In our penultimate saddlery series, we focus our attention on flocking. Flocking as we know is essential to the welfare of the horse and rider. A properly flocked saddle will be stuffed evenly, preventing pressure points and therefore musculoskeletal damage to the horse. The well flocked saddle also prevents a sore back for the rider, adding balance to the seat and distributing the rider’s weight more evenly across the saddle, by providing consistent contact with the horse. With all this is mind, the need for high quality flocking and the correct application is amplified.
Welting is used in a similar way to piping in upholstery. It eliminates rough edges and creates clean lines, for a smart look to the saddle. Welting is a strip of hardwearing fabric, usually leather but other materials are becoming popular, which is sewn onto the edging of a saddle to add a smooth finish. It is used to seamlessly join parts of the saddle which meet and attach, such as where the seat, twist and pommel meets the skirt on a saddle, defining the shape.
When it comes to artisan crafts, there are many longstanding skills and working methods that are steeped in tradition. Crafts that involve working manually in the manufacture of an end product have remained popular for centuries. Today these traditional crafting methods can take the form of companies manufacturing items using traditional methods, or hobbyists who enjoy recreating the past, using materials and approaches from past eras.
Since January 2019, our scholarship winner Lucy Cushley has kept inundated with all her saddlery career. In her final blog of 2019, Lucy discusses her recent encounter with her local primary school and why it’s so important to love what we do.