* We have many more belts that aren’t on the website, please call or email us if you have and querries.
**We can make to any size.
All our leather belts are one piece 100 % cow hide. They won’t peel and fall apart. This is why we can guarantee any leather belt for 5 years. You can reasonably expect a lifespan of 20 years!
There are real belts and then there is pretend belts. Leather belts come in many forms. Below is a summary of belt types available on the market today:
- Full Grain One Piece Leather – The best and strongest all round belt material , usually around 3 mm thick of pure cow hide
- Top grain leather – The top layer of the hide – Good for thinner belts around 2mm thick
- Suede – The full grain without the top layer- good for unique feel and look, usually around 2mm thick.
- Patent leather – Real leather that has a synthetic resin coating to achieve a polished glossy look- Good for dress belts
- Synthetic – Man made material consisting of multiple layers glued together – Cheap and nasty
- Hybrid – Thin leather veneer with a synthetic filler- Cracks and peels after little use
- Bonded Leather – Pulped from off cuts and glued together- Minimal flex and short life span
- PU leather – Poly Urethane, in other words plastic- Forget it
- Faux leather – same as above, faux means false in French
Belts can be made from many different animal hides such as :
Our preferred animal skin for making belts is cow hide. This is because of cost,sustainability and suitability. Kangaroo and crocodile are also suitable materials but the cost is prohibitive. We sometimes use buffalo hide for very long belts because the hides are bigger.
Real Leather Vs Synthetic Belts
As you can see there and many types of belts available and it can get a little confusing. The word “Leather” can mean plastic leather, commonly known as PU leather or faux leather. These leathers are synthetics not real animal hide. Don’t forget real animal leather is an imperfect material, it is a skin. If its perfect then its a fake.
Even if the belt is real leather it can be made using poor construction methods. Glues are often used to join 2 pieces of thin leather to give the illusion of a one thick piece. Using this technique means it is cheaper to produce but it will undoubtedly fall apart within a year or two because of the glue.
Animal hide gets better with age , synthetics don’t. A synthetic belt can be bought very cheap however in the long run it is false economy. If you buy a good leather belt to begin with you won’t have to buy another belt for many years ( unless you want a different color/style).
So how to tell the difference between real and synthetic leather?
Who doesn’t love the smell of leather?? A real leather belt will hold its smell for as long as the lifespan of the belt but it is not wise to judge a leather belt by smell alone. New belts that are plastic can smell like leather and new leather belts can smell chemically due to the tanning process. It will take time for the real smell to develop, eventually a real leather belt will maintain the characteristic leather scent we all love.
You can not tell if its animal leather by a stamp that says “Genuine leather” as this term is misguided, as discussed above.
You can however tell by feel and a close inspection of the grain. The grain can be hard to see as the only accessible place on the belt is the holes. When you inspect the holes look for layers, especially near the surface. Layering probably represents a thin leather veneer with a synthetic filler in the middle. One piece real cow leather is the best way to go.
Full Grain – The best belt material for everyday use. 3mm thick
2 piece leather – This is a reversible belt so by design needs to have 2 pieces of leather glued together. Good for occasional / dress use.
Vinyl veneer with synthetic filler – Cheap and nasty. Not recommended.
Price can also be an indicator. It is rare to see a real one piece leather belt for under $35 Aus. Some retailers sell real leather belts for over $150 Aus.
Strength is also a major draw card over synthetics. If we compare the tensile strength of real cow leather at 25 N / mm² with the tensile strength of the synthetics at 5 N / mm² we can see that real cow leather is the far stronger of the two.
Its not just tensile strength that gives real leather its long life, its also its ability to shape and mold.
This is where real leather really shines over synthetics- its ability to mold to the body. Synthetics will crack and split when they stretch. This is why real leather is the preferred material for shoes. You can’t beat the comfort of a worn in leather belt or pair of good leather shoes.
How To Determine Belt Size
Usually a belt will come with 5 or 7 holes. Sizing is measured from the middle hole to the mid part of the buckle. A leather belt will stretch up to 2 inches in the first year or so. As a general rule add 2 inches to your pants/shorts waist size. Measure your waste with a ribbon tape measure for the most accurate waist size.
We can also interchange buckles. Just let us know what combo you like.