If you are looking for a black belt that will age and wear just as beautifully as your raw denim then a "tea-core" belt is what you're looking for. In fact tea-core is a dyeing process that not only pre-dates most commonly used dip dye methods but in our opinion, it is a superior method due to its poor color fastness (more on that later). Tea-core dyeing results in the skin side color being different from the flesh side color. Traditionally, to achieve this, hides are first dip-dyed in a light brown color. This is followed by spraying the skin side with a darker color top-coating. This dyeing method is often considered undesirable by commercial brands as tea-core leather offers poor ‘colorfastness’. The thin top coat wears-off overtime, gradually exposing the lighter tone of the under layer. If the fast-aging quality of “tea-core” leather is considered a defect by some, it contributes to a rewarding and desirable patina for others.
According to the raw denim aficionados over at Heddles "Tea-core leather is a highly prized style of leather that emulates the nuanced break-in of vintage leather by in turn emulating older styles of tanning and finishing leathers. What makes a leather teacore is that, as you wear away the outermost layer of dye or pigment, you begin to see a new layer of color, usually a light brown, hearkening back to a time when leathers were almost always veg tanned. In very high-quality modern leathers, this innermost layer of color will likewise be veg-tanned, which remains one of the lengthiest and costliest ways to tan a hide. Tea-core leather, which we see most often in cow and horsehide, is a return to a more thoughtful and conscientious style of tanning, which, because of its higher cost, often entails a more fair labor situation for workers, a lessened environmental impact, and an all around more interesting product".
In addition to the tea-core dye process, we have updated our hardware with two chicago screws to secure the buckle instead of the flat head rivets used in past production lots. This makes the buckle interchangeable. Our buckles are now all 16oz solid brass, all American made. Quality belts deserve quality hardware.
Breaking in this belt is a satisfying process that will see the grain age beautifully and acquire a patina unlike any other belt taking into consideration the unique tea-core dyeing process. As far as construction goes, we kept it stitchless as stitching is the main point of weakness on any belt. The strap is edged by hand and is finished with a traditional English point.
If you are looking for a quality all American made belt that compliments your pair of raw denim then look no further.
7/8 mm Black teacore dyed full grain leather.
16oz Solid brass heel bar buckle in oxidized black.
Two Chicago screw rivets.
Cut at standard 1 1/2" wide.
American raised steer.
5/8" Single leather keeper.
American Made in Los Angeles.
How to measure for your size:
All Brave Star belt straps are made with 5 holes, spaced 1" apart. The centre hole is the anchor size with the bookend sizes spaced one inch apart. We have taken the guesswork out of figuring out which size you would need and recommend that you buy your jean size in our belts. Example; a size 32 jean size would order a 32" belt. Please take into account that leather will stretch 1-2 inches once broken in so if your belt seems snug in your size at first then that's the correct fit as it will gradually conform and stretch to fit to your waist.