British Sheepskin Co. – Keeping the British sheepskin trade alive 

 

MORLANDS2It all started in Glastonbury, Somerset!

Morlands was the first sheepskin tannery to be built in England and  was the largest in the world.  It put Glastonbury on the map as the heart of the sheepskin trade and when people think of sheepskin they always remember the Morlands name. It was a family run business and employed many local people. All processes were undertaken at the factory from tanning the raw skins to stitching a lovely sheepskin jacket.
Morlands made many sheepskin products and in 1940 made sheepskin flying jackets for RAF pilots.
Sadly the factory shut in 1981 after a downturn in trade but we are really proud to be using the skills learnt here and  to be keeping the British manufacturing trade alive.


Photo shows tanned skins being selected for manufacturing coats

 

 

 

My Dad, Robert Marshman was trained in Morlands and worked there for over 20 years before taking the big step to leave and become self employed. He worked at home in our garage before building a purpose built workshop in Compton Dundon. He handcut the coats (just as I do now) and then my mum would stitch them. He would then finish them by combing out the seams and pressing and brushing them.

 

 

                             Photo shows the finishing process of combing the seams

 

JAN2

 

 

My Mother, Janet Marshman, left school and started a job in Clarks Shoe factory in Street, Somerset. Clarks was another one of the big employers in the local area. She was often picked to demonstrate stitching to new employees and visitors to the factory.
Her next job was in Morlands where she met my Dad,  when she left to have a family she was highly skilled in both leather & sheepskin. Her stitching skills were put to good use in the newly formed family business.

 

Photo shows Janet Marshman stitching in Clarks Shoe Factory, Street, Somerset