We have spent years developing our unique belt designs with durability in mind.
Both Leather and cotton canvas can stretch, and we found that were not satisfied with the traditional approach to fastening a belt using a buckle and eyelets, as over time the eyelets will inevitably stretch and pop out.
Honestly, there was nothing more frustrating than seeing customers at a festival, years later, with their beautifully worn belt, asking how they can fix these stretched eyelets. Bad news... the only way to replace eyelets on a pocket belt strap is to replace the whole strap! Now unless you are pretty crafty and can do it yourself, this usually would involve heading out to a specialist (and forking out for their services).
We decided we needed to solve this problem and develop a new closing system that is not only more durable, but is also easy for our customers to repair and replace THEMSELVES , should it ever fail.
We headed out to Sadar Bazaar, new Delhi. This is a crazy, intense, rabbit warren of a place where you can but buttons, buckles, plastic flowers, flip flop rubber, brass chain, steel chain, brass wire, rivets, foam, findings, beads, bearings, shoe heels, umbrella skeletons, the list goes on... you get the idea!
we spend a day getting lost in the alleyways and collecting samples of interesting shaped hoops and hooks, and an idea started to form!
Back to our Tailors workshop in Pahar Ganj, and we worked a bit of magic. Et Voila! our clip & ring belt fastening was here!!
Our clip and ring design means that our belts are fully adjustable and contain no eyelets at all, and all weight-bearing points on the belts are reinforced with rivets as well as stitching.(Wahooo!)
on top of this, should the dog hook ever fail (this is after all, the only part of the design we had to buy in) , it can be easily replaced with another one, which are pretty easy to source, you could even use a climbing carbine. Actually, you know what? should YOUR clip ever fail, just get in touch with us and we'll send you a new one absolutely free!
it is easy to take the old one off and thread a new one on, no need for any gadgetry or specialist tools, just thread the clip off like you would adjust a backpack strap, and that's it!
It feels good to make long lasting, heavy duty products which will stand the test of time, and even better to develop designs that are easier and cheaper to repair than they are to replace should time begin to take its toll!
here are some other tips for keeping your belt tip top for as long as possible:
To clean we recommend brushing the belts down with a soft brush or damp cloth. The rivets and buckles love staying dry, so only hand-wash if completely necessary.
And guys...PLEASE don't overfill the pockets, this can put strain on the stitching and the zips.
Leather Belts (this can be more tricky)
To clean the leather, try brushing any marks off gently with a soft brush, or running a damp cloth over the hide. Never submerge your leather items completely in water to wash them.
Should you have heavy staining (for example if the leather is left wet, some staining can develop on it) a good tick to try is using vasoline: take a clean sponge or cloth and dip it in your vasoline, then rub in small circular motions over the whole piece.
Please note that this will change the appearance of the leather; it will become a darker colour, and a little shinier - especially noticeable on some of our soft nubuck pieces. so this method must be applied to the whole piece so that it matches, and should be used as a last resort.
Leather is a natural material. Colours and textures of hide can vary from one piece to another. This is normal and should be expected. Each item is unique, so don't freak out if there are some marks or scuffs on it. its normal and natural :)
A word on ethics.....
We buy our leather skins as surplus from large manufacturers, these are end of line or over ordered skins so we hope this lessens our environmental impact in some way.
Much of the leather we have used over the years is Goat or Camel leather but in the last couple of years we have started producing only with Buffalo leather, after having done some research we discovered that this is by far the most ethical way to source indian leather.
Buffalo are working animals, reared in small herds with little or no need for antibiotic use or large scale farming methods, at the end of its working life the whole of the animal is used; it's meat for food , skin for leather, bones and horns for tribal jewellery.
AND... the leather is just beautiful! thick and heavy with a noticeable grain to the hide.
There we go!
We hope you love your Forage pocket belt as much as we love creating them!