The Leather Archer Side Quiver
For the traditional archer the choice as to how you carry your arrows can be as confusing as which bow to buy, side quiver, back quiver, bow quiver or a clip on over the shoulder style and that's before you even start to think of the material from which you would like it made... but at some point in your archery life it is odds on that you will start to hanker and yearn after a truly custom and very traditional leather accessory.
Leather is funny old stuff and having now decided on an item which in theory should last a lifetime you are presented with a whole bunch of other choices.
A little research from the leather working handbook by Valerie Michael tells me there are 2 main ways of tanning leather at least as far as commercially available hides. You could of course try brain tanning but for some getting your hands on fresh brains could be an issue.
For Chrome tanning Hides and skins are tumbled in drums containing solutions of chromium salts and other special chemicals until tanning is complete. Chrome leathers are characterized by their light weight and high tensile strength, made waterproof by fat liquoring.
Chrome leathers cannot be successfully used for hand working because they are too soft and stretchy. They were developed for the speed of machinery and mass production methods.
Vegetable tanning uses a solution made from an infusion of ground tree bark, twigs, leaves and water. Skins or hides are immersed in this liquor, either suspended in pits or tumbled in drums, until tanning is completed. The traditional method of vegetable tanning is in pits. This process can take up to a year for oak bark sole leather or three months for 3mm (1/8”/8oz) bag leather.
If you want something of real quality, made by hand and with the finest materials available then you need to visit a professional leather worker. One such is Carol Hall who operates under the name of the Leather Archer, she and husband John specialise in archery accoutrements, being Longbow archers themselves they know what a traditional archer wants and requires.
This side quiver is made from 4mm leather, every stitch is by hand ( apart from one small area which is actually covered by a strip of leather and studs - this particular area was stitched using a 120 year old boot patching machine which requires 2 operators, one to slowly turn the handle and the other to guide the piece).
With so many pieces of leather to be sewn together the amount of work is enormous, but to be honest if I am having an article commissioned I want it to look like a huge effort has gone into it - this quiver delivers that wow factor, it isn't just in the looking where the quality shines through, when you pick it up it simply oozes class. Weighty and with the feel of waxed leather, it's the kind of item you find yourself handling just for the sheer pleasure of it.
The base is cut from solid Oak, regardless of how sharp and pointy your arrows are, dropping them in the quiver isn't an issue so you won't find your arrows poking through the bottom any time soon.
The Brass fittings and the belt along with all the loops and fixtures are solid, this is a quiver that has been built to last.
A very nice touch is the sheepskin lining around the inside of the top, no noisy arrows jangling about as you walk.
As a demonstration of the leather workers skill this is a beautiful specimen and something that an archer would be proud to own and wear, not to mention it's totally functional and utilitarian efficiency. The wonderful thing about ordering a hand made item is that you can have it customised in any way you wish, from the colour to the style from the size to the small accessory detail. Carols careful approach to her work together with her patience and attention to detail make her the ideal person from whom to commission your archery kit.
Features & Design
This particular quiver is of course one of a kind, being a hand made custom item means that even should you order one exactly the same design there will be differences in leather which make it "your" personal unique quiver. When you are able to design from the ground up the kit you use it will, of course be perfect... for you.
There is performance and performance, this quiver goes beyond just carrying arrows, it does so with style and gusto, it makes a statement where ever it is seen, it isn't just another quiver it is a hand made custom work of art which fullfills it's primary purpose of keeping your arrows safe whilst being something which is a joy to own.
Value for Money
For something that will last your lifetime, become something greater than a thing you purchased and have so much more meaning that a throw-away characterless cordura quiver. Once you see and feel it's quality you appreciate the work and effort that has gone into producing it you will find it hard not to see the value.
For those that appreciate quality, for those who wish to own a piece of kit which will perform it's function and for those that like beautiful things - a custom leather quiver isn't something you buy every day, in fact that is it's great charm... this will be the only quiver you ever need..