Pauls Leather

Standard sizes for making belts

14 posts in this topic

I have some cool ideas for making belts but most of my demographic for this product involves already having a product to sell as opposed to making to order. 

I would like to know if there is somewhere I can read up on standard belt dimensions.  What lengths of leather do I need to make a 30", 32", 34" and so on. 

Thanks in advance

Maybe I'm over thinking this but I am a waist size 34" and my belts are usually 36".  Would it be safe to say that reduce by two or increasing by two inches would get me my other sizes? 

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Posted (edited)

That's the trouble with belts (and dog collars). It seems like everyone has a different idea on how to measure the length.

I'm not sure how "standard" the standard sizes are, but it might help to go to a store with a measuring tape and see how the stated size compares with the actual buckle-tip-to-middle-hole size. From that you can specify that size with the actual crafted size in a way that makes sense. You have to be very VERY clear to your customers on what you mean by your size so someone can measure themselves and be able to buy the appropriate one. Diagrams are your friend.

Edited by lightingale

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I remember I wore a 34" belt many years ago - they must be making belts with smaller leather because now I need a 38" belt!  LOL!

 

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Thanks.  I thought about that to and may be my only option.  I enjoy making a belt for someone when they give me their favorite belt I can measure off.  makes life so much easier but producing for the masses involves disclaimers to them on proper sizing. 

 

I basically want to start with a standard size and then have available all the sizes so when they are shopping for the right one they can just pick which fits best.  It will be a 'in person' sale so they can at least put hand on it. 

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Posted (edited)

47 minutes ago, garypl said:

I remember I wore a 34" belt many years ago - they must be making belts with smaller leather because now I need a 38" belt!  LOL!

 

I, (WE) feel your pain. That being said, I've found that the "end of buckle to Most used hole" rule is only a starting point. I've also found that if a Ranger belt, the addl. thickness of that type of belt, requires a longer distance. Learned that the hard way. And, I did use the distance in the Stohlman book. I had to cut off the "hole" (non-buckle) part, and make another one. Also, when using the "standard" lengths, the overall length was fine, but using the last hole or two caused the end of the belt to be too short. It's a learning curve, and apparently you have to make the mistakes yourself, and learn. Expensive in terms of time and money, but the only way to actually "know" the proper dimension. My advice, make a mock-up of what you're trying to do, and cut leather accordingly. My NEW rule is to make the tail of the belt longer than needed, and finish accordingly. Incidentally, that is also addressed in most of the books. 

I'm sure, and hoping, that those much more experienced than I, will jump in right about HERE!

Edited by alpha2

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, alpha2 said:

I, (WE) feel your pain. That being said, I've found that the "end of buckle to Most used hole" rule is only a starting point. I've also found that if a Ranger belt, the addl. thickness of that type of belt, requires a longer distance. Learned that the hard way. And, I did use the distance in the Stohlman book. I had to cut off the "hole" (non-buckle) part, and make another one.

Alpha2 is absolutely correct. Belt thickness affects the size and hooking extras like cases and holders will increase it further. You'll get a feel for how a thin belt would fit and how many inches more you'll need for thicker leather.. you can test it on yourself too! It really helps that

1 hour ago, Pauls Leather said:

It will be a 'in person' sale so they can at least put hand on it. 

your customers are able to try them on. This is a HUGE advantage, and will save you many headaches. However, if they're buying as a gift or you sell online, you still need a reliable standard by which they can measure and still buy a belt that fits. "Belt size" Schmelt size. Go by actual measurements.

Edited by lightingale

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Hello... i'we been making a lot of belts lately ... and the 3most used sizes I had to do is 95 cm, 100 cm and 110 cm... I always ask for the length from buckle to normally used hole and full length of previous belt... that way I can make it fit... 

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Just when you thought it was safe to go back in...

The "general rule" is based on the fact that belt size is determined by leather thickness.  Here's a tip, so is teh OUTSIDE measurements of a leather case, or a a holster (which is just another case).

What happens (not counting the people who just plain lie about their waist size) is that they go by the size of the pants. But that is the size of teh INSIDE of the pants.  Denim jeans might add as much as an inch to teh measurement, and this would still be the INSIDE of the belt.  And most of us measure on the outside (grain) of the belt.

The "rule" is, for each 1/16" of thickness, your belt needs to be approximately 3/8" longer.  Assume you are using leather that is not mooshy and stretchy..., then

IF measurement over your jeans is 36"...

an 8 oz belt (1/8" thick) would be made 3/4" LONGER to teh center hole.  and

a 12 oz belt (3/16" thick) would be made 1 1/8" LONGER to teh center hole.  and

'double 8oz" belt (1/4" thick) would be made 1 1/2" LONGER to teh center hole

I could tell a story that would "prove" that, but this is the simpler, shorter version.

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Search YouTube for 'making a leather belt'. there are several videos, I'm sure you can pick up lots of ideas & advice from them

In particular, Ian Atkinson/Leodis Leather has a video 'Making a simple Leather Belt' where he discusses how to measure the length

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Wow. Great info so far. This is helping and I am using myself as the test dummy too. 

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I came across this guide for leather belt sizes - perhaps it may help!

Dress Belts size chart.pdf

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For inspiration and examples, search Google for 'handmade leather belts'. If you want to go up market, search for 'raised leather belts'

This video on YouTube is good 'Making of an Equus Lined and Raised Belt'

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On ‎7‎/‎17‎/‎2017 at 5:55 AM, dirkba said:

I came across this guide for leather belt sizes - perhaps it may help!

Dress Belts size chart.pdf

Oh this is great.  Thanks

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