Buffalo Leather Belt
Your belt is absolutely top quality leather. Full grain buffalo leather is also known as English saddle leather. It is the best quality leather you can buy. Buffalo is thicker than cow hide and has a more pronounced grain. With appropriate care, buffalo leather will last a lifetime, and will develop a rich patina which enhances the beauty of the leather.
Buffalo leather is softer and more flexible, and resists abrasion better than cow hide. Unlike cow hide, buffalo hides are not stretched during the tanning process. Your full grain buffalo leather belt is stronger and more durable than cow leather.
Some technical stuff. Your buffalo leather belt is “pull up” leather. The hide was vegetable tanned for 4 weeks before being imbued with rich dye, then finished with a mixture of transparent waxes and oils. This makes the leather very soft, but very strong. When the leather is “pulled up” (stretched) the color changes as the oils and waxes move within the leather. Unlike leathers coated with protectants such as paint and polyurethane, pull up leather assimilates marks and scratches to create a unique patina. Also, the high concentration of oils and waxes makes it harder for dirt and water to penetrate.
Leather quality. I learned some things when seeking leather belts to partner with my buckles. ‘Full grain leather’ is the best quality leather available; nothing has been removed and it retains the markings and imperfections of the original hide intact. ‘Top grain leather’ has had the imperfections removed, giving the leather a more regular appearance but slightly weakening the leather compared to full grain. ‘Genuine leather’ and ‘real leather’ are even thinner and weaker leathers. Both are stamped and dyed to give the appearance of top grain leather. ‘Split leather’ and ‘bonded leather’ are comprised of scraps of leather pulped and glued to a polyurethane base.