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

Small – 1/4″ cap diameter,
9/32″ post length

Medium – 3/8″ cap, 5/16″

Large – 3/8″ cap,  1/2″

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

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


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