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Creating a limited edition leather: the story behind Slate Gray

by Bryan Schultz September 29, 2019 2 min read

Bryan leaning in an alley with dappled light wearing a new limited edition leather product - the Dial on Slate Grey full grain leather belt

We are very excited to announce our new limited edition slate gray leather! A lot goes into the creation of a new leather color, but the hardest part is committing to a single idea. Color in fashion is a polarizing choice - people have a favorite base color they like to wear every day or an accent color they gravitate toward to make their outfits pop. The trick to creating a successful limited edition anything is striking the balance of what our belt wearers want versus a style that will stand up over time. We think we may have achieved that with our Slate Gray.

Our original inspiration for a Slate Gray leather was a really cool pair of John Fluevog boots. We wanted to make a real leather belt with a dusty, matte finish, almost like an old chalkboard. Some of you might remember our first attempt  at a soft grey leather belt with a limited edition run of Graphite leather. It was very cool and very close to what we wanted - it had smooth, satin-like finish and very even texture.

This is a whole hide of the Slate Gray leather.

This time around, we wanted to create something more raw and natural that would develop a distinct patina over time. We chose not to hide the scars, imperfections, and variations in each hide because we wanted every belt to feel like the natural product it is. Every single strap is unique, every belt its own little work of art.

We have worked with Seidel Tanning in Milwaukee, WI to develop all of our hides since we started making belts in 2005. They have over 70 years of experience in creating custom specialty leathers and take the time to educate their customers on what good leather is. We worked with their R&D department to create the Slate Gray and relied on their expertise to tease out a leather recipe that would give us the exact color, texture, and finish that we were looking for. And it really is a recipe, with step by step instructions to guide the hides through the tanning process.

hides of slate gray leather draped

The vegetable tanning process this leather went through gives it a wonderful silky smooth texture. The imperfections have not been buffed or corrected, allowing the natural grain of the leather to come through. We chose not to have it stamped with a grain-correcting texture because we feel it is important to showcase the variations in every piece.

the process of making a belt strap from a leather hide

Once Seidel’s expert tanners deem the hides ready, we hustle up to Milwaukee to pick them up and get to work. We unroll and inspect every hide, trim the ends to get an even straight edge, and hand-cut every belt strap to ensure as little waste as possible. It is a labor-intensive process, but worth it to create an awesome belt.

If you like our Slate Gray as much as we do, we encourage you to get one now. This is a very limited edition leather that we don’t anticipate lasting long. Follow the link below to see what buckle designs are available on this leather. If you don’t see the combo you are looking for, send us an email and we will see if we can make it happen.

The Satin Gunmetal Dial on all new limited edition Slate Gray leather belt

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