Glossary of trade terms in leather and buckles.

Glossary of technical terms.


Brass : A yellowish alloy of copper and zinc, sometimes including small amounts of other metals, but usually 67 percent copper and 33 percent zinc.

Bronze : 85% copper and 15% zinc, have a dark gold-like appearance.

Clamping set : Normally three pieces: a buckle, a keeper and the third is a piece that holds the end of the belt. Almost always in 925 silver or gold with engraving.

Engraving : To cut, cut or etch in a block or surface.

Gold electroplate : A thin layer of gold is electroplated (electrically bonded to the surface) for a rich and shiny finish.

Gold filling : Bucklemaker uses a metal plate with gold 10-20% of the thickness on top, normally at least 10 carat gold, usually bronze below it. The gold layer must be at least 1/20% by weight of the total combined gold and metal to be classified as gold-filled. A mark of 1/10 weight percent is higher in gold content. Intricate deep carving requires deeper depth, many times on older ones the 10% filling wears off during use, and you can see stains where the bronze or other materials show up.

Handmade: A skillfully designed buckle constructed entirely by hand instead of by machine.

Hand engraved: An engraving process where the artist first traces a pattern to a piece of silver or other material and then cuts individual lines with hand-held tools from that engraving pattern. No machines or mechanical stamps are used.

Overlay: Overlay is constructed of two layers of sterling silver. A design is traced on a silver sheet and cut out with a saw for jewelers by hand. This top design layer is then soldered to another sheet, the bottom layer, of silver. Texture is added to the bottom layer in all the open areas in the design using a hamper and a small punch. The assembled object is hammered into its final shape, shaped and oxidized to blacken the negative areas of the design. The top surface is then buffed to either a matte-like stain finish or to a mirror-like high polish.


Liner: Uses Norwegian or Belgian back or shoulder on the densest fiber.

Trembling: (Like wood) - get the right liner thickness. How thick is the alligator skin - compared to the cowhide used to get the right feel and comfort for the finished product.

Buffing: polishing of the liner / liner.

Natural liner : unpolished

Collagen: Fiber strength (densest fiber direction) is north-south of the alligator skin - every other exotic skin has collagen east - west. An alligator cut should then be north south to get a long lasting product.

Die: Stamping, for example, a logo on the belt using a die.

Sliping : Polishing by hand

Handrub : Even better polishing

Hand paint: Use water-based paint on the inside of the hole and edge.

Liming : Use water-based glue to lay the top of the skin.

Deed: Put pieces of skin together on the lining.

Dome : Make round edges on belts and holder.

Hand stitch: Hand stitching behind goalkeepers.

Bleaching: To avoid spots, marks of reptiles etc.

Soling: Vegetable tanning

Trimming: Cut the skin into belt shape

Glazing Jack Machine: A machine that holds an agate stone that is used to press against a cowhide surface for friction. The exotic skin is run into the machine to get a shiny or glossy finish

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