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, golden glove latigo lining and bridle lining. 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 for our in- stock belts. 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 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.
Our bridle leather lining is hot stuffed in the tanning drum with oils and waxes, which produces a lining that is nearly maintenance free. It is stronger, more water resistant and has less stretch than latigo. The surface is burnished to a high shine, which seals in and produces a smooth, slick finish that enables the belt to slide through the belt loops more easily. Due to this sealed finish, bridle has a lower propensity to transfer or accept colors when it comes into contact with moist clothing or other items. Because it is slightly stiffer than latigo, bridle, like a fine pair of shoes, takes a couple of days to break in.
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 1/4″ 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 latigo 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 pink.) It will, as with our other linings, also conform to your body shape.