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New interview with KMW is now up - pictures of new products (see the leather goods)

mikecch

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Denim looks nice


Belt seems expensive (and I've had belts made using the best leather by artisans all over the world, including Japan...), although cheaper than some of Red Moon/Samurai/Kawatako's offerings.
I would like to learn more about the leather, hardware and workmanship on this belt!
 

.bishop

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i <3 KMW - my 1950s were/are the best jeans i have ever had. too bad i can't find them for an affordable price anymore ;(

i paid 200 at DB a 3 years ago.
 

hendrix

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...they're cheaper than that at blueowl...
 

LA Guy

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Originally Posted by mikecch
Denim looks nice


Belt seems expensive (and I've had belts made using the best leather by artisans all over the world, including Japan...), although cheaper than some of Red Moon/Samurai/Kawatako's offerings.
I would like to learn more about the leather, hardware and workmanship on this belt!


The finishing on the leather is, imo, better on Samurai belts, and the buckle is much nicer, and more distinctive, with the added advantage of being functional (it "wraps" around your waist, so that no leather juts out, despite the belt being very thick.) I think that it's hard to compare the belt to Red Moon, which often have a lot of extra bells and whistles. I don't know the details re. the leather treatment and the buckle construction, just what I've been told by the rep, but it would be nice to do a followup with them in January.
 

mikecch

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I agree it is a fine belt, I have seen some pictures of it on Blue Owl's webshop. Similar to Samurai's leather, I think what KMW essentially uses is a 2 month vegetable tannage, 15 oz natural leather (so called 'skirting') from the US that is hand-curried in Japan. The buckle is forged brass (Samurai has used pewter, brass, etc in the past). The stitching at the buckle fold looks like natural linen, done very neatly
The edge burnishing looks good also. I don't think Red Moon's belts have too much more bells and whistles (although their unfinished leathers are slightly higher quality than what most other brands are using) - a belt is a simple thing, if the basics are done right, it is a good belt. But because of that, I do not think a simple cattlehide belt should cost up to $360. A hand-forged brass buckle might cost $10 to $20 more than wholesale ones. The leather, whilst good, is still basically a 2 months vegetable tanned leather - the essential difference being that, unlike bridle style leather produced in the US (which is drum dyed and stuffed industrially), the method of infusing oils, fats, dyes, etc into the leather is done by hand. I have had belts with better leather (15oz 12 month pure-oak tannage), forged brass buckle, hand-stitched fold, burnished and sealed edges, custom shaped English-tip, etc... made at 1/5 the price. But it would be good if you could get more details - perhaps there are things I have overlooked, and I can incorporate these aspects into future belting projects.
 

.bishop

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Originally Posted by hendrix
...they're cheaper than that at blueowl...

i don't see any raw 1950's for sub 200. they are listed at 295.
 

Jay-D

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Originally Posted by .bishop
i don't see any raw 1950's for sub 200. they are listed at 295.

We have a few pairs of the old fabric left which are right hand twill. The left hand twill is the new fabric which is $295.
 

whatever123

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Originally Posted by mikecch
I agree it is a fine belt, I have seen some pictures of it on Blue Owl's webshop. Similar to Samurai's leather, I think what KMW essentially uses is a 2 month vegetable tannage, 15 oz natural leather (so called 'skirting') from the US that is hand-curried in Japan. The buckle is forged brass (Samurai has used pewter, brass, etc in the past). The stitching at the buckle fold looks like natural linen, done very neatly
The edge burnishing looks good also. I don't think Red Moon's belts have too much more bells and whistles (although their unfinished leathers are slightly higher quality than what most other brands are using) - a belt is a simple thing, if the basics are done right, it is a good belt. But because of that, I do not think a simple cattlehide belt should cost up to $360. A hand-forged brass buckle might cost $10 to $20 more than wholesale ones. The leather, whilst good, is still basically a 2 months vegetable tanned leather - the essential difference being that, unlike bridle style leather produced in the US (which is drum dyed and stuffed industrially), the method of infusing oils, fats, dyes, etc into the leather is done by hand. I have had belts with better leather (15oz 12 month pure-oak tannage), forged brass buckle, hand-stitched fold, burnished and sealed edges, custom shaped English-tip, etc... made at 1/5 the price. But it would be good if you could get more details - perhaps there are things I have overlooked, and I can incorporate these aspects into future belting projects.

