It’s Spring cleaning time for my leathers, I find myself working on my Chahin belt from Voyej.
I’ve had this Chahin belt for a few years now, since 2011 in fact, and it’s the second belt in my collection made from Chahin skirting leather.
Again, the cleaning & care methods used are outline here, including the detergent clean and light wax finish that I have applied to this belt.
Compare this with how the leather started. when I first received the belt from Lucas in 2011:
I found that many skirting and saddle leathers from the Americas (this includes Mexico, where Chahin is located) tend to age towards a peach/orange colour, which is very pleasing and beginner friendly. Contrast this with English bark-tan leathers which usually are more yellow in tone (trickier to age well), or the natural leathers from Italy & Japan which tend to be paler in comparison (easy to darken too much).
Lower quality natural leathers have a tendency to age quickly towards dark brown, which I do not like at all. This is not a problem on the Chahin belt.
The leather also cleans up nicely – most staining and grime I was able to remove.
You can see that, as opposed to the smooth surface on new Chahin belts, the leather grain is now quite pronounced. The natural characteristics of the hide is now on display.
Also, the stitching and the burnishing have held up well.
The few dents and scratches were easily recovered with some feeding and waxing – such are the delights of vegetable tanned leathers.
Personally, I think aging natural leathers is perhaps more complicated and delicate than what many people think. One aspect I’d like to point out is that the “popping” or surfacing of the grain character should occur before the leather darkens too much…natural leathers will darken easily if mistreated or is left unconditioned for long periods. Too often you’ll see people with very brown leathers that have minimal grain evolution, which – in my opinion – is something to be avoided.
With the leather on this Chahin belt, achieving good results in terms of balancing the changes in grain & colour is quite easy. I would say this is a pleasing and beginner friendly leather.
I’m very glad to see Voyej’s newer Chahin II & III versions of the belt have taken the suggestions I made a few years ago regarding the buckle and the stitching. Also pleasantly surprised that their pricing remains pretty much the same as it did back in 2011, making it one of the better value skirting belts out there that doesn’t skimp on details.
Definitely check them out at Voyej.