Following on from my previous belt review, here are another couple of choice leather belts for your kind consideration. These are also low-volume, artisan crafted pieces, made to order to requested spec, in Britain. What this means is that if you know the various elements that go into them, you’ll have an idea what you might appreciate in a belt. And a good belt will last you a long time.
Hubb Leather natural leather quick-release belt
Hubb Leather hail from my former stomping-grounds of Manchester. The belt is in 4mm thick full grain natural veg-tanned leather. Rubbed with beeswax and tallow dressing to protect and give it a little natural conditioning to start it off. Sewn with bonded nylon waxed thread, to give long-lasting stitches. The buckle used is a cast brass Marshalsay buckle form Abbey foundry in Knutsford, Cheshire (a village I visited last year, in fact, though it also has a splendid viking heritage). The buckle comes from the foundry in a lacquered state, but this has been removed to allow the brass to gain a nice patina. The holes are teardrop shaped to minimise bulge around the buckle.
So, a considered piece of work by Ian at Hubb Leather and it will be interesting to see how it develops over time. You will have noticed how the intentionally raw edges have already picked up a fair amount of indigo from my jeans. Going for a natural colour belt like this is a tough choice, akin to turning up on the beach on the first sunny day, after a long winter out of the sun. Once it starts darkening with age though, it will develop a great character.
All General Made oak bark tanned brass buckle belt
All General Made are based in Aberdeen, Scotland. The leather used is an oak tanned bridle leather, roughly 4mm thick, from the only remaining oak bark tannery in the UK, J&F.J Baker of Colyton England (now there is a proper company name of the old school). The tanning takes at least 12 months to complete, so this is no quickie process. The buckle is from Abbey Saddlery, part of the same company that provided the buckle Hubb used. Abbey is one of the few remaining foundries in the UK. The belts are hand-sewn using waxed ‘Tiger’ thread.
The edges of this belt have been rubbed with local bees wax and then burnished by hand. This leaves the edges slightly rough, though not as unfinished as above. Still picking up the indigo from my jeans, and with a natural leather feel. I much prefer this to the sealed edges many belts have, where you might wonder if it’s actual real leather.