I know, I know you came looking for information about custom belt buckles not seat belt laws. So, I’ll get to the point.
To be fair in my world buckling up means putting on my nicest custom belt buckle. I imagine you might feel the same way about belt buckles and that’s why you are searching for information. Custom belt buckles are important too. Right now, I’m thinking about the rodeo, square dancing, or just how good I look wearing that big piece of metal.
But I digress.
For those of you that are thinking about making a custom belt buckle but haven’t actually been through the process let me share a few things.
What is the prong on a custom belt buckle called?
There are only a few parts on a custom belt buckle, but they do have names. The prong is actually called a knob. It is the part of the buckle that goes through the hole on your belt and holds it secure at the exact size you need it.
There are different types of knobs, but the best kind are the ones with a ball on the end of a post. The ball is typically about as wide as the hole in your belt so it takes just a little effort to push it through but the benefit of that is to hold is snug and secure.
Associated with the knob is the loop. Typically, a rectangle shape attached to the opposite end from the knob. The loop is important because it is what actually secures the belt to the belt buckle. Without the loop there would be no way to attach the custom belt buckle. In addition, the loop holds any excess belt close to your body and prevents it from flipping all over.
It is very important that the loop is slightly wider than the width of your belt. If the belt is wider, it will not fit through the loop. Know your belt width so when you order custom belt buckles you can request the proper width on the loop. Typically belts run 1.5 to 2 inches in width.
There are no other component parts to a belt buckle so once you understand the loop and knob you are a custom belt buckle expert.
What do I need to know about custom belt buckles?
We’ve discussed the attachments to custom belt buckles, now let’s address two other features that are important to understand. Custom belt buckles can be any size, shape or thickness. Typical custom belt buckles are 3-4 inches, and 3-4 mm thick. The bigger and thicker the buckle the heavier it will be. Remember you will be wearing them so you want to consider weight in your decision.
The second item to consider is dapping. I know this is a funny word and it actually means something but many people don’t know what it means. Dapping means curving. Many buckles have a slight curve to them which means they have been dapped. If you laid your buckle on a flat surface you would see it arches a little – that is dapping.
Dapping gives the buckle character but also allows the custom belt buckle to hug your midsection more and prevent it from catching on things as you brush by.
What metal is best for custom belt buckles?
Custom belt buckles are typically made in pewter, brass or zinc alloy. Zinc alloy is becoming the most popular metal to use because of its strength and durability but it is also very easy to customize and shape in any form or fashion. Zinc alloy is not as heavy as the other metals which allows you to go bigger without creating excess weight to lug around.
Zinc alloy mimics the color of pewter when it is also antiqued. Zinc alloy is also the least expensive of the three metals which is an added benefit to you.
What is the purpose of custom belt buckles?
Well in simple terms, the purpose of custom belt buckles is to hold up your pants. But really there is more to it than practicality. We could also ask the same question about any article of clothing, what is the purpose? Clothing and accessories of any kind are used to make a fashion statement or identify themselves in a certain way.
Some put their name on a belt buckle, or a favorite gun, or logo, or truck. You might find an animal, or a cause or any number of things on a belt buckle.
The beautiful part about custom belt buckles is there is a relatively large space to work with, meaning you can include a lot of detail.
We’ve talked about all the nitty gritty of custom belt buckles, but one thing we haven’t addressed is design. Not only do you have the metal to work with but also enamel paints. Enamel brings a belt buckle to life and adds color and interest. The old classic belt buckles were almost all strictly silver or gold, but today enamel has changed the way people design buckles.
Are belt buckles only for cowboys and cowgirls?
Cowboys and cowgirls might suggest otherwise, but custom belt buckles are for anyone and for any reason. They are not just found at the rodeo anymore, and they are not always worn. There is a trend to present custom belt buckles for completely endurance races. These runners most likely are not cowboys but they love receiving something unique and different when putting in so much effort to run these long distances. Most of these buckles will be displayed like a trophy rather than worn as an article of clothing.
Custom belt buckles are worn by government officials, firemen, policemen, motorcycle enthusiasts and even those that just like to make a statement.