The finest materials and craftsmanship
Andrew is meticulous about using only the very best fine-grain calfskins for his backgammon sets, and personally makes the trip to Northamptonshire to choose each one from the renowned tannery that supplies them. The tannery uses special processes to produce soft, durable and beautiful leathers, which are stained, tumbled and dried to ensure a deep and lasting colour.
Andrew prefers calfskin to goatskin leather (commonly used for bookbinding) because it doesn’t stretch while being applied, enabling a more precise finish to be achieved. Also, a calfskin is large enough to ensure there is no variation in consistency of colour, tone and texture.
The leathers are painstakingly pared and inlaid by hand, with beautiful contrasting colours, to ensure a perfectly smooth playing surface – a true skill that takes years to perfect.
The ancient skill of inlaying and paring leather not only requires learning the technique of using a knife, but also the skills of how to keep the blade sharp, which Andrew does the traditional way, making his own strop from flexible strip of leather to which an abrasive powder is applied.
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