Saddlery Series Part 5: Flocking.
Welcome to our new ‘Saddlery Series’.
Throughout this series, we will be showcasing the very best materials and supplies, hand-picked by us. We will spotlight the highest quality fittings in the production of saddles and side-saddles, allowing you to create beautifully finished products.
Abbey England is proud to have been supplying the international saddlery trade since 1982. Recognised by the Society of Master Saddlers. Our saddlery has become synonymous with equestrian style and saddle sophistication.
We distribute high quality, 100% natural and synthetic wools to our suppliers to flock their saddles.
Our range of flocking is used by the world’s top saddle manufacturers, as well as saddlers across the UK and Europe to reflock their customer’s saddles.
Flocking is an essential part of a saddle. A properly flocked saddle will be stuffed evenly, preventing pressure points and therefore musculoskeletal damage to the horse. Flocking also prevents a sore back for the rider, and adds balance to the seat, distributing the rider’s weight more evenly across the saddle, by providing consistent contact with the horse. Sadly, a saddle which has been flocked incorrectly can have the same harmful impact on a horse as an ill-fitting saddle.
Wool flocking is inserted into the saddle panels, and these saddle panels need to be flocked with the right amount so that they are not too hard but not too soft. Flocking can be tested by running your hands down and across the panels whilst applying slight pressure to feel for an even flocking distribution.
A saddle will need reflocking every few years, depending on the saddle’s usage. This will allow for changes in a horse’s shape and movement, season to season or as it ages, without the need for a new saddle.
Flocking can also become compressed, hard and lumpy over time, unbalancing the saddle and causing issues for the horse and rider. Reflocking involves removing the old flocking from the saddle panels and refilling them with new flocking.
There are three ways to reflock a saddle:
Adapting the level of flocking in a saddle, either by adding or reducing the volume of flock in the panels.
This involves removing the panels from the saddle and either removing or adding flocking as in spot flocking, or more evenly redistributing existing flocking to reduce lumps and the wool from bunching.
The saddle panels are removed from the saddle, and then all of the wool flocking is taken out of these and replaced with entirely new wool flocking.
We stock four kinds of wool for flocking or reflocking purposes:
100% long fibre white wool flock
One of the best quality wools for flocking, it is more hard-wearing than other types of flocking as it does not bunch up and need reflocking as quickly as other flocking materials.
Jacobs brown wool flock
Arguably, Jacobs wool is a better quality flock, offering a better memory rate. This lamb wool is 100% natural and has exceptional breathability. Soft and with a shorter fibre, using Jacobs sheep’s wool for flocking is a popular choice for flocking and reflocking a saddle alike.
White wool mix flock 80/20
A combination of our 100% long fibre white wool flock with 20% synthetic flock mixed in, offering a more economic pricing.
Coloured synthetic flock
The most economically priced flocking material, it is not as hard-wearing as our other flocking options. It is commonly used in the creation of saddles as well as reflocking when cost of materials is a factor.
We also supply the necessary quality tools for the purpose of flocking or reflocking a saddle, including:
Stainless steel flocking iron.The perfect tool to add flock to a saddle safely. Available in 12”, 14”, 16” and 18”. Please note the handle is not included in these measurements.
Stainless steel deflocking iron. A conveniently hooked tool for safely removing flock from saddles, available in one size of 18”. Please note the handle is not included in this measurement.
Visit our website to see the full range of flocking and flocking tools here.
Stay tuned for the next instalment in our ‘Saddlery Series’; everything you need to know about heavy elastic