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Mary Wing To

Mary Wing To Leatherworker
© Julian Calder

Reviving traditional leather craftsmanship

  • • Mary has a deep passion for leather
  • • She was the protégé of Queen Elizabeth II's master saddler
  • • She is an expert in whip making, an endangered craft in the UK

A potent mix of drama, fashion and art, combined with a love of all things equine, is encapsulated by the work of Mary Wing To. Her creations offer a modern twist on the evolution and fine tradition of leather craftsmanship. After gaining a master's at the London College of Fashion, she became an apprentice at the Royal Mews under the discerning eye of Her Majesty The Queen’s master saddler and master harness maker at Buckingham Palace. Today, Mary is dedicated to reviving traditional leather craftsmanship and creates luxury bespoke leather pieces for clients all over the world, from royalty to Olympic equestrians to film studios. She has won many national and international accolades for her workmanship.

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Works

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Hylonome

This leather ensemble from Mary’s World of Wearable Art collection was handcrafted using traditional saddlery techniques and 180 metres of leather lace. The ensemble won The World of Wearable Art Supreme Award in New Zealand in 2011. Mary was the first British entrant to win the award.

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Hector

This handcrafted and moulded leather horsehead sculpture, complete with a bespoke bridle and placed on a plinth, was made in 2013 for the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation.

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The Torque

This handcrafted pleated ruff was created using 22 metres of leather and finished with gold-brass zip teeth details around its outer rim.

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The Warrior

This top, from Mary’s Horse Tale collection, was shaped by sculpting leather onto the model using linen threads. In creating the piece, Mary drew inspiration from the techniques used to hand stitch saddles.

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