery, one of few in the UK. She knows all animals from the day they are born on her farm, their parents, brothers and sisters; all generations of her cattle have had the best quality of life. Her ethos is no waste, and we fully support that – having her wonderful meat in our restaurant as well as the hides on our floor.
The tannery journey began on her wedding day when the heifer they used for the feast had an exceptionally beautiful hide and they decided to keep it. Other families started coming to Hayley and she self-taught herself the practice, she admits after a fair bit of trial and error!
The process: hides are skinned by hand and sent back from the abattoir where upon they are salted on the under-side and left to dry for two weeks, after this time the salt is scraped off and the hide pressure washed. They are then left in the ‘pickle’, a colloquialism for Mineral Tannage Solution for 1- 3 months and then hung out for another 6. The next stage is drying them out and oiling them, the formula is top-secret as Hayley has devised personally, which ensures they are as soft, glossy and as supple as possible. After the science comes the beauty bit; Hayley then uses a hair dryer and brushes down each piece by hand.
We began our relationship with Hayley using her hides for our own decoration and as they have received so much admiration, we asked her if she would bring us some more that we could share with you. We now have a gorgeous collection for sale in store with a wide range of patterns and tones ranging from black and whites, chestnuts, and creamy to chocolate browns: they retail for £500.00 for a large hide with prices of sheepskins and deerskins starting from £60.00.
Aside from her beautiful hides, Hayley has also began her latest venture – furniture! Using a single piece of leather so that the finish is seamless she has made for Clerkenwell London exclusively her first version of the Butterfly Chair, with reinforcement around the weight-bearing areas to ensure longevity. The stand has been made by her local blacksmith, in short it is a total, local, wholly British, design masterpiece.