Discover the process and meet the people who handcrafted your Australian made accessory.
Did you know that it takes 21 individual processes to be fulfilled before a belt has been produced? Best of all, most of our belts and braces have been lovingly handcrafted in Sydney, Australia by skilled craftspeople.
All of our accessories, including those that are produced offshore, are either ethically produced or sourced from internationally certified factories. We also continue to take steps to reduce our footprint; from engaging in a simple recycling plan to reworking manufacturing offcuts to produce components such as leather tabs for braces - nothing goes to waste. So when you purchase a Buckle | 1922 accessory, you can feel confident that it is thoughtfully produced and made to the highest standard possible.
Maria: Cutting and Leather Preparation
Maria has been with Buckle | 1922 for more than 25 years and is an essential part of the initial stages of belt production. When leather hide arrives into our workshop, it must be cut into smaller, more manageable pieces. Here you can see Maria carefully feeding a piece of leather hide through a cutting machine, creating long thin strips that will form the basis of a more detailed belt.
Lee has been working for Buckle | 1922 for more than 20 years. Here she is operating the glue line. This is where the backing is attached to the top leather of a belt and requires special attention to ensure both top and bottom of the freshly cut leathers marry up perfectly. Here you can see Lee lining up the leather and backing, carefully guiding them through the glue machine.
Jack is quite literally our "Jack of all trades"! With more than 25 years’ experience in our workshop he assists wherever help is required, from unloading shipments and machine maintenance to skillfully cutting leather and finishing belts. Here Jack is shown sitting at the large "Minor" press carefully sliding a belt through and punching prong holes and buckle slots.
Interestingly, this machine is one of the oldest on the production floor dating back to the 1940s.
Once all the cutting and punching processes are complete, the next stage is to shave or bevel the belt to make the edges smooth. The process exposes the join between the top and bottom leathers (if not a full grain leather). We then apply a light sand to the edges and tips.
Here you can see Connie has mastered a time-honoured technique - applying colour to the edges of a belt. She is pictured here using a sponge to delicately apply black colouring to a belt which has been bevelled down. This is one of few processes that has not changed since the establishment of the brand.
Goreti has more than 25 years’ experience working for Buckle | 1922 making her very skilled at operating our stamping machine. The machine requires a high level of hand and foot coordination which should not be underestimated!
Goreti also is one of three members of our picking and packing team. She will work with the rest of the team to ensure that your order goes out on time and in full.
Becky and Ping: Bartacking
A belt isn’t complete without a buckle, and that’s exactly where Becky and Ping shine. They have more than 40 years combined experience and specialise in sewing the buckles onto the leather strap – a process which we call ‘bartacking’. Becky (left) and Ping (right), complete the process by attaching a swing ticket to the belt.
Lily has been working for Buckle | 1922 for more than 15 years and in these photos she is shown crafting our porthole belts. This machine, which has been engineered to stamp a ‘porthole’ pattern into our belts, is more than 100 years old and has now been ‘put into retirement’. The machine has been cleaned up and now takes pride of place in our head office.
Lily is considered an all-rounder and normally works within our picking and packing team. She can also handcraft braces when Nina is either away or just needs a hand.
Linh and Nina: Packing and Braces Manufacture
With more than 40 years combined experience, Linh and Nina know the workshop like the back of their hands. They know exactly where to find a product amongst our rows upon rows of shelves and as such are our amazingly fast order pickers, processing huge quantities of orders every day. Nina (left) and Linh (right) are shown picking stock service belts, bundling and preparing them to be shipped out. Nina also is the person responsible for handcrafting our braces.