Brettuns Village Trunks & Leather

Old Trunks, New Leather.  All from Maine.

March 2000

March 1, 2000

We just received a shipment of brass rivets, thought you might like to
know about it.  They come in three sizes, small, medium, and large (big
surprise).  Measurements are:

Small - 1/4" cap diameter, 9/32" post length

Medium - 3/8" cap, 5/16" post

Large - 3/8" cap,  1/2" post

We've picked them up as a close-out, our prices are:

Small - $3/100 sets

Medium - $3.50/100 sets

Large - $4.00/100 sets

We also got in some rotary punches, the budget variety.  Brand new, in a plastic pouch (this kills me - why package a leather tool in a plastic pouch?).
Has six different size punches, just spin the dial and choose the hole size you want.  These are $7.00 each.

Shipping is a little extra for each of the items mentioned above.  $1
postage gets you up to 300 rivets, please add another buck for additional quantities of up to 300.  The rotary punches are $1.85 to ship.

We might add pictures of these to the website, but, last time we had
rivets they sold so fast it didn't make sense to have them on the site.

Our shipment of suede pigskins is on the way at last.  Black, brown, tan, and some colors - all should be in the shop by Friday of this week.
We'll update you as soon as they're in.  Or, when the little piggies get to market, as my daughters say.

Churchill Barton
Brettuns Village Leather

March 4, 2000
Subject: "New Old Trunks"

Hi Everybody:

First, thanks for signing up for the Brettun's Village Trunk Shop e-mail
newsletter service, such as it is.  We're glad to have you aboard.  Our
e-mail letter goes out to more than 1,000 subscribers, which seems like a
big deal to us, although it's pretty small potatos in web terms.  Fine by
us.  If there's ever any particular subject you'd like to see covered in
one of these letters, just let us know.

Sure feels like Spring has sprung, but we know it's a false alarm.
We've been enjoying some beautiful weather the last few days.  Look who
moved in (we got a new puppy, our letter subscribers suggested about 125
different names):

Quite an adjustment for the cats around this joint.  Very entertaining.
A couple of new trunks are shown on the For Sale page - one of the
oldest dome tops we've seen, and another small hide trunk.  Take a

Many of you are familiar with the fact that we get a lot of our trunks
from "Pickers".  This is a group of individuals here in Maine that make
their living by finding what you're looking for.  They hit the yard sales
(summer only, a very busy two weeks), flea markets, estate sales, etc.
Some of the Pickers we know find it in their hearts to save trunks for us,
then, when they have a truck load, they bring them here and we swing a
deal.  We yell, kick the dirt, accuse one another of various crimes
against the State-o-Maine, finally reaching a price that neither of us
likes.  At least, that's the face we put on for the deal.  Then we unload
the trunks, and off goes the Picker, cackling about the pile of money they
just made, and we go snickering back into the shop, thinking about the
great deal we got.  It's an art form, although it's not supported by the
National Endowment for the Arts.  Probably if we did our hollering in our
long johns the NEA would change their mind and support the whole affair.

I had a point here, which I'll bet surprises those of you who've been with
us a while, since I usually just ramble on, flapping my gums (fingers)
about this and that.  Well, here goes - we have a nice load of trunks
coming in this weekend from a picker based over in Oxford.  22 trunks in
all.  We'll let you know how they shape up.

We sure have received a nice pile of seed catalogs this year.  They get
more artsy every year.  Those seed companies probably get an NEA grant.
Well, the catalogs are better reading than the news about these
presidential candidates.  What a group, ay?
Churchill Barton
Brettuns Village Trunk Shop
Brettuns Village Leather

March 5, 2000

Hello from Brettuns Village up here in Maine, where we're having one heck of a heat wave.  Temps hit 40 today, unheard of for this time of year.  We even had a woodchuck running around out back.  He didn't see any green grass to gnaw on so he beat it back into the burrow.

