Welcome to Bennett Pipe Bags
We are in Bathgate, Scotland
Mark Bennett is very proud to be the maker of the finest Bennett Sheep & Goatskin Pipe Bags and Cane Drone Reeds in Scotland. He has taken years to master this art and is very proud of the quality of products he produces. He is currently the bag maker of choice to many pipebands from Novice through to Grade 1 and is delighted to see his bags being played all over the world from Scotland to New Zealand and numerous places in between!
Bag Tie-in Service
Bennett Sheepskin Pipebags
Bennett sheepskin Pipebags are made from the highest quality skins available . We hand pick our skins to ensure this. Over the years the quality of the skins have become more superior and manageable and the longevity of a skin bag has certainly increased.
As a young piper I have memories of wondering if my skin bag would last me through to the Cowal championships at the end of the season………it was almost like we had to “nurse” the bag to keep it going, from repeatedly seasoning it to leaving it lying out in an airy room to dry off as it was so wet and sponge like that you could almost wring it out…….but we did it and that’s what won us prizes. Nowadays the smallest mark on the skin or pipers referring to their pipes as being “hard” and the initial reaction is that there’s something wrong with the bag.
The reason I think for this is the period of time when there were no skins available due to the famous foot & mouth outbreak and all the sheep were killed, this led to the introduction of the “synthetic bag”, don’t get me wrong this did it’s job but only until the time limit on the use of sheep had passed and a new generation of sheep had come to the age of being used for the food industry and ultimately the skin bag was resurrected.
During this period a generation of pipers came through who have only ever known synthetic, so moving onto a skin bag has been a challenge for them, all us pipers who were around before this were brought up solely on skin bag ,there was no other alternative.
Skin bag more time-consuming?
There is a feeling that moving onto a skin bag is a lot of work and time consuming, this is not the case. A good quality made skin bag once tied-on and seasoned by myself will only require to be seasoned 2-4 times per season. It is important to have someone like myself tie-in your bag as this is an art in itself, if this is not done correctly then your pipes will not sit correctly and you will not feel comfortable playing. Any good, experienced, competent bagmaker should be able to tie your bag on and also season it to make sure it is 100% airtight and ready to play,this comes hand in hand with being a bagmaker. You should not be willing to let just anyone tie-in your bag, this includes your Pipe Major, a colleague, a parent etc.
There is no doubt that the bag is the heart of the instrument, the sound box, so the quality of the skin is crucial however more importantly, how the bag is made, the workmanship, the knowledge, the years of trial and error, the perseverance, the getting it 100% right is what makes a Bennett Pipe Bag stand out from the rest. I have been a bag maker for 30+ years and I am pretty sure there is nothing I don’t know about skin bags, what makes them work and if they’re not working as they should how to fix them. There is no comparison to the sound that comes from a set of bagpipes when a skin bag is being played to the sound from a synthetic pipebag, it’s unmeasureable!
If you have any queries or are considering moving from synthetic to skin or from your current skin bag to a new one, Bennett Pipe Bags is the longest serving, successful, world wide bag provider and customer satisfaction is what has made us so successful for the past 3 decades.
We sell Sheepskin, Goatskin and Hideskin pipe bags, we also produce our own Bennett Traditional Seasoning which we make on our premises and our recipe is guaranteed to make any skin bag that is not burst, 100% airtight. We sell split-stock, moisture control, hemp, wax, rosin, brushes,corks………everything any piper could need, all under one roof.