I’ve been recently talking with Darian Hocking of Free/Man, for which I’d been a fan of his blog since its start. I was excited because we had been discussing of some type of collaboration... but we hadn’t finalized anything yet. Then he asked if I’d ever made a ring belt before. I had not, and up to that point, I really only thought I needed one belt. I have a pretty simple day-to-day uniform and I’d been wearing my project belt everyday for over six months – figuring I’d probably just wear that until it broke. Though after our talk, I got excited to try something new and I headed directly to the tack supply store to get some rings. I came home with some standard rings and a pair of d-rings. The d-rings worked much better, since they would lay flatter with heavier leather and put less stress on the buckle end. Once I made myself a prototype, I was instantly sold on the design.
The belts are made from North American steer hides tanned in the English bridle fashion with solid brass or nickel plated brass rings. Edges are beveled and finished with beeswax on the tan and dye and wax on the darker colors. The English bridle leather is extremely durable, yet very flexible – perfectly suited a belt. The waxes and oils used in the tanning process lock securely to the d-ring setup and will look more and more amazing as the belt ages. Each is stamped with our collaborative logo, on the underside of the buckled billet end.
From Darian: I met Matt Pierce of Wood&Faulk earlier this year through a mutual friend. Before I met him, I had greatly admired his craft, which is chock full of do-it-yourself projects around the house.
I had been searching for a dual brass ring belt, but had not yet found one that made sense for me. Matt and I have similar personalities and get along well, we both wanted to make a special product together and at a respectable price point for our customers + readers. After a bunch of conversations, we ended up going with these one inch and one and a half inch english bridle leather belts, with solid brass D-rings versus a traditional buckle. There's something so simple about dual ring belts. They are a classic design, and have been around for a long time.
Tan/Brass belts launch today in the W&F store with brown and nickel hardware options launching in a few days. Supply for Free/Man will be in stock by Friday, August 12th.