The preparation and use of leather was
amongst the earliest trades in Britain. The ready
availability of animal skins and the inherent
properties of leather resulted in the development of
drinking vessels as early as the 9th Century.
It was in the Middle Ages that the use
of leather developed significantly. The manufacture
of leather drinking vessels and leather containers
of all shapes and sizes became an industry of some
significance and their products would have been a
feature of the numerous ale houses and inns as well
as in general household use.
The use of leather drinking vessels
gradually declined with the advent of the industrial
revolution. However, leather retains its place in
our culture due to its unique properties, the
flexibility of design which can be achieved and the
visual qualities of this tactile material.