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.