We recently had a comment on a Facebook post with a great question from a Facebook user named Dennis:
"The biggest problem I've had with any belts is the dye fading and wearing away. Too bad no one's figured out how to get it all the way through"
Well, Dennis, you are correct! Real Full Grain leather will fade and blemish with use. It is actually desirable just like grain is desired in real wood. Here is my explanation to Dennis:
Hi, Dennis thanks for your question. Yes, absolutely the dye in leather will wear after years of use and is actually what you want. If it doesn't it isn't Full Grain Leather.
You can buy bonded or processed leather belts which do have dye all the way through as they are made like particle board furniture from leather scraps. It is processed, poured into a mold, and stamped to look like leather. These crack and split though within months and you won't get decades of use from them.
Any product made from Natural resources with a dyed or applied finish will eventually show wear and color loss. Denim jeans will fade as washed where as 100% Polyester (plastic) pants will hold the color. Real wood furniture finishes will wear off and can be damaged. That's why wood decks need to be refinished from time to time but you can buy the Trex boards which are basically plastic and they last much longer in aesthetics but you do lose the warmth of real wood. Leather shoes need polished as it does wear off.
With our belts, you can apply polish to them to add the color back in but do need to wipe off thoroughly so it does not transfer to your clothes.
Personally, I like the belts as they age! They develop a patina and look that shows off the quality of the leather!
The only suggestion I have is web or nylon belts. Those will hold their color but they have a tactile look to them.
Thanks again for your comment and hope this helps explain things a bit.
So in closing a good quality Full Grain leather belt will show signs of wear with age. It adds to the character of the belt and shows the beauty of real Leather. The color can always be added back in with a shoe polish to match giving your belts decades of serviceable use!