Matching belt

I’ve started on a new shoe project, but as an intermission I’ve recently made a veg tanned belt. I don’t know the first thing about making belts, and decided to wing it as an experiment. This belt was made to match Ericsberg.

I started by cutting a belt strap out of 5 oz veg tanned shoulder, ca 30 mm wide. I measured its circumference  with 4 oz veg tanned calf side leather, and then cut out wide straps of said leather to match. (I cut out two, to maybe later make another belt.)

01-veg-leather

As depicted below, I cemented the 5 oz strap onto the 4 oz leather, nap to nap. Then I roughed up the surface of the 5 oz leather for later cementing the belt shut, and cut out angles in the 4 oz leather for folding the edges over.

02-belt-making

At the end of the belt where the buckle will go, I left 10 cm longer of the 4 oz leather compared to the 5 oz, to be able to fold the 4 oz leather over the buckle fastening.

Then I applied contact cement to the insides of the belt, let it cure, and glued it shut.

03-making-belt

After this, I didn’t take any pictures until the belt was finished, but here’s roughly what I did:

  • Dyed the belt with Fiebing’s leather dye in light tan, tan and medium brown (using a Fiebing’s dauber for each color), brushed the belt with a cotton cloth and let it dry.
  • Glued the belt buckle in place by folding the 4 oz leather over the buckle fastener.
  • Ran a pricking wheel around the belt.
  • Drilled up the 600 holes or so (I lost count) with a hand-held drill and 1 mm bit.
  • Sewed the belt by hand with a running stitch using 1 mm waxed polyester thread. I almost made it all the way around in one go, which required a super long thread and an angel’s patience, but to my dismay I had cut the thread about 15 cm too short…
  • Cut out a logo from 4 oz veg tanned leather, stamped and dyed it, sewed it for decorative purposes and cemented it into the buckle.
  • Made a leather fastener thingie by cementing some 4 oz and 2 oz veg tanned leather together in a bent shape, burnishing the edges, dying it and sewing it onto the belt.
  • Punched up three holes to my measurements (one mode for starving, one regular mode and one christmas dinner mode).  Then it was pretty much done.

04-finished-belt

The open seam running around the inside isn’t straight, but the visible side of the belt turned out pretty cool.

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