To make the highest quality suede leathers available.

This ethos remains at the heart of everything we do. By seeking out the very best raw materials, using the best dye stuffs and never cutting corners throughout the production process, we are able to make the highest quality suede leathers available, with Stead’s characteristic rich deep colours and tight nap.


We are a traditional family business, passionate about making fine suede leathers. We consider suede production to be a craft and we have remained faithful to the artisanal skills, techniques and know-how that others have forgotten, taking the time to work our suede in the traditional way. These skills continue to live on in harmony with modern production technologies. We appreciate that quality leather can never be a commoditised product, with each hide having its own characteristics, and we treat it accordingly.


Whilst we pride ourselves on making the best classic suedes available, we don’t rest on our laurels and are constantly seeking to innovate new leathers to meet our customers’ needs and provide them with unique and interesting topical looks to ensure their products stand out in the marketplace, whilst never compromising our unrelenting commitment to produce high quality natural products.


We are proud to have built long-standing relationships with many of the finest shoe and bag manufacturers in the world. We see our relationships with our customers as partnerships, based on mutual trust and a fundamental understanding of our customers’ needs. We have the expertise and desire constantly to work with our customers to develop bespoke leathers to meet their needs and ensure they continue to lead the way with exceptional and innovative products.


As a result of using only the best raw materials, and always prioritising quality over yield, our products command a higher price than commoditised leathers. However, we find the striking and unique look, feel and durability of our leathers are essential to the brands we supply in producing aspirational products that their customers want to buy and which reflect the value and wider qualities of the brands themselves.


We operate an environmental management system. We are committed to ensure continued compliance in areas such as REACH and restricted substances. We are members of the Leather Working Group and we are audited by them every 18 months.

Quality Control

We have an established quality control system. All incoming raw materials, both hides and chemicals, are tested on arrival. Various control tests are undertaken on the leather during processing. Leathers are tested before despatch to meet customer specifications.

Research and Development

Charles F Stead & Co Ltd have a well equipped laboratory, leathers are tested for various technical properties such as colour, light fastness and strength. Standard test methods are used BS, CEN and ISO. Our research and development is committed to new products and innovation.

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