Belts are made of different materials, and some of them have been in use for a very long time. Did you know that during the 19th and early 20th century, belts were mainly worn by the military before coming back into civilian vogue in the 1920s? Yes, that’s true. And in the present time, the belt is frequently regarded as an important visual accessory that completes a look, not just in women’s fashion, but more so than in men’s fashion. And aside from making us look fashionable, it is also a way of cinching the waist.
When you visit fashion stores or when you browse for belts online, you will see that there are many different styles available. Aside from the design and styles of belts, they are also made out of different weaves and materials. If you are wondering about what these weaves and materials are, then you’re in the right place. Today, we are going to give you some of the most common types of belt weaves and materials.
Leather clothing artifacts can be dated back to 1300 B.C., and they have been found in Egypt. Aside from that, the first recorded use of leather belts dates back to the Roman era, which is thousands of years ago. The tanning process that is used to skin and preserve leather for garments is itself thousands of years old, and it has evolved merely from drying animal skins in the sun to the use of modern chemical solvents.
Leather belts, among the other belt weaves and materials, are more expensive because of the amount of labor involved in the tanning process. Even though there are now cheaper alternative materials used in making belts, leather can still outshine the other types even today.
Leather belts are commonly made of cowhide. But there are also leather belts that are made of skins from ostrich, lizard, crocodile, and alligator. If you do not want to wear a belt that is made from animal skin, then you can opt for faux leather, which is made of polyurethane on a fabric backing.
Here are some of the different types of leather belt materials you can choose from:
- Full-Grain Leather: Belts that are made of full-grain leather are broader, tougher, and stiffer compared to leather dress belts. Leather casual work belts are usually made from the outer layer of a cow’s hide. There are even some that include marks from scars or brands that the cow acquired when it was still alive.
- Braided Leather: Braided leather belts are used with a frame-style buckle to make very adjustable belts. It’s because it allows you to put prong in any hole in the braid. This is a good option if you want to keep things simple and unobtrusive. Plus, braided leather belts can also add a little texture, but it does not make an overwhelming statement. They are also easier to find and usually cheaper, too.
- Tooled Leather: Tooled leather belts are made via a stamping process that leaves patterns on the leather, which are usually stained to make them stand out. Most of these belt straps are designed for interchangeable buckles. They are best worn with simple outfits like a pair of jeans and a button-down shirt.
- Suede: Suede belts are usually used casually. They are less durable compared to full-grain leather, but most of the time, suede belts have full-grain backings for extra strength.
Canvas is a sturdy, woven fabric that is made of cotton or sometimes hemp. It is plain-woven, meaning, it has a crisscrossed weaving pattern. Since it uses cloth instead of leather, there is less labor in manufacturing it, resulting in a lower-priced belt.
The use of canvas belts started with the military. It was utilized as a less expensive way to outfit military personnel. Eventually, the use of canvas belts trickled into the civilian mainstream. During the 1980s and early 1990s, it became a popular fashion accessory. If fell out of favor until the current resurgence in the fashion of the 1980s.
The most common styles of canvas belt are monochrome with a single contrasting stripe that runs horizontally around the middle of the belt, and plain monochrome. Both of these styles have been in men’s casual wardrobes for the better part of a century.
Reusing discarded rubber materials also became popular as an interesting and eco-minded way to produce durable belts. There are certain companies, including English Retreads, which gather unwanted inner tubes from truck stops and recreate them into wallets, handbags, and belts. This type of belt material, and as well as the process of making these belts appeal to those who want to lead a more sustainable and responsible lifestyle. It is also perfect for vegans who want to completely avoid using animal products of any kind.
Belts that are made of vinyl are cheap, colorful, bold, and alternative. These kinds of belts are perfect for younger men and women. However, they can look tacky when worn by older men. Well, it can look tacky on a man of any age, unless you’ll be attending a party or a concert.
A webbed belt is another functional belt that is good for outdoor activities. It comes in different colors and patterns, too. And most of the time, they come with D-ring buckles. This belt material also does not have any holes, which is commonly found in other belts. Instead, there is a mechanism used to fasten the belt buckle.
Rope belts are usually worn by women as they are thin, but they are also worn by men in nautical circles. They are usually fastened with a knot ad loop and not with a buckle. This belt material is a bit preppy, but it is also durable and easy to clean. In fact, rope belts can take a soaking better than leather.
These are some of the different types of belt weaves and materials. The next time you visit stores, you can now differentiate each kind of belts that you will see.