We began our leather working careers in Bristol in 1971, moving to our current workshop in Tetbury, Gloucestershire in 1976. We make a range of men’s and women’s bags, luggage, belts, cases, wallets, purses etc using the best quality vegetable tanned leathers sourced from the UK and Europe.
A very special leather we have had the privilege to work with for some years is a 200 year old ‘Russia’ leather. On the 10th December 1786, the Danish Brigantine Metta Catharina laden with hemp and “Russia” leather was dashed against the rocks of Drakes Island in Plymouth Sound and sank. In 1973, divers located the wreck 30m down on the seabed. Littered around it were bundles of hides. Subsequent research confirmed that this leather, remarkably preserved in the cold black mud, tanned traditionally with willow bark and curried with birch oil, had survived due to the expertise of the St Petersburg tanners. The unique grain pattern and distinctive aroma of this beautiful leather can be appreciated and experienced 200 years after it was made.
Over the years we have fine-tuned our skills through a combination of experience, experimentation and research, always willing to explore challenging design ideas. Everything we make is by hand, including the stitching. This means each piece is individually made to only the highest standards of craftsmanship using leathers, threads and metal fittings to compliment this care.
We often work with customers on commissioned pieces, sometimes having the metal fittings specially made in silver or gold to suit the piece. We have worked with other makers including the show maker Caroline Groves and furniture makers Matthew Burt, Brian Jordan, John Makepeace, Richard Williams, SF Furniture, Thomas Messel, Katy Walker.
Providing training in design and making, passing on our knowledge, has become a important part of what we do. Many of our students have set up their own workshops/businesses or work in the leather goods industry, helping to introduce hand making skills into established companies so that ‘Hand made in Britain’ means what it says !
Work by MacGregor and Michael is in the collections of :
- Walsall Leather Museum, Walsall, West Midlands. UK
- Museum of Leathercraft, Northampton UK
- Museu de l’Art de la Pell, Vic, Spain
‘The Leatherworking Handbook’ by Valerie Michael. Pub.Cassell 1993. This is a ‘how to’ book which has been in print for 28 years and has sold at least 150,000 copies worldwide. It has been translated into German and Spanish.
‘Dictionary of Leatherworking Tools’ by R A Salaman 1986 – Neil contributed the chapter on leather decoration.
‘Leather in Life ,Art & Industry ‘- biographical survey of John Waterer’s life & work including an exhibition catalogue edited by Neil MacGregor for the Museum of Leathercraft 1992
Featured in Country Life ( September 28 th, 2011 issue)
‘Leather Goods Manufacture’ by G.C. Moseley – Neil has written the introduction to the 2017 enlarged reprint.
A range of work made by MacGregor & Michael is available from their new showroom at 37 Silver Street, Tetbury, Glos. GL8 8DL. UK.
We are usually open Wednesday – Saturday 11 am to 4 pm but from time to time we need to attend events or have a break so its best to contact us to make sure we are open before making a special journey. You can also make an appointment to visit, particularly with the Covid 19 pandemic, as this will ensure we are here and you have the time and attention to make the most of your visit.
Please telephone or email to arrange a day and time, thank you.
Tel: ( 0044) 01666 502179