We got in a crate of eyelets, the type you run your shoe or boot laces
through.  Priced at 50 for a buck, or make us an offer on the whole crate.  Something close to one million of them in there.  They're on the site:

Also, we've made a deal to buy several hundred beautifully tanned deer
hides, soft and supple.  Two colors - chocolate brown and maple (looks
like a natural tan color).  Won't have the final count on square footage or hides for a couple more days, but I'll get back to you when they're on the site.  We'll price them as cheaply as possible, and we'll be offering volume discounts on these hides.
Stay tuned!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend-

March 9, 2000

Hello from Brettuns Village where our backs are sore from all the inventory we've moved today.  The truck with our shipments finally arrived.  I guess the price of diesel must have dropped a penny, so the old guy that drives the thing decided to give us a whirl.  Oh well, this is what we deal with in order to keep our prices down.

Here's what came in today:

Several thousand full hides of pigskin suede, in black, purple, double chocolate (very dark brown), brown, and evergreen.  We priced these out by the hide, they're all pretty close to 10 or 11 square feet.  Our price is $20 each, plus a little for shipping.  At this price you can wallpaper the living room with suede.  Not a bad idea...

A few thousand square feet of the most beautiful tanned deerhides I've seen.  The color is called maple, it's a nice, rich brown.  We've priced these out by the square foot, order as much as you need (please!).  Our price is $3.50/sf, well below the going rate for 1st quality deer hides.  We offer a discount for orders over 100 square feet, just see the website for info.

A little over a thousand square feet of 1.5 oz deer hides in a nice medium brown color.  These have been glued to a fabric backing in order to add strength to the deer skin.  The fabric also holds glue or contact adhesive well, keeping it from leaking through the deer leather.  These are also priced out by the square foot, at $2.50 per sq ft.  Again, a volume discount is available for 100 sq ft or more.

Here's a specialty item - I bought 350,000 pairs of elastic nylon cuffs - didn't I get the questioning looks from the staff when those came off the truck?.  Bale me out, buy some.  They were used as tops for stretchy slippers, as regular sleeve cuffs on polar fleece pullovers, stuff like that.  A dime a pair.  Volume discounts available, you'd better believe it.  These come in about 20 colors, we're putting together a color chart for the site.

Almost forgot, we added some new buckle styles to the parts page this week.  These are solid brass buckles, and they feel it.  They're heavy.

Last but not least, polar fleece.  You know, the stuff that all those Outdoor gear makers use for pullovers, socks, hats, gloves, mittens, etc.  We're buying fleece scrap, large pieces only, and we're paying by the pound.  It doesn't weigh much.  One of those huge lawn and garden garbage bags crammed full of fleece weighs about 20 pounds.  Again, a huge range of colors, patterns, and thicknesses.  We're working on a chart for you.  Meantime, if you need some, you know where to get it.  We're selling it for $2 a pound.  Order all you want, we have about 50 bags full right now, more on the way.

Holler at us if you need some of this stuff.  We're on the road most days, just leave your number on the machine, we'll get back to you fast as we can.

Thanks, have a great weekend.
Churchill Barton

March 15, 2000

If you've gotten this e-mail it means you've signed up for the Brettuns
Village Leather e-newsletter.  We're glad to have you aboard.  Here's the latest news from the barn:

Cuffs - Let your sewing pals know that we have over 50,000 pairs of cuffs in stock.  These are nylon cuffs, ready to be attached to your slippers, sleeves, etc.  Colors include royal blue, black, pink, seagreen, and others.  We put a new page on the site just for these cuffs, so take a look.  They're 10 cents a pair, or 12 pairs for a buck.  Here's an interesting story - we had another 110,000 pairs of these cuffs waiting for us on the loading dock of the place we bought them from.  Their garbage truck backed up, emptied the garbage bins for the day, saw the boxes, made a decision, and invoked Murphy's Law right there on the spot.  110,000 pairs of cuffs went off to the trash-to-energy plant.  At least they'll be used to generate electricity.  Not our favorite form of recycling, but it beats the landfill.

