Nature’s first material is its best. We built our Leather Collection on our best selection of different shades and textures of leather. We were first inspired to create this collection out of our love of classic, edgy, styles that have more than a little bit of a forward thinking twist. This lead us to look for the most traditional leathers and hat makers. Like many of our collections, the Leathers by Belfry collection inspired us to travel the globe to find only the finest leathers, and we brought those leathers to to our favorite partners for production. Nappa, cowhide, and lambskin were all used to their fullest potential to bring you the best leather hats we could imagine.
We used some of the most classic styles, like the ivy cap, and drew inspiration from classic movies. In the end, it was our pleasure to present you with the Leathers by Belfry collection.One of our favorites this season is the Belfry Rocky, an iconic hat worn in a classic film. Hats in the Belfry has done everything to create authentic and excellent hats made from only the finest leather.
Just like the quality wool felt hats that we’ve discussed in other articles, quality leather has its tells. Inexpensive leather lacks luster, wears through and cracks rapidly, and quickly loses the luster and shine that had to be imparted upon it by spray on finish.
Quality leather, by contrast, has a distinctive shine and richness of color unachievable in more inexpensive leather. The leather itself wears hard, meaning that the hat will be in good shape and keep looking good (and you looking good) for many years longer than it’s inexpensive counterparts. The color of the leather is from the leather itself being dyed, rather than an after-production coating being applied. This allows for quality leather to be treated and refurbished, which both extends the life of the leather, and helps the leather keep its look even longer.
In our effort to bring our customers fine leather, we scoured the globe in to bring the best textiles we could to our product. The three main types of leather that we settled on were nappa, cowhide, and lambskin, each selected for their qualities, and their excellence as materials for hats.
Nappa is a soft leather made from cow, goat, or sheep, and has no strict definition, but is rather a series of qualities or characteristics. It is a soft leather, not unlike a lambskin, but is thicker and hardier, and is treated to have an almost buttery finish.
Thin and supple, lambskin is not as hardy as a nappa leather, but is much softer. Unsuitable for hard wear, like shoes, lambskin is ideal for thin driving gloves, or hats. Especially when used in hats, Lambskin takes on a rich shine, and ages very gracefully.
While not nearly as refined as lambskin or nappa leather, cowhide hats have their own rough charm, and certainly wears much harder. Ideal for outdoor wear and exposure to rough wear, cowhide will make you feel almost as tough and charming as the hat on your head.
To produce the Leathers by Belfry collection, we sought out several hat makers that would be able to really respect the hat making tradition that we were trying to represent, but would also be able to lend the twist and the quality of construction that we wanted. Stetson and several of our Italian partners both featured prominently, but we mostly drew from one of our oldest partners. Uncle Ruby’s produced the majority of our leather hats, including the Belfry Rocky, successfully bringing classic style and craftsmanship to the Hats in the Belfry shelves.