British Bridle leather is the term used for the tanning process used to create the American Made Bridle Leather used for our belts. The Bridle Leather colors are Natural, Light Brown, Medium Brown, Dark Brown, Burgundy, and Black. The belt shown above is Natural Bridle with the nickel Garrison buckle. Other colors are shown on belts below. The Natural Bridle is open grain and has no finish, it will darken with use and application of leather conditioner if you choose to apply some.
The other bridle colors have a finished surface that needs no conditioner, that has been done at the tannery. The dark brown is shown on the belt above the ordering area. It shows the color better than below.
Bridle Leather Colors
Light Brown Med. Brown Dark Brown Black
The med brown is darker and more "Red-Brown" than the light brown and dark brown is darker "Chocolate" color than med. brown. Colors are represented better on images of actual items.
Here is the digital color dilemma... Images taken in natural light and interior lighting can vary a little in color. Batches from the tannery can also vary in color and computer monitors can vary the color.
The light brown actually has a slight orange tint that barely shows in the Belt below.
The one below is Med. Brown
This one is Burgundy
They all look good, just don't try to match your shoe color using these images.
Bridle leather belts have solid brass, or Nickel over solid brass buckles, and come in 1-1/4", 1-1/2", and 1-3/4" widths. The Bridle leather is thick and supple 10-12 oz.(5/32" - 3/16") thick. This is the same Bridle leather that is used on the Bridle Leather Texas Ranger Belts.
Other buckle choices are shown on the harness leather belt page. Check them out and decide which one you want so that you will be ready to make that choice when you get to the ordering area below.
The harness stitching option is shown on the harness leather belt page, and on the Dark Brown Bridle leather belt below. Bridle Leather is not a "Tooling" leather like the Harness Leather. That is why stitching is offered, but not basket weave and other tooling belt designs. They are on the Harness Leather Belt page.
The Bridle leather is made by the same tannery as the harness leather. After chrome tanning this select grade has additional operations performed on it to make it become bridle leather. It is stuffed with tallow and oil to make it more supple and is then dyed and finished. There is more information about the types of leather I use at the bottom of this page.
To get the proper length belt, measure your old belt from the end of the buckle to the hole you use most. This is your "Center Hole Length" and will be used to make your new belt as shown on the diagram below. This will make your new belt fit properly on the center hole.
BELTS ARE NOT RETURNABLE. IT IS UP TO YOU TO MEASURE CORRECTLY.
Just use a tape measure on a belt you wear. Measure from the end of the buckle, or the pin on the buckle if a trophy style, to the hole you use.
If you are ordering a belt WITHOUT a buckle, subtract the amount your buckle contributes to the length of the belt from the WITH BUCKLE length obtained from your old belt. More detailed measuring instructions are on the harness leather belt page.
Dark Brown Bridle leather belt
with wheat stitching and brass buckle #1.
I've gotten a real deal on Horsehide leather enabling me to offer free shipping on ALL BELT orders containing a Horsehide wallet while this batch lasts. The Horsehide leather has an open grain, natural "distressed" finish. I will remove the shipping amount from your order before charging your payment method. This charge removal will not show at checkout.
I'm reading in style forums that my belts are inexpensive compared to other belts of perhaps equal, or lesser quality but with a brand name. Don't equate price with quality... if my products were sold in stores or on the internet by others, instead of direct, they WOULD cost twice as much or more. The more hands the product passes through the more it costs.
I've tried to describe the differences between the different belt leathers so customers can make an informed purchase. This customer gets it, and probably sums it up better that I can.
"Correct me if I'm wrong, but the main difference between the bridle work belt leather, harness, and bridle leather is the following. The work belt color is dyed while being tanned then essentially "painted"... not worked into the leather, an applied top coat. The harness is "hand stained", like wood... the dye soaks into the leather after tanning and then hand rubbed and waxed, causing the leather to retain it's natural feel, and the color to age better. The bridle leather is the same as the harness, just worked with additional oils and dye at the tannery to make it softer, then a thin top coat of analine dye to make the color more or less uniform but still showing the grain. Other than that, there's no difference in the quality of the leather that gets classified as "bridle" or "harness", it is just finished differently for different uses.
That's true, all I can add is that the process of converting harness leather to bridle leather is done at the tannery as a controlled process in the final stages of finishing and isn't something we can do in the shop or something you can do at home.
"Finally, could you tell me how thick the leather is? This might be a stupid question, but is it a single piece of leather, or several thinner strips that are glued together? Post purchase, do these belts need to be oiled, or cared for in any way?"
All the belt leathers are one thickness, there is no glue holding it together, no man made materials, and nothing to come apart. The harness leather is about .150" and the bridle leather is about .175" thick. There is a limit to what is a reasonable thickness and thicker or double thick would be akin to putting truck tires on your car.
Though the harness is slightly thinner, it is more firm than bridle. Both have proven to stand up to use as gun belts.
My leather goods come COMPLETE, I've done it for you, it's not a kit. Read my leather care page. The bridle leather colors have a finish that can be damaged or discolored by most "leather care" products. After break in when wear occurs you may want to do something cosmetic. We use the leather balm available from the supplies page.
by Henry Hibbard