The leather used for my belts is the highest quality available. The cut of the hide used is the “Butt”, which is the part of the hide giving the highest strength, thickness and density. Perfect for belts, as it also gives good length and very little wastage for strap cutting.
It is not just the part of the hide that matters though, the way it is tanned and finished affects the characteristics of the finished product.
Vegetable tanning is the most traditional and natural tanning method of them all. It has been around for centuries and has since been perfected in every possible way. This method does not use chromium, making it significantly better for the environment compared to chrome tanning. The leather can also be recycled and is biodegradable.
Instead of chemicals such as chromium, tannins are used (hence the word tanning). This is a substance that naturally occurs in, for example, bark. The bark of trees like oak, chestnut, mangrove and many more, are used to extract tannins into which hides are immersed for several weeks. The leather gets a wonderful earthy, woody and natural smell but the method is costly due to the traditional process, the need of highly skilled craftsmen and the long production time. However, the end-product of a vegetable tanned full-grain leather is nothing except extraordinary. In my opinion, this is truly the greatest leather you can get your hands on.
The natural VegTan has had no further treatment after tanning. It has not been dyed or finish. It is totally natural and bare. This means the leather starts off very pale but picks up indigo from jeans, oils from skin etc very quickly. It begins to darken from use and being subjected to sunlight into a caramel colour (and darker eventually). This means that each natural belt will end up being totally individual to the owner.
I offer two options in this leather, dyed in walnut, and natural.
Left to right: Walnut Vegtan, Natural Vegtan
Left to right: Australian Nut, Light Havanna, Black
English Bridle Leather is an authentic vegetable tanned cowhide/steerhide that is made from the highest quality English animals and products. It is dyed in drums in order to develop deep, consistent colors with waxes and tallows. After the dying process, the leather is then hot stuffed with predetermined amounts of spew on the grain and flesh, giving it the English feel. Upon completition the leather will be stiff, though with the proper care and an ample amount of break-in time, it will become soft and supple with a lot of strength. Bridle Leather is also very weather resistant, exactly why it is great for equestrian purposes.
I offer the colours of English bridle, Australian nut, Black and Light Havanna.
Left to right: Dark Oak, London Tan
The Oak Bark tanned leather is produced by J&FJ Baker, the last remaining oak bark tannery is England. It has been around since Roman times and this leather has the longest and most gentle tanning process. It is a very natural product, with a great finish and amazing thickness, density and strength.
It is easy to see why this leather is used on the “Lifetime” belt.
Two colours available, Dark Oak and London Tan.