Why not exercise a little restraint?: Hello sir, here for your fitting? Mark Simpson visits Fetters, a shop which offers the very best in fetish tailoring and leather gear

Fetters is the Savile Row of sado-masochist finery, the place the deeply committed turn to for their bondage and discipline needs.

'Some of our customers can be very - how can I put this - demanding,' sighs Maurice Stewart-Addison, Fetters' mild-mannered owner.

'I think that's only to be expected from the kind of service we offer. One customer likes to bungee-jump in our products and would spend hours discussing his next jump with me in painstaking detail if I'd let him. More than once I've been asked to 'test-drive' our products with customers - but that's not the kind of business we're in.'

The kind of business Fetters is in is serious bondage gear: suspension harnesses, all-leather bodybags, strait- jackets, chastity belts. All made-to-measure and made to restrain. Of course, fetish gear is all the rage with the demi- monde now; publications such as Skin 2 and Fetish Times are doing a cracking trade, while 's/m chic' is exploited by the fashion industry.

But Mr Stewart-Addison is careful to point out that Fetters does not cater for those who want to look cool. The clubs his customers frequent are more liable to resemble dungeons and those gathered to hang tight might include anyone from magistrates to policemen - pillars of the community playing at giving up power.

Mr Stewart-Addison moved into the 'restraint' business 15 years ago after making film props. He saw a gap in the market and went for it. Ads for strait-jackets and handcuffs, placed in Police Review, Shotgun News and Soldier of Fortune, produced an immediate response. 'The orders just streamed in,' he recalls.

Now based now in a deceptively suburban-looking south London terraced house, with a sister company in the United States, Fetters is number one in its field.

How do you go about getting a harness? 'We would ask you first of all what has it got to do,' says Mr Stewart-Addison says. 'People have different requirements, sometimes very elaborate. Some people want to use a harness for restraint, others wish to be suspended by them' (ie, hung from the ceiling for the sense of helplessness and intense sexual pleasure it brings). There are also different kinds of harness, everything from the full-body harness, which has a strap around every vital point, from ankle to neck, to just a chest and shoulders harness, or even a head harness - a hood made out of a cage of leather straps.

The practicalities of wearing this kind of get-up are vital. 'If you intend to wear the harness for long periods, it's important to make sure that it isn't chafing or cutting off your circulation. Then there are other considerations, such as weight, a full suspension harness needs to take the customer's full body-weight jigging up and down.' Mr Stewart-Addison does get requests that he refuses to fulfil. 'We have three responses: yes, definitely; yes, but we don't think it will work; and no, it wouldn't work.

We're very safety conscious. It's no different than rock-climbing or windsurfing; this is a body-contact sport with all the risks associated with it.'

Once the customer and Fetters are agreed, there is the finicky business of measuring. The form customers fill in is extremely thorough. Entries call for details such as the distance from Adam's apple to between the nipples.

Says Mr Stewart-Addison: 'We prefer people to come in for the fitting. But this is often not possible, as many of our customers are overseas. We ask people to sign the measurement form because sometimes they get the measurements wrong or they change shape in the time between measurement and delivery.'

Once ordered, Nick, one of the three outworkers employed by Fetters, gets to work. 'A body harness can take from four hours to three days to make, depending on the complexity,' says Nick. The price varies correspondingly - around pounds 150- pounds 200 for a basic, made-to-measure body harness, to 'whatever your imagination and bank balance will allow'.

A leather, pricker-lined chastity belt will cost you pounds 27, and if your genital security requirements are a little more heavy duty, then perhaps a Hard Jock Max (with three padlocks), at pounds 150, is for you. If all-over incarceration is your bent, then an all-leather body- bag with ankle suspensions will set you back a cool pounds 621. But whatever you choose, you can be sure of something unique.

'I spelt one customer's name in studs on the stomach-plate of her strap-on,' recalls Nick.

How do you become a harness-maker? 'I joined as a cleaner and worked my way up,' says Nick. 'One of the good things about working here is that everyone is very friendly and mucks in; this may sound corny, but our products are made with love.'

The customers appear to have noticed this extra ingredient. 'They really are superior quality,' says one satisfied Fetters harness user. 'I've had a suspension harness for three years now and it's really been thrashed, but it's better than the day I bought it. Only once did a rivet need to be replaced - but that was after a 19-stone man had been bouncing around in it all night.'

Mr Stewart-Addison claims his customers are a 'real mix'. Gays, straights, bisexuals, women and men all come to him: the hidden face of Joe Public.

'It's amazing how many people are into the fetish scene. I was at a fetish party in Kidderminster recently and they were coming out of the woodwork.

