Making A Travel Money Belt
1. Our leather travel money belts are made totally from genuine cowhide, both the top and bottom pieces. The belt is first cut from a piece of 5-6 oz thick premium tooling leather with a strap cutter leather craft tool. This thickness is for the top piece of the money belt. The underneath piece of the leather money belt that contains the long zipper pocket is cut from 3-4 oz thick premium tooling leather. Note that the hide must have a straight cut along the edge for the strap cutter tool to follow along.
Tooling Design and Name in Leather
2. The custom money belts are made individually when the order is placed. Many people want us to make their travel money belts plain. However, others request it be made with an imprinted design or name. To imprint a design into the leather, the top surface is first dampened with water to allow the metal stamp to deboss the leather surface. The metal stamp tool is struck with a wooden or rawhide mallet while the leather sits on a hard smooth surface like this piece of quartz. Also it is important that the table is solid and does not have any bounce.
Dyeing the Leather
3. Four coats of dye are applied to the leather money belt. The applicator in the picture is made of sheep’s wool stapled to a wooden block. This thick applicator holds a lot of dye which allows it to flow into the design. If we wanted the dye not to go into the design so there would be a contrasting color of the natural leather leather showing through, we would have used a thinner applicator of flannel fabric stapled to a wooden block. Vinyl gloves are worn to keep the dye and other leather chemicals from absorbing into our own skin which would be unhealthy. After that, neatsfoot oil is rubbed in to condition the leather. Finally two coats of resolene polish provides a beautifully shined finish and top seal.
Making Long Zipper Hidden Pocket
4. The zipper is sewn into the bottom piece of leather on our industrial walking foot sewing machine. We buy the zipper in very long lengths so we can make the zipper pocket as long as the person’s waist size will allow. The bigger the waist the longer the zipper pocket.
Contact cement is applied along the edge inside edge of both pieces of leather. When the contact cement has dried enough so that it is not sticky, both leather pieces are carefully pressed together. The two leather pieces are bonded together with the tapping of a cobbler’s hammer on an anvil. The access leather is then trimmed off with a sharp utility knife.
Finishing Edges and Belt Ends
5. Although the excess leather had been trimmed, the edge is sanded smooth and even before the two pieces of leather are sewn together on our walking foot industrial sewing machine with industrial nylon thread for strength.
Next, the leather edge corners are rounded off for a finished look as well as for comfort. The hand beveller tool will be used to round all four corner edges along the length of the belt.
After the edges are dyed and burnished with beeswax, the buckle is ready to be attached. First rivet holes are punched as well as an oblong shape hole for the buckle tongue. Rapid rivets are set to permanently secure the buckle. The buckle is a quality silver chrome plated solid brass buckle or a gold solid brass buckle.
A drive punch tool is struck with a hammer to make seven round buckle adjustment holes. We do all our punching and setting of rivets on a large tree stump that is used as a work table. The stump is solid and will not allow any bounce when hammering. We also put a piece of scrap leather under the belt being punched to allow the sharp edges of the leather hole punch tool to last longer.
Finished Travel Money Belt
6. Our custom made money belt will easily pack a lot of trifolded bills in the hidden zipper pocket. People hide the money in the belt for vacation travel and business trips. So not to bring attention to the money belt, daily purchases should be made with money from your wallet or purse. Back in your hotel room, you would take money from your travel money belt to add to your wallet or purse for one day’s needs. We can provide you the leather craft supplies to make your own belts. Custom made travel money belts for men and women can also be made by us for you in various widths and colors.