i have seen the belt in person although it was about a year ago and its really is an amazing belt. the leather had a better feel and finish compared to my samurai curve belt. the differences in the leather were very noticeable. and the buckle was unlike anything i have ever seen before. i would have bought it if they had it in my damn size. but i might get it this year. this belt, imo, is worth every penny. mikecch, i was deterred by the price until i saw one in person. you might wanna check one out if you can ... i promise you its an amazing piece in person.
 

mikecch

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My apologies if sound like I'm brand bashing or hurting people's business interests.
My point of view is kinda skewed I guess - I went from using everything Red Moon to getting everything customised...but I reckon I've seen my share of different types and quality of leather, cattlehide or otherwise, and am very interested when it comes to the topic of leather.

But nowadays I cannot justify $360 for a simple cattle-hide belt with a brass buckle.
I can get a belt bench-made from high quality hand-dyed elephant hide with a hand-forged sterling silver buckle for cheaper.
Well, maybe one day I might have the opportunity to handle KMW's belt for myself...
Hey, I'm open to the idea of me paying for a sample patch of the leather and doing a honest evaluation (not that my opinion counts for anything, but just for argument sakes).

I understand that every workshop or tannery have their own secret recipes for currying the leather (and they are all 'ancient' techniques, I mean, making leather in veg. tan isn't exactly 21 century science), but they are all variations on a common theme, and none of the ingredients are expensive - just labour intensive.
I guess the value of this belt for the buyer will hinge on how much he is willing to pay the Japanese craftsmen who made this belt - can't really argue the base materials in this belt makes it worth more than other higher end belts.

P.S. When you talk of the feel and finish, what are it's qualities that differentiate it from your Samurai belt? Which Samurai belt were you comparing it to? (They have stuff done in different leathers by KC's, Kawatako, etc at different price ranges and quality.)
 

whatever123

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Originally Posted by mikecch
My apologies if sound like I'm brand bashing or hurting people's business interests.
My point of view is kinda skewed I guess - I went from using everything Red Moon to getting everything customised...but I reckon I've seen my share of different types and quality of leather, cattlehide or otherwise, and am very interested when it comes to the topic of leather.

But nowadays I cannot justify $360 for a simple cattle-hide belt with a brass buckle.
I can get a belt bench-made from high quality hand-dyed elephant hide with a hand-forged sterling silver buckle for cheaper.
Well, maybe one day I might have the opportunity to handle KMW's belt for myself...
Hey, I'm open to the idea of me paying for a sample patch of the leather and doing a honest evaluation (not that my opinion counts for anything, but just for argument sakes).

I understand that every workshop or tannery have their own secret recipes for currying the leather (and they are all 'ancient' techniques, I mean, making leather in veg. tan isn't exactly 21 century science), but they are all variations on a common theme, and none of the ingredients are expensive - just labour intensive.
I guess the value of this belt for the buyer will hinge on how much he is willing to pay the Japanese craftsmen who made this belt - can't really argue the base materials in this belt makes it worth more than other higher end belts.

P.S. When you talk of the feel and finish, what are it's qualities that differentiate it from your Samurai belt? Which Samurai belt were you comparing it to? (They have stuff done in different leathers by KC's, Kawatako, etc at different price ranges and quality.)


no no, i did not get that impression at all. until i saw the belt in person i didnt understand why it was so expensive. if you cant get your hand on one and if i buy one i will send it off to you so i can get your opinion on it.

honestly i dont know how to answer your questions. you know WAY more about leather then me so i cant tell you in "leather lingo" (if there is such a thing) the differences, but comparing it to my samurai curve belt the leather just felt better to me, it wasent necessarily any stiffer but the leather had a much better feel to it, at least to me. and the buckle felt a little heavier and was a little larger then the one on my samurai.
 

Jay-D

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Great comments from everyone. I need to give my opinion here as I have handled KMW's leather closely.

I am not expert when it comes to leather, but I do have a lot of experience particularly with Japanese made leathers. I know a lot of the factories and seen the processing via ancient methods in Japan. I am very familiar with vegetable tanning and quality of leathers. I have also stocked and handled many leather goods through my business over the years.

