Making a custom leather belt
We got a message from a dear customer that he would like a custom leather belt for his jeans. His requirements were clear from the beginning. Thick and sturdy 10oz vegetable tanned leather to start with.This would last for ever! Next he wanted a black iron cast buckle, not the usual bronze of chrome one. I would like to say that this was a challenge to find. Finally with the help of some trusted providers we found a grunge style iron cast buckle that fitted our needs.
|The grunge style buckle|
Talking about the making of the belt took us a couple of days, and ideas were coming and going! To my surprise, our dear friend requested a stitch on the perimeter of the belt to minimize the belt from wrapping when used. Every detail was discussed, so we reached the point on how to make the belt ending. The requirement came in a hand drawing and the the shape resembled a snake in an abstract form. I admit I was impressed and started working on transferring the design on a piece of leather to see how it would look like and how the it would match with the whole of the belt.
|The belt ending prototype|
After finalizing the design, stitching, personalization/stamping and yes, even how the keepers would look like, we started work.We took out our favorite 10-12 oz vegetable tanned shoulder and cut a clean 1-1/2 inch stripe.
|10-12 oz shoulder|
|The 1-1/2 inch strap|
The belt was cut to fit 33 inch waist. We need to take into account the buckle stitching and the spare strap at the end of the belt. Custom belts have the advantage that they are cut according to the customers waist size, achieving a perfect fit.
Next step would be to attach the buckle to the leather strap. In this case our customer liked the buckle loop to be stitched lengthwise with a pointed design and not vertically, therefore we needed to have more leather strap in the inner side.
|Fitting the buckle to the leather strap|
|Belt end design|
Per our initial request the belt should be stitched all along it's perimeter to avoid wrapping when used. To have a clean and strong stitch we need to groove the leather were the stitch will take place.
|Grooving wit the groove tool|
|Personalized Military keychain|
|Burnishing gave us slick edges|
|Calling it a day|
|Marking the stitching holes|
|Stitching using heavy waxed nylon thread|
|Reinforcing the buckle section.|
Time to put our firm stamp on the belt too. This usually means, close to done...
|The Rits & Rits logo stamp.|
|Finishing with leather wax.|