'The evidence of people's interest in fetishism is everywhere. Look at Starlight Express. It's not just a good storyline that's made it a success - all those buckles and straps must have a lot to do with it.'

Fetters, 071-622 1356.

STRAPPED FOR CASH The places to get your bespoke indoor harness COCOON (0121 772 2800) Mackintosh House Green Street Kidderminster Hereford & Worcester DY 10IJF EXPECTATIONS (071-739 0292) 75 Great Eastern Street London EC2A 3HU E-GARBS 0273 748887 9 Boyces Street The Lanes Brighton East Sussex BN1 1AN Rubber and leather clothing FORBIDDEN 0705 826655 58 The Tricorn Charlotte Street Portsmouth Hampshire PO1 4AW JAMES ADULT CENTRE 0623 420425 2 Station Road Mansfield Nottinghamshire NG18 1DG Latex/PVC clothes made to measure PILLOW TALK 0843 294069 13 Marine Drive Margate, Kent CT9 1DH Leather/PVC/rubber clothing RIPPLESMOOTH 021-236 1743 117 Icknield Steet Hockley Birmingham B18 6RZ PVC/rubberwear, restrictive garments SH] 071-613 5458 22 CORONET STREET London N1 Women-only sex shop SKIN TWO 081-968 9692 23 Grand Union Centre Kensal Road London W10 5AX Large fetish fashion showroom PUBLICATIONS SKIN 2 081-968 0234 BCM Box 2071 London WC1N 3XX FETISH TIMES 071-736 9040 BCM Box 6883 London WC1N 3XX (Photograph omitted)

Suggested Topics
Arts and Entertainment
Russell Tovey, Myanna Buring and Julian Rhind Tutt star in Banished

TV reviewGrace Dent: Jimmy McGovern's new drama sheds light on sex slavery in the colonies

Arts and Entertainment
Australia's Eurovision contestant and former Australian Idol winner Guy Sebastian

Eurovision 2015Australian Idol winner unveiled as representative Down Under

Arts and Entertainment
Larry David and Rosie Perez in ‘Fish in the Dark’
theatreReview: Had Fish in the Dark been penned by a civilian it would have barely got a reading, let alone £10m advance sales
Arts and Entertainment
Victoria Wood, Kayvan Novak, Alexa Chung, Chris Moyles
tvReview: No soggy bottoms, but plenty of other baking disasters on The Great Comic Relief Bake Off
Arts and Entertainment
80s trailblazer: comedian Tracey Ullman
tv
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Attenborough with the primates
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Former Communards frontman Jimmy Somerville
music
Arts and Entertainment
Secrets of JK Rowling's Harry Potter workings have been revealed in a new bibliography
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Fearne Cotton is leaving Radio 1 after a decade
radio The popular DJ is leaving for 'family and new adventures'
Arts and Entertainment
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Public Service Broadcasting are going it alone
music
Arts and Entertainment
Eddie Redmayne as transgender artist Lili Elbe in The Danish Girl
filmFirst look at Oscar winner as transgender artist
Arts and Entertainment
Season three of 'House of Cards' will be returning later this month
TV reviewHouse of Cards returns to Netflix
Arts and Entertainment
Harrison Ford will play Rick Deckard once again for the Blade Runner sequel
film review
Arts and Entertainment
The modern Thunderbirds: L-R, Scott, Virgil, Alan, Gordon and John in front of their home, the exotic Tracy Island
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Natural beauty: Aidan Turner stars in the new series of Poldark
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift won Best International Solo Female (Getty)

Brits 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Shining star: Maika Monroe, with Jake Weary, in ‘It Follows’
film review
Arts and Entertainment

Brits 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Paloma Faith arrives at the Brit Awards (Getty)

Brits 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Anne Boleyn's beheading in BBC Two's Wolf Hall

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Follow every rainbow: Julie Andrews in 'The Sound of Music'
film Elizabeth Von Trapp reveals why the musical is so timeless
Arts and Entertainment
Bytes, camera, action: Leehom Wang in ‘Blackhat’
film
Arts and Entertainment
The Libertines will headline this year's festival
music
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Dean Anderson in the original TV series, which ran for seven seasons from 1985-1992
tv
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

    Homeless Veterans campaign

    Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
    Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

    Lost without a trace

    But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
    Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

    Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

    Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
    International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

    Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

    Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
    Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

    Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

    Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
    Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

    Confessions of a planespotter

    With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
    Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

    Russia's gulag museum

    Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
    The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

    The big fresh food con

    Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
    Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

    Virginia Ironside was my landlady

    Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
    Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

    Paris Fashion Week 2015

    The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
    8 best workout DVDs

    8 best workout DVDs

    If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
    Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

    Paul Scholes column

    I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
    Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

    From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

    Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
    Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

    Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

    The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
    War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

    Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

    Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable