Firstly, sorry to all the denim folks reading this blog…I know it’s been a bit of a leather overload recently – more denim pics and rants to come this Summer (Southern hemisphere here), I promise.
In the mean time, here’s a curious item I wanted to show you guys!
As you know, I’m very interested in leathers of different origins and textures…
Of the different major vegetable tanned leathers, the ones from Tochigi, Japan, are the ones I’m least familiar with and most intrigued by (because I didn’t own any).
The natural leather from Tochigi Leather Co. are processed using a dual-vegetable tannage for 1.5 months, and then subsequently heavily curried and compressed (much like English bridle) to produce a heavy leather that has plenty of oils, lots of body, and quite dense in terms of fibre compaction. As a result, Tochigi leather holds a burnish very well and has a slightly uneven surface tone to begin with (a little bit like horse hide).
This belt I have here is made for Atomic Wrap (you can find them on Rakuten) by a craftsman in Kyoto who sells from the local Free Mart.
(See the Unlucky made mailbag peeking out on the right, it’s coming along, darkening nicely, updates to come in Summer!)
I ordered it without a buckle because I have a very heavy-duty Dolce Vita buckle which I’m dyeing to put into action.
The leather used was quoted to be 5 to 7 mm, measured at around 5.9 with my calliper (close enough, it’s 15 oz).
It was much more supple and flexible than most vegetable tanned leathers I’ve handled (I attribute this to all the oils packed into it).
Not much to nit pick about the craftsmanship – very nice burnish (one of the best I’ve seen), and the back was finished so smoothly that it was actually smoother than the grain side.
The pin holes and prong hole were well cut too!
The overall design was neat and simple – a classic, rugged veg. tanned belt.
Only thing I think could be improved on is the hardware.
I’m not a fan of snap buttons, wish it was Chicago screws instead – oh well, at least the snaps are high quality ones….
I think the buckle and belt combination looks rather nice – what do you think?
Very curious as to how this leather will age compared to the US and UK leathers on my belt rack.