Two Hole Style 10 oz vegetable-tanned leather belt
Probably the longest lasting leather belt you will ever find, and quite possibly the last you will ever need—guaranteed. Making a belt that is capable of lasting many years is not that hard. Making one last a lifetime, which is our goal, well, frankly, that's not all that hard either.
This is what it takes:
1-GOOD THICK LEATHER
Good leather can last over a century when properly cared for. There are several types of leather that qualify as good, but not all types of leather are right for making belts. There is one class of leather in particular which is perfect for making belts. Not surprisingly, this class of leather is referred to as "belting leather." What might not be as obvious is that the "belt" in belting actually is not referring to human waist belts but to belts for machinery—were talking like 18th century saw mill machinery here folks. Let's just say that holding up your jeans with belting leather is overkill, but it's the overkill that makes it possible for a belt to last a lifetime.
Kendal & Hyde belts are made only from vegetable-tanned full grain leather. I won't go on and on about veg-tanned full grain leather here. I will just leave it with my opinion that it is the best and most appropriate leather for belts—that is if you want them to last.
The thickness of the leather you use to make a belt matters as much as the type of leather. Thin leather will stretch, deform and eventually fail. They also look cheap (because they are). Some belt makers will cheat and stitch two pieces of thin leather together, sometimes with a nylon core to bulk it up more and keep it from stretching. We are not going to do that. Nope. We are just going to use an ultra thick piece of top quality leather from the beginning and call it good because that is what it is, good.
How thick? Well, the average decent belt is made from 5-6oz. leather which is roughly 3/32 inch or 2mm. This sort of belt will run you about $40 and last 5-10 years. A better belt is made from 7-8oz. leather which is about 1/9 or 2.75mm. An 8oz. belt will last a decade or two and usually runs about $70. HYDE belts are 10oz. leather which is roughly 1/6 inch or 4mm. Chances are you have never seen a belt this thick. I suspect it is because there is not much profit in making products that never need to be replaced, but that's what we are trying to do—make a belt to last you your lifetime.
2- QUALITY HARDWARE
A good buckle should feel heavy and solid in your hand. The buckles I chose for Kendal & Hyde belts are classic roller buckles that are strong enough to be used for horse tack. I chose a roller buckle because the roller reduced the rubbing on your belt as you tighten it to prevent excess rub wear on the leather and helps it look nicer for years.
The four rivets you see are actually Chicago screws. They are much stronger than quick rivets and they are also removable. So if you can operate a screw driver, you can swap the buckle out for the one you "won" in the rodeo if you don't like the one I chose.
3-LONG LASTING QUALITY STITCHING
"Long lasting" is a relative term that does not really apply to what we are trying to do here. Stitching is by far the weakest link in a leather project. The friction will wear at the thread until it eventually breaks. This is what happened to my belt a few weeks ago—the last stitch holding the buckle on finally blew out. If you want to insure that the thread never breaks, don't use any. All parts of a Kendal & Hyde belt are riveted—no staples or stitching.
4-STRONG BUCKLE ATTACHMENT
Most belt makers thin the part of the leather out where it folds over to 1/2 or less the original thickness. This has always confused me why one would thin the leather at the point where there is the most stress. So I didn't do it.
You probably noticed that something looks a little different about the way I attached the buckle. Instead of wrapping the leather under the belt it folds out. This looks a little unique if not downright wrong. I got the idea for this belt from an 70 year-old military belt I have. I don't know exactly why they chose to do it this way or why I have never seen anyone else do it like this since. The only logical reason I have come up with is that it might be more comfortable to have the surface that faces your body flat when your marching all day. Personally I think it has a unique and cool industrial look to it, but if you don't like it, all you need to do is loosen the screws and reverse it (either way it doesn't show when the belt is buckled).
SO, WILL THIS BELT OUTLAST YOU?
I think so. If you think so too, I would be happy to send you one. If you are not convinced I'll slap on a guarantee to replace any belt you outlast providing you use it as it was intended to be used—as a belt and not as a chew toy for your pet dingo, a tow strap for your caravan or some other creative use that, though it may perform admirably, was not my intended use.
Not sure of your size? Take a look at our sizing guide.