Leather Restoration

Dave Turner is the owner and president of DCT Leathers, a Canadian firm that specialises in creating leather desk tops that are often required as part of furniture restoration project.

The work is a labour of love for Dave and his team, using some of the finest leather materials to create perfectly finished, historically accurate desks and tables.

However, it's not just all about finding the right material that DCT Leathers then cuts and inserts into the tops. Some of the desktops have intricate designs printed around the edge - often in gold - and this is where Dave requires help in completing a project.

Thankfully, he knows exactly who to turn to in such a situation, and for the last 15 years, DCT Leathers and Fine Cut have worked closely to produce some beautiful pieces of work.

The 1812 treaty table

One of Dave's most high-profile projects began in 2013, when the White House Museum asked him to provide the leather tops for two replicas of the pedestal table that was used to sign the Treaty of Ghent, which ended the War of 1812.

After two and a half years of fighting involving the US, Canada, the UK, the North American colonies and the American Indians, President James Madison added his name to the document to bring about peace once more.

The table itself takes a pedestal form, with pie-shaped drawers around the edge. It boasts a rich green leather top and a traditional gold printed design around the edge.

As with many restoration pieces, the table has been used for education purposes, with one piece staying in the White House museum to be seen by millions, while another has been touring schools across the country to educate students on the 200th anniversary of the ending of the war.

How Fine Cut helps

It was Fine Cut's responsibility to source a bookbinding wheel that DCT Leathers could use to create the detailed design around the edge of the top.

"We were able to use one of Fine Cut's catalogue designs, and considering it was two centuries ago, our customers were very happy," said Dave. "What's more, it was delivered in a timely manner."

But why use a company that's located on the other side of the world? Surely there are more convenient options?

"The UK is well-known for its bookbinding trade and has a proud tradition of the craft. Fine Cut came highly recommended to me by anyone I talked to," Dave explained.

"They have a large selection of designs that are based on traditional outlines that have been around for centuries. 

"However, they'll also customise designs when you need it. They're the whole package and I consider them to be totally professional - they give you the price, the delivery date, the quality; you know exactly where you stand."

Attention to detail

This industry is certainly not one where you can afford to overlook the minor details, and we understand that our customers require an incredible precise level of attention to detail.

What really helps us at Fine Cut is the attitude of our staff, who are very passionate about what they do. It's a true craft, and even though some say it's a dying art, there will always be demand for restoration jobs like the kind we work on with DCT Leathers.

Dave said he's never had to use another company after finding us all those years ago - he's simply not needed to. 

"I've been to Fine Cut's factory in the past and seen the rolls being made using modern technology, and their products are completely authentic and as detailed as you would expect. Under today's demands, Fine Cut have certainly got it all figured out."

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