While attending a party with some people from my class, I noticed a very interesting belt, that one of the girls were wearing. I immediately identified it as the architect belt, that Dahlman (the avid reader will recognise it from the factory visit at Dahlman) has been making for quite some time. I of course also took into consideration, that someone could have borrowed the design, so I asked, where she got the belt. It appeared, that she hadn't bought the belt herself, instead she had borrowed it from her - stylish - dad and he had bought it many years ago.
Though the belt looked amazing, it also looked like it could do with a little TLC, so I offered to treat it and refurbish the belt.
Here are the before pictures. As you can see, the craftsmanship of these belts is sublime. The stitches are pretty much flawless. But it was in dire need of some oil, which you can tell from the fact, that the grain was cracked and damaged. It almost felt as if it had been sueded.
Here are the after pictures. I felt so bad after this, as the belt became two tones darker, than I had anticipated. And when I gave the belt back, the owner didn't look too satisfied, however I'm still gladly I did it because it felt much better and I'm sure it added even more years to the lifespan of this amazing belt. Lastly I fully enjoyed working very closely with this belt. Just by looking at the details I learned a lot of things.
The procedure is quite straight forward. I was the leather with a good, English saddle soap. After allowing it to dry it treated the belt with Neatsfoot oil and a leather conditioner. Lastly I sealed the edges as much as possible with beeswax, although I found it difficult to treat the edges of a belt, that had already been worn for a long time.
Words by Simon Tuntelder - Photos by Niels Hjorth