Best Leather for Belts are today an essential accessory both for formal and casual outings. This slimmest gear holds the prime position in your presentation – at the very centre of your body! and hence can create a surprisingly head-turning impact on your complete persona. Unfortunately, most men don’t know much about belts, besides the fact that they go around their waist.
How do you define a Belt?
Technically any system that goes around a body using tension to hold up the body against gravity is a belt. Even a humble piece of string can be a belt – even the ones we use in our PJ’s is a belt!
The vast majority of belts (once you’ve moved beyond the simple string) have two parts: the buckle and the strap. Many belts also have a keeper loop and/or an end tip (the end tip is usually metal, or leather on cloth belts). The end tip protects the end of the belt from being damaged/frayed and can make it easier to buckle. After the belt is buckled, the keeper loop stops the free end from flapping around. In some belts, the strap and buckle are permanently joined together; in others, they can be taken apart and the buckle switched out. The part of the buckle that joins it to the strap is called the chape.
Understanding Leathers for Belts.
Ideally, there are three vital aspects to bear in mind while choosing the leather for a belt. These are – the grade of the leather, the part of the hide the leather comes from, and the thickness of the hide.
Top grain leather has the finest resilience and is the best quality of all the leather grades. The top grain includes the outer grain of the hide that has more densely packed fibres, making it stronger and durable. Top grain leathers are split into two categories – full grain leather and corrected grain leather. The majority of top grain leathers are made into corrected grain leather. At WALLETSPLUS, we typically use full grain leathers to create high-end products.
Full Grain Leather comes from the uppermost layer of the hide. After separating the hide hair from the leather, the entire pattern of grains of the hide and all its characteristics become visible. The full grain leather always develops a patina over time with use, thus allowing the natural marbling, texture, and natural colour variations in the hide to come through. It is a very strong and durable leather, and a preferred choice of craftsmen for manufacturing unique leather belts.
The corrected grain leather is the top grain leather that is sanded and embossed to give the finished product a more consistent and smooth appearance. The grain is stamped on to hide imperfections and give it a uniform, natural feeling texture. Some common examples of corrected grain are products with a snakeskin or crocodile texture. Depending on the amount of correction done, this leather is a reasonable quality material to use for belts where full grain leather is not an option.
Split grain leather, as the name implies, is created when the top grain of the leather hide is splitted or ripped apart by using a leather splitting machine. Such leather is thinner, weaker, and has a looser structure that is not as durable or resilient as top grain leather. It is not recommended for manufacturing belts.
Bonded leather is a namesake and worst quality adulterated leather material. It is not counted as real leather. It is a by-product made of leather dust and scraps that are shredded and bonded together with non-biodegradable polyurethane or latex onto a fibre mesh. The mixture contains from 10% to 30% leather fibres. The bonded leather is guaranteed to crack and split with regular use.
Most appropriate leather cuts for belts.
It is important to keep in mind the type of cuts from where the leather is procured to make a great belt.
The double butt cut of a bovine hide is from the hind leg portion of the hide, running around the butt and up towards the spine. This is the thickest and firmest part of the hide and yields the most consistent and even material. Double butt cuts are great for making thicker items like belts. At WALLETSPLUS we prefer to use vegetable tanned leather double butt hides for all our belts.
A side cut of a hide is half of an entire hide cut lengthwise down the middle. It contains part of the shoulder, butt, and belly of the cow. It is thinner, softer and stretchable leather. It isn’t the first choice of leather for belts.
The belly cut of a leather hide is from the left or right edges of the hide and is of more irregular shape than other cuts. The belly cut leathers are not recommended for belts due to their inherent suppleness.
Which belt should I choose?
Well, you don’t choose a belt to wear. Your outfit and the occasion decide for you the best suited belt. Narrowly defined, belts can be categorized as either formal or casual belts –
The formal belts are smaller, have a sleeker buckle and a thinner strap width. Formal belts are always made of premium leather. They may or may nor sport a brand logo on the buckle. These are mostly worn with official or business outfits and add a Midas touch to one’s persona.
Casual belts are designer gear that sport a comparatively larger buckle and broader strap width. These are tougher, thicker, stiffer, more rugged, and often sport matte finish. Casual belts are more often worn with jeans for outdoor or everyday activities.
However, just as with men’s jackets and shoes, there’s always an overlap between formal belts and casual belts. Though formal belts are largely for wearing with suits and business attire, they can always be paired with more formal sports jackets/ blazers and trousers. Conversely, casual belts are largely worn with jeans, khakis, and shorts, but can work with nicer chinos and more rugged sports coats.
What are designer belts?
The current generation of haute couture fashionistas emphasise on waist-up dressing. However, the designer belts have made an indelible mark on the fashion circuit and made their way into our everyday wardrobes. The exclusive WALLETSPLUS’ designer belts, whether paired with trousers for a chic return to the office, or cut-off shorts are perfect for weekend escapades, adding a vintage, designer woven leather, or studded belt that help to elevate just about any outfit.
If you’re in need of a fresh and stylish waist belt, you’ll find inspired ways to wear designer belts from our large collection!