The belt you wear is probably the most important belt in your wardrobe. It should be the belt that compliments your fine taste in clothing and finish to perfection. Surprisingly, it can be quite hard to find great belt material, but once you’ve tried leather belts, you’ll never go back!
You can buy cheap belts at many retail stores, but belt leather comes in varying grades and qualities of thickness for belt making. The best belt leather there is turns out to be full grain belt leather from a double butt cut cow hide. This belt leather comes in 8.5 – 9.5 ounce thickness and makes belt leather that is too stiff for belt making, so don’t waste your money on belts made from such belt material.
Belts are the finishing touch to any fine outfit, so you owe it to yourself to be sure you get belt leather that’s thick enough and of high quality for belt making .
Table of Contents
What are the different grades of leather?
Leather belt material for belt making is graded into three different grades, namely full grain belt leather, upper belt leather, and split belt leather.
Full grain belt leather is the best grade to look out for when buying belt leather because it comes from the whole hide of a cow or horse. It doesn’t have any artificial surface treatment applied so it is the belt leather belt makers love to get their hands on.
Upper belt leather belt material comes from a cow hide’s top layer after it has been sanded and shaped for belt making. Split belt leather material falls somewhere in-between upper belt leather and lower belt leather, or even split into about three layers when in its natural state.
Belts have been made using belt leather for hundreds of years. However, belt leather belt making has become a lost art because belt makers can spend up to ten hours creating a belt out of such belt leather material that only costs about $30 to buy! For this reason, belts are becoming less popular and people are opting to buy machine-made belt material instead of belt leather belt making.
What are the different types of belt leather?
Leather belt material comes in three colors – black, brown, and natural belt leather. Brown belt leather is dyed with vegetable tannin to produce a rich deep brown color. Natural belt leather has no surface treatment applied so it comes with all its belt marks. Black belt leather is tanned with chromium salts to produce a shiny belt appearance.
How thick can belt leather be?
Belts can be made with belt leather material as thick as 14 – 16 oz, but the belt width will be quite narrow because belt leather belt making is becoming less common. Most belt leather belt makers use belt leather weighing 8 – 10 oz for belt making, which gives them enough thickness to make strong belts with little or no stretch in the weave when finished.
How do you tell belt leather belt material apart from other leather belt materials?
You can easily identify belt leather belt material by running your finger across the belt surface. If your finger sticks to belt leather belt material, it is probably belt leather belt making. Cheaper belts made from machine-made belt materials will feel like plastic when you touch them because they are covered with artificial surface treatments to give them a shiny appearance and help them shed water.
What are the best leather cuts for belts?
The best belt leather belt makers use belt leather from a double butt cut cow hide which is taken from the whole of the animal’s hide. This belt leather comes in 8 – 9 ounce thickness and has a very consistent grain throughout.
What should you look out for when buying cheap belt material?
Make sure you buy your cheap belt material from a belt maker rather than a belt seller because belt sellers will sell belt leather belt making that is too thin for belt making.
Belly Leather Cut – Bad for Belts
Belly belt leather belt material is also bad for belt making because it has a very irregular grain which will make belt making much more difficult.
What should you look out for when buying expensive belt material?
Always choose belt leather belt making that has its surface dyed or treated . It may be more expensive, but cheaper belt leather belt makers tend to use belt leather belt material that is too thin for belt making. Some belt makers will even try to deceive belt buyers by painting the belt surface with vegetable dye paste after they have used split belt leather belt material, which can result in an irregular color on the belt surface.
How long should the belt last?
The best quality belts made from belt leather belt making can last as long as 25 years or more and will look brand new if their belt leather belt material belt surface has been made with vegetable tanned belt leather.
What types of belt buckles should you choose?
Conclusion: Thick, solid leather makes the best belts.
However, making belts from leather is becoming less and less common because belt manufacturers rely on cheap belt material from belt vendors rather than making belts from leather. For this reason, you should always buy your belt from a belt manufacturer.