Textured Textiles: The Basketweave Leather Belt
The basketweave leather belt is a popular texture pattern for leather belts. While certainly usable as a fashion belt, the basketweave pattern is quite common on duty belts for police officers as well.
A good number of leather gun belts are also sold with the basketweave pattern, so it’s fair to say that it’s a staple finish for gun belts.
Basketweave Not Actually A Weave; It Uses Leather Stamps
The basketweave texture on leather belts is actually made using leather stamps, rather than any sort of weave or stitching, so the name treads close to a misnomer – except for it looking sort of like a woven basket. Basketweave on leather is just a surface texture, so it doesn’t really confer any structural benefits.
How the basketweave texture is applied is by use of a leather stamping tool. There are specific basketweave stamping tools. It’s not exactly rocket surgery, as the technique is not conceptually advanced, but there’s a certain amount of craft that goes into it.
A piece of leather is slightly moistened, to make it pliable. The stamp is applied using a couple whacks of a mallet, scoring the surface of the leather to make the texture. If a leather worker uses an overlapping pattern, it creates the basketweave look and texture. It can be employed a number of ways, either top-to-bottom, side-to-side, diagonally…whatever.
That’s the hand-stamping method. Since this is the 21st century, there are also embossing machines that can do it on an industrial scale. Put the belt between the lines and stamp – send it to the next workstation.
Popular with Gun Community Due To Basketweave Duty Belt
Some people like a basketweave on a gun belt to one degree or another because it’s commonly employed on a basketweave duty belt – the kind that police wear.
Granted, a duty belt is much different than the typical gun belt. The usual gun belt is just like a regular fashion belt; it just has to hold up more since the person wearing it also puts a pistol and holster on it. A duty belt goes OVER the pants for a start, much like a Western gun belt. There is also a lot more gear that goes on a duty belt. In addition to the service pistol and holster, there are also spare magazines, handcuffs and other gear; collapsible baton or a nightstick, pepper spray, TASER and holster, maybe a multi-tool…a lot of stuff.
As a result, the typical duty belt is more than 2 inches wide, because it has to hold more gear. It’s not going to fit in belt loops.
Why are basketweaves so popular for them, then? It’s an enormous strap of leather; Crocodile Dundee could use it as a strop for his knife. It’s because of the texture.
A basketweave duty belt has a textured surface due to the weave pattern. That means getting good purchase on the belt is possible if one is wearing gloves, during inclement weather or both. The inherent value of that kind of speaks for itself.
Besides, Basket Weave Leather Looks Good
Another good reason that people like basket weave leather? It looks good! Besides the virtues of the texture providing additional grip, it’s a way to dress up leather and have it look good. That’s what makes it a very popular leather stamping pattern.
It’s most popular for belts and holsters, largely due to the texturing providing a better grip, but there are plenty of other leather goods out there that have basketweave patterns. It’s really one of the classic embossing patterns for leather, so it’s a way to dress up a belt without being garish – kind of like the right set of alloy wheels on a car.
Ultimately, it’s totally up to the individual whether they want a basketweave or not. Unless you’re a police officer, it may or may not confer any advantage due to the texture. It will feel good to the hand, and will definitely look good.
About The Author
Born in southeastern Washington State, Sam Hoober graduated in 2011 from Eastern Washington University. He resides in the great Inland Northwest, with his wife and child. His varied interests and hobbies include camping, fishing, hunting, and spending time at the gun range as often as possible.