Now that being said, the KMW leather is one of the best I have seen. The wallets, bags, and small leather goods by KMW do push the limits on pricing, but the belts are priced correctly and worth the purchase at retail, and if anyone ever had a chance to snag one below retail they should jump on it. It is a belt that you can easily own and wear daily for 5+ years. If you imagine buying 3 $120 belts over that time period which are good quality, but not the same level, then it basically pays for itself. Beyond the obvious labor costs, the price I can definitely justify when accounting for the extremely high JPY and the ridiculously high duties involved with bringing finished leather goods into the USA.
 

mikecch

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Originally Posted by whatever123
no no, i did not get that impression at all. until i saw the belt in person i didnt understand why it was so expensive. if you cant get your hand on one and if i buy one i will send it off to you so i can get your opinion on it. honestly i dont know how to answer your questions. you know WAY more about leather then me so i cant tell you in "leather lingo" (if there is such a thing) the differences, but comparing it to my samurai curve belt the leather just felt better to me, it wasent necessarily any stiffer but the leather had a much better feel to it, at least to me. and the buckle felt a little heavier and was a little larger then the one on my samurai.
I'll send it back, I promise
Originally Posted by Jay-D
Great comments from everyone. I need to give my opinion here as I have handled KMW's leather closely. I am not expert when it comes to leather, but I do have a lot of experience particularly with Japanese made leathers. I know a lot of the factories and seen the processing via ancient methods in Japan. I am very familiar with vegetable tanning and quality of leathers. I have also stocked and handled many leather goods through my business over the years. Now that being said, the KMW leather is one of the best I have seen. The wallets, bags, and small leather goods by KMW do push the limits on pricing, but the belts are priced correctly and worth the purchase at retail, and if anyone ever had a chance to snag one below retail they should jump on it. It is a belt that you can easily own and wear daily for 5+ years. If you imagine buying 3 $120 belts over that time period which are good quality, but not the same level, then it basically pays for itself. Beyond the obvious labor costs, the price I can definitely justify when accounting for the extremely high JPY and the ridiculously high duties involved with bringing finished leather goods into the USA.
OK, I will defer from further comments until the day I handle it in person. I do understand the extra cost involved in having to import the items from Japan, not to mentioned the brand itself and the retailer need to make a living as well. Although I do have a few questions I hope you can help me with: * The leather was from the US. Did they ship it to Japan as a natural skirting hide or in the wet form to be processed? How much processing did the workshops in Japan actually do? * What type of vegetable tannage was used? What kind of bark or mix of plant products? How long was it tanned for? Pit or drum tanned? * How thick is the leather? * What kind of feel or quality would you say differentiates it from the other Japanese processed bridle leather from Red Moon, Kawatako, etc... * Would you care to expand on the 'ancient' techniques? I would have thought most of the processing of vegetable tanned leather has been figured out hundreds if not thousands of years ago... Sure, you could call it hand-currying or manual processing, but the term 'ancient techniques' doesn't actually tell me, the consumer, anything at all. I have to tell you my 15 oz, 12 months English oak-tan belt at $70 will easily last more than 5 years, very easily. The leather quality, at it's base, is also much higher than any 2 months mixed bark tan can ever be. Assuming belts below $100 to $200 to have less durability doesn't really make sense - it's especially hard to compare between the price offered by the craftsmen/workshop and the price at retail.
 

brad-t

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Originally Posted by Jay-D
If you imagine buying 3 $120 belts over that time period which are good quality, but not the same level, then it basically pays for itself.

This seems like a pretty dishonest conclusion. Most belts at $120 dollars are not going to fall apart on you after a few years. There is a certain point where the "quality" of the item goes beyond what is practical and extends into pure decadence. This is fine, there's definitely a place for those items, but to say this "pays for itself" when compared to three solid $120 belts seems dishonest, especially since it's ignoring the fact that being able to diversify your look with multiple belts has clear advantages over owning a single belt.
 

whatever123

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hey jay.

are you getting the kmw belts in feb still? are the ones you ordered spoken for? if not, what colors will you have left in size 36? thanks.
 

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