Custom Saddles

Order a custom design for your leather saddle.

 

The Process

1. Fill out the Saddle Request Form.

 

YOUR SADDLE

Both new and used saddles can be custom carved.  Used saddles, particularly if used for a long time, tend to have areas of the leather that are more compressed, and so line quality may not be as those carved in new leather.  Please account for less detail and fine line work if you are submitting a highly used saddle.

TIME FRAME

The entire process takes on average between 3-4 weeks.  This largely depends on the design process.  If you can submit images or ideas of your ideal design, the process will take less time.  Please be clear about any deadlines in the submission form. It is possible to place rush orders depending on Kara’s schedule.  Be prepared to pay more for rush orders.

PRICING

You will be asked to select your ideal price range.  THESE PRICES DO NOT INCLUDE THE COST OF THE SADDLE. You are responsible for supplying your own saddle.

Pricing depends on a variety of factors including the size, complexity and content of the design.   Each and every variable is weighed carefully when determining the price of individual saddles.  Prices can be loosely outlined according to what each price point would include.  Please select the range that is most suitable for your preferred design, keeping in mind that most designs can be simplified or altered to fit your ideal budget.


2. Ship your saddle and pay down payment.

Once you have sent your request form, you will be put in touch with Kara and supplied with all necessary information regarding shipping and your first payment.

You will be asked for an initial payment of $100.00 USD, which can be paid via Paypal or personal check.

The design process will start only when both saddle and down payment have been received.

 

3. Collaborate on design.

Design process

Based on the information (logos, images, inspiration) that you supply, you will be provided with digital images of your proposed design.  From these you will have the opportunity to make any necessary alterations to the design until you are completely satisfied.  Carving will not commence without full approval of the design.

Carving process

Carving will proceed upon approval of the design and price range.  Please account for 2-3 weeks for this process.

 

4. Final payment and shipping.

Upon completion of the saddle, you will be sent images of the finished product and an invoice for the remaining payment.

Your carved saddle will ship upon receipt of payment.

SHIPPING

The method of shipment is the US Postal Service, Priority.

International orders are welcome.  Any import fees, duties, and taxes incurred as a result of an international purchase are the responsibility of buyer.

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

1) What tools and techniques do you use to carve and color a saddle?

Kara’s method of carving leather is quite straight-forward.  She begins by embossing the design into the saddle surface using an awl to press the design into the leather.  Then she carves the surface using fine wood carving tools.  Using these small blades, she remove the thinnest layer of epidermis in order to expose the contrasting color underneath.

Additional color is primarily used on saddles that are meant for display purposes, although any color applied to heavily-ridden saddles has held up surprisingly well.  Latex paint is the pigment of choice as it adheres well and applies smoothly.

2) How does carving affect the lifespan of a saddle?  Can I ride a carved saddle?

Yes, you can ride a carved saddle.  The carved design only becomes better with use and age. There have been many avid cyclists using carved saddles for up to three years now and there have been no reported problems; rather, reviews have all been extremely positive.

This being said, this is still a young company and carving saddles still a rather new venture.  There simply cannot be any guarantees at this point as to what might happen to this saddle after ten years of riding.  When everything is said and done, a carved saddle is art and riders should remain mindful of this.  For those souls craving beauty and authentic personal expression: little extra vigilance in caring for the saddle and you should be fine.

3) How should I care for a carved saddle?

You should care for your carved saddle as you would any leather saddle.  Bill Laine of Wallingford Bicycle Parts in New Orleans advises that leather needs to be taken care of with a conditioner.  Brooks offers a conditioner/water-proofer called Proofide.  You can learn more about application and purchase here.

Keep in mind that conditioning may darken your carved design, particularly where the surface has been removed.

Bill also writes:  “Unlike boots or horse tack, Brooks leather is under tension all of the time. A wet saddle should be dried at room temperature and treated with a leather conditioner. A saturated saddle should not be ridden until it dries.”

4) Does Brooks know about this?

Brooks England Ltd has been generously supportive of an artist taking a blade to their product, recommending projects such as the Wallpaper* Handmade and L’Eroica saddles. They have also featured the saddles on their blog and in the 2011 edition of BROOKS BUGLE.  Brooks has been remarkably accommodating, even creating custom saddle orders for special clients.

 

Have more questions?  Use this contact form.

 

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Saddle Request Form

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