Made in England: the Whipstitch Collection

Beautiful bags handcrafted locally.

Cartmel in sand and damson

The decision to produce another one-off collection in England was a no-brainer. The opportunity to work with a real artisan maker, practically based up the road, to make small, nay tiny numbers of each perfect style, in only European leathers? Who could pass that up.

Firstly, we found the very best maker we could; a real expert of the craft, operating from a small workshop in Newmarket. Pace is not their USP. Quality is. It’s all about getting each design exactly right, taking the time required to create something perfect.

Afforded the luxury of very short runs and a close relationship with the maker, we were able to make the group of designs that we absolutely fancied. This was our opportunity to experiment and try out designs we’ve had on hold for a while, waiting for the right moment.

Enter the Whipstitch, a favourite design that had been shelved from our bigger collections for a few reasons - it needs to be made by hand to achieve the precise look and shape, it uses a lot of leather and it takes a lot of time to make a whole strap.

Barlings in Damson
Orby in Stone

Defined as a ‘shallow overcasting stitch’, the first known use of the word 'whipstitch' was in 1592. Incidentally, the term is used in U.S. slang for an instant or a moment. ‘It’ll only take a whipstitch.’ We loved the idea that life is made up of little whipstitches, all woven together; good and bad and in-between running alongside each other.

Each strip of leather is hand woven to create this beautiful pattern. Not only visually appealing, it is wonderfully tactile and comfortable when worn on the shoulder, distributing weight through your shoulder evenly without digging in. That can only be a good thing. Straps that dig in are a waste of time - the best way to ensure you will leave a bag on the shelf. We know that, so we made sure to take it into account.

We chose very natural colours for our beautiful European leathers, inspired by the English countryside: warm ochre, soft damson, washed pebble and liquorice black. They add to the relaxed look of the collection, in three classic shapes that we know just work: a squared-off tote, a hobo and a satchel cross body.

We hope you love the collection as much as we do.

Village England was born out of a passion for beautiful design and the desire to capture a sense of English style.