22 Belt Tooling Steps
1. Sort hides: Hides are sorted for size weight, stiffness and imperfections.
2. Cut strips: The hide is then cut into strips of proper order for width and approximate length for belts.
3. Level strips: Each strip is the leveled or mechanically planed to a consistant thickness throughout.
4. Cut tapers (Ends): Both ends are trimmed to appropriate taper at the correct size.
5. Mark edges: Outer edges of tooling pattern are hand scribed (marked) to allow for outer stitch line.
6. Wet edges: All belts to be tooled that day are moisture softened to accept tooling.
7. Tool leather: Each belt is individually tooled with floral or basket weave patterns with three separate stages of tooling.
8. Re-cut edges: Because the tooling causes the leather to move (or expand) the edges must be retrimmed after tooling.
9. Cut liners: Lining leather is cut oversize for each belt.
10. Stamp sizes, logos, liners: Liners are stamped for size and description before gluing to belt body it won’t affect the tooling pattern.
11. Glue liners: Liners are glued to belt.
12. Trim belt and liner: Liners are then trimmed to exact size of belt.
13. Stitch belt: The belt is then stitched with correct color and weight thread.
14. Skived edges: The edges are then skived (slightly rounded) with a hand cutting tool.
15. Punch snap hole: Holes for snaps and buckle are punched using a foot press.
16. Punch end holes: Holes for the belt end are then punched.
17. Set snaps: The snaps are then set in place with a small kick press.
18. Dye Belt: Each belt is hand dyed with a sponge with aniline dye on a table for uniform smooth color, often as many as three times for consistancy.
19. Sun cure: Each belt is placed in the sun to dry and obtain an ultraviolet color influence (sun cured).
20. Hand polished edges: Edges are hand rubbed with canvas coated with wax.
21. Wax polish: Each belt is buffed to a moderate luster.
22. Final quality check: assures that every Vogt Belt meets our high standards of quality with no compromising.
- Other tooled leather products in the VOGT line have similar production stages and each take skilled artisans.
- Leather is a natural fiber with inherent natural characteristics. These may appear as “lines” or “creases” or occasionally with “scars” on a smooth or untooled area. They are not to be construed as blemishes, but merely part of the personality of the leather.
- Leather is a natural living fiber that will gain character as it ages. If it is subjected to wet and dry conditions, it should occasionally be “fed” with a quality leather conditioner.
- If the leather needs a thorough cleaning, use soap and water and pat dry. The leather will darken with the water content as the leather absorbs the water. As the leather begins to lighten in color, “feed” it with a quality leather conditioner.
- The more care leather receives the longer it will last. If it is too dry or heavily laden with salt perspiration, it needs to be cared for or it will not be as durable.