Review: A couple of leather belts with “different”

For me leather belts are a bit like waiting for a bus. Not like in that I’d rather cycle, walk or drive a rorty vintage car, but more like in that I they’re not really a factor until several arrive almost at the same time. So this week I’ll take a look at two of the belts that are in rotation. One arrived last week, one I bought last summer.

Leather goods are a curious business to me. There are any number of tiny makers, and so many of them appear to be making quite the same things. For someone seeking the different, it makes for slim pickings!

First off: The Pigeontree Crafting indigo belt

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Pigeontree Crafting caught my eye on Instagram. Firstly due to the polished quick release brass belt buckle, a buckle originally used to enable the quick release of firehoses, as the story goes. While not a unique feature it’s still somewhat unusual. What I hadn’t seen before though was the treatment Isaac was using on the leather. He is dyeing the leather by dipping it in natural indigo. I’ve not seen anyone else do this, so points for added difference right there!

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Would this perhaps make for a nice combo with raw denim? The belt itself is veg tanned full grain leather, so should last forever. It will certainly be interesting to see how the indigo evolves. 85 USD direct from Pigeontree Crafting.

Secondly: The Tender 200 wire buckle belt

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Tender tends to be all kinds of different, so you’ll not be too surprised to hear that the leather in this case quite special. It comes from the oldest remaining tannery in England and has been subjected to an 18 months oak bark tanning process. It is full thickness, which means it’s about twice the thickness of usual belts. The grain has not been prettified in any way, so what you see is how it was.

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Oh, and just to really throw different at it, it’s been treated with fish oil. And yes, it takes a while for that smell to wear off… The buckle is cast solid brass, made specially in small numbers using the lost wax process.  It’s a monster of a belt indeed, and yes, the thickness can make it a little uncomfortable to wear. If you’re already wearing heavyweight raw denim and clunky boots you’re probably well into a bit of suffering though, right? 160 pounds direct from Tender.

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  • Brandon 22/02/2016 at 19:53

    I highly recommend Hollow’s Leather for leather goods and belts, as well. Pigeon Tree looks great – I really like the quick release. It doesn’t look like they offer belts beyond 1.5″ though. Anything made by Tender is a good bet!


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