Oak-tanned English bridle leather belt by Terry Dear

A big thanks to Terry of Terry Dear Celtic Leathercrafts for making this beautiful belt!

Although he doesn’t usually use 6mm leather for belting, he was kind enough to work out this one for me.



This one is custom hand-made, using 15 oz (6 mm, that is 1 oz = 0.4 mm) oak bark tanned English bridle leather from J & FJ Baker & Co Ltd. of
Hamlyns Colyton, a tannery since Roman times and the only remaining producer of oak bark tanned leather in England.

According to Andrew of Hamlyns, this oak-bark tan is a traditional process requiring 12months of tannge, as opposed to the 2 months tannage of the run-of-the-mill vegetable tanned leathers (here’s Andrew below – photo by Terry; apparently the machine was built before World War I, and still in daily use today).


SDC10067.jpg picture by CCH_photo


A big difference in quality, he says.

And yes, I do agree – the grain of this belt is amazing; I finally understand what they mean by the slow tanning process bringing out more nuances of character in the leather.

Quite different from the ultra-smooth finish on most veggie tanned belts – have a look at the macros below and see for yourself!

Also, the belt is less stiff than most of the heavy veggie tanned belts – I assume it’s because of all the oils this leather is packing.

Bending the leather towards itself, oils can be seen as a white substances floating to the surface!


The craftsmanship is beautiful, from the hand-stitching the edge finish!

The way Terry tapered the belt is also very nice 🙂

I’m liking the buckle a lot too, haven’t seen this style around much – doesn’t scratch the leather edges, which is a huge bonus.

Looking forward to giving this belt lots more wears – but stayed tuned for more belts & stuff!


16 thoughts on “Oak-tanned English bridle leather belt by Terry Dear

  1. Hi

    The belt sounds interesting. Sent an enquiry to terry already. Hopefully he ships to my country! By the way is there any picture of the belt? Theres a picture in that post but for some reason it doesn’t load.

    1. Hey dude, I’ve included many pictures of the belt in the post.
      If it doesn’t work for you, try the superfuture or mynudies forums’ belt threads (I’ve posted pictures there as well).

      Have a look at the superfuture thread in particular, I’m trying to get a list of people who are interested in a natural tan/unfinished leather belt!

      1. Thanks for the quick reply. I found out that it was my ISP was having temporary issues with photobucket which caused the problem. Switched to a proxy and all is good :). Add me to the list to those interested in a natural tan! That is if terry ships to my country (Singapore). Will keep my fingers crossed here.

        By the way yeah I came from reading your post on sufu. But I can’t post at the moment. Registered quite a few days ago but the mods are taking way too long to activate my account.

      2. I think Terry would ship to sg; he sent mine to Australia!

        Just shoot me a PM with your name and e-mail once your SuFu account is working (it took 10 days for mine to activate) – I’ll add you to the list no problems!

  2. Sounds good. Just to check how much was the shipping for yours? And by the way im not very experienced with belts, but i noticed that this belt has some kind of black coating around the edges? May i know what is that called? Some belts have it and some belts don’t. Whats the advantage of it and will it peel?

    1. 6 pounds for shipping to Australia, took 6 days.

      That coating is a sealant (not sure of the exact name, ask Terry). I think the advantage of this is that it prevents the grain from peeling after some wears, and is particularly useful in double or triple layer belt designs.
      Many of my belts have this, so far none of them has peeled.

  3. Originally saw your post and pics on sufu. I love the belt, but can we get some pics that show the thickness of the belt? The shots of the grain really did it for me. Definitely high quality stuff that terry is using.

    1. Hi Henry, I’ll post up some comparison pictures in a couple of days (I have a 15oz belt from another leathersmith coming soon).
      In the mean time, I have measured the belt thickness with a vernier caliper, and the average thickness is around 5.7mm (similar to the 15oz Dolce Vita belt).

  4. Hi,

    Followed you from a reply post to me on S. Deffo interested in an untanned natural belt though it may make more sense to order direct as I’m UK too. If you need to make up numbers count me in.



    1. Hello C,
      I too think it would make more sense if you contact Terry directly, you should probably visit him at the Shoe Box to discuss options 🙂
      Our expression of interest list is now over and was very successful, and Terry has been working through the almost 40 orders of Quercus belts.
      He is getting more hide in AFAIK, so if you just shoot him an e-mail or visit in person, it should be straight sailing from there.

  5. Would anyone know where I might find a brass buckle like that in the photo above?

    I’d like to have Terry install it into my belt, yet to be ordered.


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