Our unique leathers begin with the inspiration – the spark that comes from the beauty of well-worn, vintage leathers. Tim has spent a lifetime collecting antiques and his artistic eye sees the intrinsic beauty of a piece – from an antique armchair to the edge of a worn out handbag or briefcase, or the patina of a leather covered tools handle.
Tim, on leather:
“I went to boarding school in an old Benedictine monastery, which was full of beautiful old classic English leather furniture and antiques… The richness, the patina... it somehow got embedded in my psyche, and I’ve loved great classic leather pieces ever since.”
Timothy Oulton leathers are aniline, meaning that translucent aniline dyes are used rather than heavy pigments, to preserve the hide’s natural characteristics and textures, celebrating them not as imperfections, but as unique features and part of the leather’s natural beauty.
Only the world’s finest hides qualify to be aniline dyed. We pick our hides typically from South America – Argentina and Brazil – where the cattle run free on the pampas. Like an artist landscaping his canvas, the dyes are layered into each crease and contour of the hide by hand. The dye penetrates the leather rather than sitting as a coating on top, leading to a rich and deep colour palette, a warm and buttery touch and a soft, supple hand-feel.
Sensuous hand-finished leather requires lots of time and effort to create properly. Each hide is worked on individually, there is no mechanization involved, which guarantees that each leather is unique in a way that only human touch and sensibility can achieve. Simple tools and natural materials like limestone are used to soften the leather for an aged, distressed patina.
Many of Timothy Oulton’s leathers such as Buff Burnished (seen here on Pudgie), Vagabond (seen here on Westminster Feather), and Buck’dN Brok’n (seen here on the Saddle Chair) are then finished for second time once upholstered on the finished piece of furniture for a beautiful burnished finish that is totally unique on every piece.
These many stages of hand-finishing lead to exceptionally luxurious and rich leathers that are supple and lustrous, tough and durable, whilst retaining the intrinsic beauty and individuality of each hide.
Explore our leather sofas, leather armchairs and leather dining chairs to discover our full range of rich and tactile hand-finishes.