“Oh look, he’s even got a cool little lead,” said one of Teddy’s daily admirers yesterday. Freshly groomed, Teddy was sporting one of our newly minted, Tales of Teddy Better Rope Leads. It must be said, Teddy was working a good look. The Better Rope Lead is an entirely different proposition to his usual, super-smart Tales of Teddy leather Better Dog Lead, and that’s exactly why we’ve made it: because sometimes you want to dress up but at other times, you just want to wear jeans.
This hemp rope could indeed be the dog lead equivalent of denim. Hemp rope softens with age (a winning result of the natural fibres and oils in the rope), it is utilitarian and its history lies in practicality – and what a history our Better Rope Lead has.
We have worked with The Historic Dockyard Chatham, where they’ve been making rope for almost 400 years, furnishing important sailing ships such as the Cutty Sark and the Victory and supplying plenty of non-maritime customers including churchs, zoos and, unsurprisingly, adventure playgrounds.
Go there today (if you get a chance, it’s a great place to visit) and you can walk the Victorian Ropery, a long room that you might well have seen featured in period dramas (the movie industry likes to film here). This is the place where exotic fibres are twisted to make ropes ranging from gargantuan in size to tiny – all with a specific use and look. There are skeins of rope hanging along the Ropewalk that cannot be touched, so old and rare are their provenances. Stand still and it’s not hard to imagine the industry, the sweat and noise that echoed about these walls all those years ago. See our Instagram for some of my favourite images of the place including the ancient graffiti, in beautiful script (Banksy would be proud). A little of that history percolates through to our Better Rope Lead that The Historic Dockyard Chatham have handmade in our house colour (khaki) exclusively for us – complete with distinctive hemp scent.