The Triple C belt

Here’s a new addition to my belting armoury – the Triple C harness leather belt by Scott Willis.

Scott (Don’t Mourn, Organize!) has been looking into saddle leather alternatives lately, and found this harness leather which has been custom tanned in Mexico to US specifications.

Indeed, at 16 oz thick, this harness leather is dense, nicely grained and somehow manages to retain a light colour even though the fat content in the leather is quite high.

(Keep in mind these photos were taken after the application of leather feed.)

Though this belt was made in the spirit of the hardy work belt, closer observation reveals many details which a hobbyist can appreciate 🙂

As always, I’ll start at the buckle end of business.

The hardware is a high quality solid brass roller buckle with a stainless steel tongue.

See this blog post by Scott for the differentiation of roller buckle quality.

Hardware is of course very important – each aspect of the belt should complement the others…there is simply no point in having a beautiful leather strap only to combine it with poor quality hardware.

This belt again features Scott’s trademark genuine waxed elk tendon threading, just like the Joe Hill project belts.

Notice the natural wheat colour as well as the slightly course texture?

If it’s too smooth or too consistent in tone, it’s unlikely to be the real deal!

While there is no right or wrong way to stitch a buckle fold, it is tradition never to stitch across the strap completely – this predisposes the belt to snapping behind the fold – I noticed that Scott’s vertical stitchings cover only around 60% of the strap width instead of running the entire course, which I believe is a good compromise.

No channel has been cut for the stitching either, but instead the tendon is pulled to the right tension so that the stitches sit at level with the grain of the leather.

It may seem like easy work, but the tension needs to be just right – too little pull causes the tendon to sit too far out thus predisposing to abrasions, too much pull will cut into the grain (especially with stitch material as solid as tendon.)

In direct sunlight the colour is quite pleasing – a golden tan.

There’s also that characteristic tonal “ridging” found on classic harness leathers, and I think this will become more pronounced as the grain ages.

Reminds me of my blonde harness belt a little, though I think this Triple C harness from Chahin is somewhat more refined than the Teneria Company’s version of the harness.

Either burnish or leave it raw with a very clean cut, me thinks.

I love Scott’s burnishing – it’s smooth, it’s nicely curved, it looks natural, and it retains most of the cross-sectional texturing.

A closer look at the grain, which is perhaps best appreciated without colour.

Already there is a pronounced grain definition after the first application of conditioner…I haven’t even worn the belt yet!

A good sign of a responsive leather I think, and it does seem like the grain isn’t overly “finished” as to cover up flaws in the grain.

Whilst many would claim the same, I reckon Scott’s Triple C work belt sets the standard for the basic vegetable tanned belt that is essential in any denim nerd’s wardrobe…

…basic in it’s functional design and in the fact that the harness leather is newbie friendly, but there’s nothing basic about the quality of the materials or construct!

More updates to come, stay tuned 🙂

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