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CHESTNUT OAK SELECT 1.5 Limited Edition Leather Belt

1 review

The Right  Place at The Right Time….

A year ago, November 2021 at a St Louis Oak Tannery, I gave away some of my wife’s week old, fresh, Tree House holiday IPAs to get my hands on just 5 crown choice steer hides of this, once a year, autumn tannery single batch run.  As the story goes… the first lone drum load was produced a long time ago by accident. As early fall temperatures ushered in a subtle changes to the conditions in the seeping pool rooms deep in the tannery. The master tanners of the time missed the overnight climate swings,  thus failed to accommodate for this variable. As a result a deeper, pale, and  more rigid hide was produced and then vanished in the subsequent batches, not able to be fully replicated again until...the next Autumn. As legend had it, and originally coined, “ghost in the oak swamp” due to the event coinciding late October and Halloween most years. Evidently these bark tannin chemists were left quite baffled. A few years later, a savvy master tanner Stayed through the night and  caught on to what was subtly happening after everyone left the tannery. The annual feedback on this unique harness leather from customers added legend to their already popular and strong harness leather’s growing reputation. Today, one single customary drum load is produced late September-early October every year.

               ***UPDATE 11-12-22***

The 2022 CLASSIC NATURAL OAK SELECT    Limited single run leather belt features a leather made from steer hides and a heavy double drum tallow process that gets run only once a year.  In 2022 we only received 2 sides of an amazing rare and natural beauty however, we did get one side of the same tannage in a chestnut harness.  The same classic color variations that make up our Natural Oak Select harness beauty are present in the Chestnut Select only with darker and  pale tones of the chestnut drummed and struck aniline dyes. This leather sits apart from any other harness leather made in the world. For the Chestnut Select we decided to saddle stitch this belt twice….one outside in Parchment White and the inside with Loden Green parachute quality. Both color threads made in the USA.  1 pound thread spools sell at wholesale sewing suppliers for about $13 with imported thread.  We buy our A & E thread spools at approximately $45 per 1lb spool.        

With only a few belts cut in each size, get your Hermann Oak Limited Edition Natural Oak Select or your Hermann Oak Chestnut Oak Select for a gorgeous saddle leather belt, all built to last a lifetime.

Belt Size


The CHESTNUT OAK SELECT leather belt is cut from limited edition hot stuffed harness leather tanned at Hermann Oak Tannery in St. Louis, Missouri. This is a 4th Generation Tannery that uses the roots and bark of trees and other to cure their leather hides naturally. The oils, tallow’s, and waxes cause color shifting. The wax and tallow compounds that make this leather so durable and water repellent also give it this coloration. Customers need to understand that the Classic Natural's color is not consistently even. Our previous customers that have chosen this heavy, thick, and durable belt don't ever seem to mind, in fact, we think they love it more. If it doesn't meet approval send it back unworn for 100% of your money back.

The primary use of this leather is for saddlery. Dirt, sweat, salt, and horse drool were hard on ordinary leather so a strong, weather resistant, vegetable tanned leather was invented for the horseman’s reins. This process has changed little in 140 years. Each hide still needs to be steeped for over a month in giant pools of bark and root extracts. Then, the hides are added to giant wooden drums loaded with beef tallow, waxes, and shin bone oils. With heat and centrifugal force, “hot stuffed” harness leather was born when the rotating drums finished the job. That was over a hundred years ago and not very much has changed in the process.

This premium leather has color variations that make it a natural American beauty that is often copied, but never duplicated. We want our customers to understand that it can be returned if it does not meet your satisfaction. That is how Shep Hermann runs his tannery and that is how sure we are about this leather.

Also see the CLASSIC NATURAL OAK SELECT. Both premium leather belts are part of our brown belt, and men's belt collections. All of our leather belts are handmade in the USA.


  • 13oz. Premium Chestnut Harness Leather
  • Double Saddle Stitched A & E #277 Parchment White and Loden Green
  • One Piece Construction
  • 8 Close Hole Design spaced at (5/8" / 15.5mm)
  • Close to the Buckle Loop Placements
  • Stainless Steel or Solid Brass Tumbled Roller Buckle
  • 20 Year Guarantee
  • Made in the USA

**We age our Brass in house to create a true patina. If shiny is your preference, please specify in the notes section.**


Model: 413
Leather: Chestnut  Harness
Thickness: .20 in / 5 mm (thickness of 3 stacked quarters)
Width(s): 1.5" / 38mm
Temper: Extra Firm
Buckle: Tumbled Roller
Attachment: USA Black Oxide Brass Chicago Screw
Stitch: None
Overall Size: Approx. 6 inches over chosen belt size.