Talk to any belt aficionado and he will tell you that belts are more complex than most people think. For the average belt user, a belt is simply a leather strap with a buckle, used to fit a pair of pants or shorts snugly. Others give belts a little more importance – it’s a fashion accessory that should match their overall look, most especially their footwear. However, for the real belt aficionado, belts are more than a utility item or a fashion accessory. Belts are made from years of perfected execution, accuracy, and only the finest materials.
It’s worth mentioning that although belts have a common structure – smooth leather feel, belt holes, sewn finish, and a classy shine – there are many materials that make up the available belts in the market. While it may be true that leather belts are all durable, it is also true that belt manufacturers have different sources for their leather. These are the different types of leather available for belts, and getting to know these types helps us appreciate them more.
- Cow leather. Cow leather is made from cowhide, which is the natural skin and hair of a cow. Cowhide is perfect for belts since the original color of the cow’s skin, which is primarily brown to black, is retained. It fits perfectly for the ideal colors of belts sold worldwide. Cowhide is especially strong, and it helps make a very durable belt.
- Pig leather. Believe it or not, some of your most loved belts may be made from pig leather. Since time immemorial, cows have been the more famous source of leather. However, many do not recognize that pigskin is also a very nice material for belts. Pigskin looks very similar to cowhide, and that is why pigskin is mistaken to be so. A closer look with the use of a telescope shows the difference between pig leather and cow leather (follicle check).
- Saffiano leather. Ever wondered how those lovely diagonal patterns are made on your belts? These lines and other design patterns definitely make your belts look classier and trendier. Saffiano leather has gained the love of many belt aficionados for the limitless design possibilities the process can manufacture. Saffiano leather undergoes a stamping process, which treats the natural leather. A machine is used to create the unique texture of saffiano leather. A wax treatment on the leather finishes the process, making the saffiano leather scratch resistant, perfect for long term use.
- Nappa leather. Nappa leather makes another type of leather from the previous ones mentioned. Nappa leather is usually a dyed up version of cowhide, pigskin, and even lamb skin. Also known as aniline leather, nappa leather can be distinguished from other forms of leather. It has open pores, and aniline colorants are used to perfect the shine.
- PU leather. PU leather is leather backed with polyurethane, hence it is called PU. This is a rather artificial type of leather, thus it is used by more belt manufacturers. Nothing beats genuine leather though.