The Military belt – project with Equus Leather

The Military belt has landed!

Hand-crafted by master belt-maker Charlie Trevor at Equus Leather, featuring a 15 oz English oak-bark tanned bridle leather in the natural “russet” finish from Baker’s tannery in Colyton, UK .

This is the final prototype before the project belts are crafted, and I am very happy with the results!

Surely, a raw bark-tanned belt just doesn’t get any better than this.

This is our take on the classic Sam Browne military belts, with a raw leather twist that will delight denim & leather nerds!

Consider the custom forged, double-tongued, solid brass garrison buckle:

The brass is thick and sturdy, and its surface left unpolished to facilitate a gentle tarnishing process that will complement the evolution of the leather.

Charlie’s superb hand-stitch with thick linen threading stands up to scrutiny:

Pulled with just the right tension for the threads to sit at level with the grain.

It is an intricate balance: the tension must not be too great or else the threading will cut into the leather, but at the same time it mustn’t be too loose otherwise the threads will sit too far above the grain and become points of abrasion.

I certainly have not seen a neater or more precise hand-stitch, especially consider the large thread size and the thickness of the leather!

The corium side of the leather is unfinished, a testament to the true “full grain” nature of the leather:

This Baker’s russet bridle butt leather is immensely dense, and at 15 oz it is tremendously difficult to achieve a clean hand-cut.

Somehow Charlie managed to do just that – a very, very clean cut left raw:

Just how dense is it?

Well, a few thousand years ago they’d probably use this leather for body armour.

You can see the cross-sectional structure through the peg-hole in this piece of scrap leather from the same bridle butt hide:

The grain, however, provides a great contrast to the strength of the leather by displaying a very deep and delicate growth.

This is one of the best vegetable tanned leathers I’ve had the pleasure of handling.

Indeed, the study of the rise and fall of bark-tanned leather in England is a must for any leather nerd.

In the golden age of bark-tanning, more than 100 oak-bark tanneries in England.

Now Baker’s is the only one left in England to still retain a functioning traditional bark-tanning operation – complete with 72 tanning pits and a bark mill that is powered by flowing water.

This russet bridle leather, much like it’s Quercus kin from my first belt project, takes at least 1 year & 1 day to produce using a very gentle and delicate English oak-bark pit-tannage…this is in contrast to the vegetable tanning using concentrates and powder that is common nowadays around the world, a process which lasts only 1.5 ~3 months.

Every aspect of this belt has been considered thoroughly, as Charlie and I brain-stormed a tradition-inspired British bridle leather belt that is relevant to the raw denim hobby.

Each component of the Military belt will age beautifully – in a way that complements each other as well as your denim – as the days turn into months and the months turn into years.

This belt will still be looking good even as your own skin starts to wrinkle & wither; indeed the Military belt is meant to outlive its owner.

The design is suited for many occasions, whether it be in the fields or in the office – you can use it simply to keep your pants up, or as a tool belt which will support heavy loads.

In short, a heavy weight belt to match your heavy weight denim 🙂

Orders are being accepted right now – please don’t wait too long though, as russet bridle of this thickness is very limited!

Please contact Equus Leather or me for more information if you’re interested.

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