More leather scrap - we received another truck full of scrap leather, all chrome tanned, loads of suede in various colors, including some red, bright royal blue, tan, brown, and black.  Many of these pieces are full cow bellies (where the best suede comes from), and some are almost full bellies with only one or two small pieces cut out.  Once they're cut we classify them as Premium Scrap, so out it goes at our scrap prices.  Not all of the new stuff is suede, there's also lots of regular tanned cowhide.  No veg-tan this time around.

One type of scrap we have a lot of right now is cowhide, black, 3 oz, imprinted with a crocodile or alligator pattern.  Available at our usual scrap prices.

Speaking of scrap prices, we lowered ours last week.  We've been able to buy pieces for less money lately, so in keeping with our standard practice, we're passing along the price change.  We now have a scrap page on the site that contains tables showing prices for various common order amounts (5 pounds, 10 pounds, etc), and the new prices INCLUDE SHIPPING in the continental US.  Check out the new scrap page.

Also new on our parts page - more buckle types and more leather laces -  these are 12 inches long, a little short for shoes but great for craft uses of all types.  Priced at $7.50 per 100 laces.

Other news - we've added a new voice messaging system so you can leave orders by phone without having that darned machine cut you off.  Last but not least, we've installed a toll-free ordering line that should be up and running next week (takes a while to string all that cable out here to the deep Maine woods).  We're doing all we can to serve you better.

Final question - I've got a chance to buy about 4,000 sheep skins tanned with the wool still on (1/2 or 3/8 inch pile lengths), and the leather underside has been tanned and dyed brown, reddish brown, black, or tan.  They're really beautiful.  This is the sort of leather that's used to make those Bomber Jackets with the sheep fur collars.  We've never bought or sold any of these before, so I wanted to test the waters first.  Let me know if you'd be interested (with no obligation at all - I just want to know what you think) in any of these if they were priced around, say, $20 per whole hide (hides average about 10 square feet, roughly 2.5 by 4 feet in size).  I'd appreciate your input.

Thanks to those of you who have been asking about the new puppy, Jenny.  Our little black lab is doing well, adding her own decorating touch to the floors in the house, if you catch my drift.  She's getting the hang of the 'outside' thing, slowly but surely.

Thanks, we'll get more news out in about a week or so.
Churchill Barton

March 21, 2000

Hi Gang:

Latest items to hit the shop here at Brettuns Village Leather:

12 inch rawhide laces, short, but nice.  $7.50 per 100.

More rivets, but this time in a nice smoky black color.  Same prices as our brass-finish rivets.  No pictures of these on the site yet, but we'll have them in a day or so.  These are good rivets for use on darker color belts and things.

More cuffs, more fleece.  We've added new pages to the site just for these items, better pictures, wider selection.  Low prices too.

As usual, more scrap pieces have come in, including a load of more big suede pieces in browns and tans.  Same usual scrap prices, shipping included.

Another load of maple deer hides came in.  We've priced them at $3.50 per square foot, these are selling for quite a bit more elsewhere.  So don't go elsewhere.  That's just a suggestion.

Black sides - we don't have them yet, but we've made a deal for a nice pile of black leather sides, about 22 square feet each, in 4, 5, and 6 oz.  They're on the way, we'll let you know when they're in the barn.

We're also working on a deal for more sole bends.  You know, those vegetable tanned back sections, about 10 square feet each, that are over 1/4 inch thick?  They're more like plywood than leather.  The sword flingers like this stuff for making armor, as do some of the more energetic carvers/stampers.  I haven't pinned this one down yet, but we're close.  Stay tuned.

50 degrees today, almost melted the 8 inches of snow we got last weekend.  Felt like July.  OK, not quite.  Jenny's retrieving from 20 yards, looks like she knows what she's doing.  She's a lab puppy, for those of you new to the letter.  Thanks a million times over to a special helper who
recommended a wonderful book on dog training by Koehler - that's some of the best reading I've had in ages.  You know who you are, so thanks.

Oh yes, the new toll-free ordering hotline.  1-844-492-4930