Venturing out into the commercial world as a recently qualified and very green student from the Cordwainers Technical College some years ago, my immediate task was working out how to start a leather goods business of my own and all the complications that go with such a challenging task. Although I had done a considerable amount of Saddlery and Bridle work, one thing that soon became apparent was I did not want to start an english bridle company as such due to the amount of people in the bridle making trade at the time. I did however want to use sedgwick leather and in particular their bridle leather as one of my main materials. The obvious soon struck me; english bridle leather belts in english bridle leather from Sedgwick, what a combination for a business plan and my goal to become the best leather company around producing british made leather belts.
I didn’t know of another english leather company doing this at the time and british leather goods were experiencing a bad patch during the early eighties on the whole with the exception of Roger Saul who was making inroads with his Mulberry brand which also made a small selection of quality leather belts for men along with their now famous bags although they were not known specifically as an english belt company.
Handmade leather belts
Handmade leather belts for men have been around for centuries as saddlers have always been asked for them and bridle leather belts are really only an extension bridle and harness work but the english bridle leather belt had not been clearly identified in its own right amongst the many leather belts made in england at this time and certainly not by a worcestershire leather company.
How to order correct belt size
One big question raised its head very early on being not just how to order a belt or how to order a belt size but how to order correct belt size. This may blindingly obvious but on looking around but no bridle leather belt, handmade leather belts or english leather belts out there seemed to have any definitive method or calibration to advise the purchaser about ordering the correct belt size.
My philosophy then and now be it for an english leather belt or a bespoke leather gun slip is that the size and fit must be as near perfect as we can achieve therefore some sort of formula had to be decided upon if the english leather company we were was to become respected for service. leather belts for men uk needed to command global recognition along with handmade leather belts uk or any other corporate tag we might give this venture. Also not only was proper belt size a primary consideration but ladies leather belts also deserved this same attention as english leather products and british made belts were beginning to appeal to this sector of the marketplace and we have proved the girls love a handmade leather belt as much as the men.
Traditions of my craft
Another fascination for me has always been the traditions of my craft and amongst this are the leather color names given to english bridle leather such as london tan color (often misnamed tan leather colour as it actually not really a tan colour), australian nut colour, dark havana color, and many others and I have written a whole article dedicated to this subject which can be found on this link from the blog Leather Colour-Guide where all the leather colours we currently use for our handcrafted leather belts are listed with the information and history behind them often.
The Quick Release belt
One enduring success from Tim Hardy leather has been the quick release belt which was designed and developed by Tim and has been widely recognised globally and is now produced in varying qualities by others but still has it’s home here as one of our top ten in the bridle belt table of english belts. However, if one belt were to typify the english belt in its purist form and not only out perform all others in popularity, versatility, durability and affordability but also just look so very English, it would have to be without a shadow of doubt be the broadway belt.
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