Vogt's 22 Belt Tooling Steps
The key to high quality leather products are top quality leather and skilled artisans. Vogt leathers come from the finest tanneries in the United States and Italy. Our leather is expensive but well worth it. This top quality leather results in a product that is beautiful, enduring and a good value. Our highly trained artisans hand craft each piece. Like many of our silversmiths, the family legacy of craftsmanship with our leather artisans is transferred into each hand tooled item. Our tooled belts pass through twenty-two stages before they are ready for shipping. Take a look at each stage of the production below.
1. Sort Hides:
Hides are sorted for site, weight, stiffness and imperfections
2. Cut Strips:
The hid is then cut into strips of proper order for width and approximate length for belts.
3. Level Strips:
Each strip is then mechanically leveled or planed to a consistent thickness throughout.
4. Cut Tapers (Ends):
Both ends are tripped to appropriate taper at the correct size.
5. Mark Edges:
Our edges of tooling patterns are hand scribed (marked) to allow for outer stitch line.
6. West Edges:
All belts to be tolled that day are moisture softened to accept tooling.
7. Tool Leather:
Each belt is individually tooled with the floral or basket patterns requiring three separate stages of tooling.
8. Re-cut Liners:
Because the tooling causes the leather to move (or expand) the edges must be re-trimmed after tooling.
9. Cut Liners:
Lining leather is cut oversized for each belt.
10. Stamp Sizes, Logos, Liners:
Liners are stamped for size and description before gluing to the belt body so as not affect tooling pattern.
11. Glue Liners:
Liners are glued to belts.
12. Trim Belt & Liners:
Liners are then trimmed to exact size of belt.
13. Stitch Belts:
The belt is then stitched with correct color and width tread.
14. Skive Edges:
The square edges of the belt are skived (slightly rounded) with a hand cutting tool.
15. Punch Snap Holes:
Holes for snaps and buckle tongue are punched width a foot press.
16. Punch End Holes:
Holes for the belt ends are then punched.
17. Set Snaps:
The snaps are set in place width a small kick press.
18. Dye Belts:
Each belt is hand dyed with a sponge and aniline dye on a table for a uniform smooth color, often as money as 3 times for consistency.
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 width canvas coated with wax.
21. Wax Polish:
Each belt is buffed to moderate luster.
22. Final Quality Check
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 un-tooled 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.