Choosing Your Belt Lining
Since alligator leather tends to stretch, alligator belt covers do not have the properties necessary to hold their shape, and therefore must be bonded to lining leather that is more stable. After several years of searching, we feel that the best lining materials available for most of our high quality alligator belts are our standard tan latigo and the golden glove latigo lining, both of which are produced in the United States exclusively for us. Any one of these is superior to the cheaper stiffer vegetable tanned leather that is often used in the belt industry. Our goal is to provide the most esthetically pleasing, comfortable and durable genuine alligator belt, not the cheapest.
Our standard tan glove latigo is used as our primary belt lining. It holds up well, is attractive and is more comfortable than most other manufacturers' linings. We feel that this is the best all around belt lining on the market today and it is our most popular lining. Because of its texture we can make thicker belts with the radius cross-section profile our belts are known for. If it becomes wet, the color will darken slightly but the leather should remain serviceable for several years. (See maintaining your alligator leather under frequently asked questions on our home page, www.alligatorleather.com .)
The golden glove lining is used on most of our custom belts because it is the softest and most comfortable lining available. This softer lining wears well and has a luxurious appearance and classy feel and it will conform to your body shape. It will stretch slightly, as new shoes do, while you are breaking them in, and once broken in should become one of the most comfortable belts that you own. Most other manufacturers do not use glove leather as a lining because it is more expensive and difficult to work with.
For the people that prefer the thin Italian type of lining, we offer a slightly stiffer shoe leather lining. This lining is thinner and stiffer than our other linings and lasts longer when used with buckles that have a cam lock or clamping device instead of the tongue bar that is commonly used on most buckle applications. It makes a great replacement for the hard to find 1” to 1 ½”straps that came with the monogram type pass through buckles. Because the lining is not as thick as the others, the radius on the top of the belt is not as prominent and the overall profile is somewhat flatter.
While most of our customers' belts are used in the dress, formal or casual environment, some prefer the western or outdoor setting. Our hot stuffed burgundy latigo lining is the most durable and water resistant genuine leather lining on the market. Water actually beads up and runs off of this wax and oil-impregnated leather. (If it becomes soaked, be advised, the burgundy has a propensity to stain your clothing.) It will, as with our other linings, also conform to your body shape. Several blue collar and construction workers, including both of my sons, use belts with this lining because of the comfort and durability it affords. This hot stuffed latigo material produces, without a doubt, the toughest, longest lasting leather belt lining that I have ever seen.