Ponderay Trading Company was recently established with the mission to bring high quality craftsmanship to the Apparel Accessories industry.
We begin that mission with the simple leather belt. We felt that there would be a market for well-crafted leather belts, like the ones they used to make in the 18th and 19th Century, when they were objects of art as well as utility.
First we needed to get the leather belt straps made, so we started with the leather, which we found in Italy. Then we needed to find a skilled leathersmith to make the straps from leather hides. We found one in Tennessee.
We then turned our attention to the belt buckles. We wanted a one piece Plate Buckle like those that were popular in the Mid-18th and 19th Century. You are probably familiar with them from pictures of the soldiers of the Civil War. Usually made of brass, but also bronze and silver, Plate Buckles were hand crafted using the ancient lost wax investment casting method.
Since we could not find a manufacturing source for the buckles, we decided to make our own, and as luck would have it, with the advances in technologies such as 3D CAD software and 3D printing, it turned out to be a lot easier than we expected. The prototypes of the buckles were produced in 3D CAD software. The CAD prototypes were then printed out in wax by a 3D printer. The wax prototypes were then investment cast to produce the metal prototypes. Now that we had our prototypes, all we had to do was find an investment casting shop to produce them using silicon molds from our prototypes and the age old investment casting process. We found that shop in Vermont.
Our belts are made in small production runs, not by the thousands, with an attention to detail and quality that cannot be replicated on a mass scale. We hope you enjoy them!