The History of Belt Buckles

Belts have been an important part of our existence. In fact, archeological findings suggest that our ancestors have been wearing them as early as the Bronze Age, between 3300 and 1200 BCE. This period was characterized by great technological advancement as we started to use bronze craft tools instead of stones. Bronze paved the way for advanced tools and weaponry, essential for hunting and other forms of livelihood. Many skilled workers have emerged, many of whom were involved in artistic activity including decorative art. During this time belts became necessary and were widely used for carrying objects particularly weapons and tools.


The Beginning of Belt Buckles


The first known belt material used by men was made from softened tree barks. From this prehistoric time, belts have developed and evolved in many different parts of the world. Its materials have also evolved from tree barks to a more durable and reliable one. This led to the discovery and use of treated animal skins called leather.


There have been reports of archeologists finding evidence of custom belts and custom belt buckles dating back to the early 6th and 7th centuries in Europe. In the 1500s, decorative belts and custom-made belt buckles seem to have been worn for the first time as a symbol of status in Regional Spain. It is not certain, though if both belts and buckles were both made and worn at the same time.


While it is believed to have been widely used in the early centuries, belts and buckles became popular only in the 1600s. The earliest found custom belts and custom belt buckles were known to strap body armors of Roman soldiers and their gladiators. Along with soldiers, traders or merchants, too were also believed to be the early users of belts and buckles.


Types of Belt Buckles



There is a myriad of belt buckles to choose from for different occasions and functions. For business owners, company belt buckles are also widely available. Out there you can find many brands with their special belts and buckles to suit you and your company.


Here are the 5 types of belt buckles that are available today. Each of them has distinguishing characteristics or features that set them apart from each other. Having one or more of these types of buckles would do you wonders.


Frame Style Buckles


Frame type buckles are also the most common and widely used belt buckle style. This buckle style is seen mostly on all kinds of formal belts, but also used for casual. It has a simple square or rectangular frame with a single or double prong (also known as tongue) attached to one end of the frame. The prong or tongue goes through the holes in the strap to secure the belt. The frame is made of various kinds of metal, usually brass or titanium depending on the manufacturer or customers' preference. Leather is the most common strap for this type of buckle. Other popular belt strap materials include suede, canvas, webbing, and vinyl.


Frame type buckles are very versatile and are among the most popular belts to wear for both formal and casual events. Keeping one frame style belt would seem to be a great idea.


Single Tongue, Double Tongue, and Reversible belts are a few examples.


Plate Style Buckles


The most decorated and versatile of all buckle types, Plate Style Buckles. This is the buckle type that you can customize, personalize, decorate, and incorporate different elements. One can engrave their names or initials, their company's logo and labels, implant decorative materials such as gemstones, in some cases diamonds. It comes in many different sizes and forms. An immensely popular accessory for cowboys and wrestlers.


Plate style buckles are normally detached from its strap.  On its underside is a stud or hook which goes through the belt hole. The 19th-century Western military plate style buckles had 3 hook clasps where two hooks were attached to the end of the belt strap while the remaining hook is attached to the other end, the front end of the belt.  Today, you will normally see plate style buckles with a rod to attach to the strap (usually leather) and a keeper tongue to fit into the holes.


When we talk about designs and decorations, with plate-style buckles, they are limitless. Handmade custom belt buckles by master craftsmen are extremely popular for individuals and companies who want to personalize their designs or have their company logos for branding. They go perfectly with leather belts and sizes could also vary depending on your design and preference. Plate-style buckles are an excellent gift and token material for special events and people.


Some examples include, but are not limited to Cowboy Belt Buckles, Snake Designed Buckle, Big Size Buckles, and Wrestling Buckles.


Ratchet Style Buckles


This next buckle took on a more modern and innovative approach to belt technology. The Ratchet Buckle Type, also known as micro-adjust or slide belt, is a belt and buckle system with a ratchet-like mechanism to lock your belt in place once you reach your desired size. Instead of having the traditional holes, the belt strap was specially designed with a transverse length of inclined teeth to complement the buckle's ratchet mechanism. Its awesome feature is its ability to have minute adjustments to have your exact fit while in your formal. You will surely look smart and stunning with its aesthetics.


For over a decade or two, ratchet belts and buckles have been in the free world. Over the years we have seen several innovations of this technology as seen by the various patents applied for this product. Most of these innovations are minor adjustments and improvements to the existing ones. It has been already used in several parts of Asia but is also now becoming popular in many parts of America and Europe.


Belt wearers are loving the convenience and comfort that this type of belt brings into their lives. It also is a worthy investment because unlike traditional belts its strap can maintain its appearance for much longer. Since the locking mechanism is inside the buckle, underneath the strap, wear and tear are much less. Your belt will always look brand new.


Always look stylish and fresh with this modern buckle. You can have it as an everyday belt or for special functions whichever suits you best.


Box Frame Buckles


Popular as a standard military issued buckle, Box Frame type of buckles are commonly used for casual engagements. The entire system relies on the power of friction. It was originally used as a friction buckle by the 20th-century military but made its way to become a fashion accessory in the modern age. This buckle is specially designed for webbed belts of canvas or fabric and does not work well with leather.


Also called an Autogrip Buckle, it features a hollow frame with a slide locking pin inside that the belt slides over to get to the opposite side. Sliding the pin to the right secures the belt from slipping. The primary lock has teeth that hold that belt firmly in place within the buckle. For easy insertion, a metal tip is installed in some webbed belts.


These military-inspired belt buckles fit seamlessly into your wardrobe and any kind of outfit. The classic silver and bronze buckle buffed to a mirror shine paired with black, navy, or khaki are still the most popular. But big fashion brands like Gucci and Prada, among others also brought in an upgrade to these classics. So, it is also an excellent choice for company belt buckles. They brought in a fresh new vibe on its old man in uniform feel by adding a touch of its label on the canvas and engraving or printing their logos on the buckles.


If you want a comfortable, fit perfectly, type of buckle for casual and semi-casual occasions then this belt is for you. Military Utility, Auto Press, Flip Closure, Self Defense, Automatic Latch, Clip-On, and Clip Latch Buckle are a few of the choices.


O-Ring and D-Ring Buckles


O-Ring and D-Ring Buckles are the simplest of all buckle types. This buckle style is probably also the oldest of all casual belt buckle styles. The Oval or D-shaped buckles are very versatile and easy to use. It is usually seen with a single webbing or double ring and are good for unisex use. They are typically seen on canvas, webbing, or braided leather and are fastened by threading the strap through the rings. One can tighten or loosen the belt just by simply adjusting the strap.


O-rings and D-rings are well-loved by the fashion industry as they can easily transform any casual style into something stunning. It is often worn casually so designers can play with it as much as they wish. For women's wear, they can also be used to give an accent to their outfits. They fit well with semi-casual outfits too.


There are excellent choices of belts and buckles out there. What is important is to be able to distinguish which ones are suited best for your needs. You may also opt to have custom-made belt buckles that are 100% fit for you.


Custom Belt Buckles to Strengthen your Brand


In today's generation, custom made belt buckles are not just for personal use and convenience. Presently, a lot of business owners and marketers are utilizing the power and influence of buckles to improve their field.


Custom Belt Buckles have a proven track record of strengthening brands and labels. Custom made belt buckles are excellent products for brand endorsement and marketing. They are also excellent gifts and tokens for special events and celebrations. You can have company belt buckles for giveaways or as tokens of appreciation for generous donors or valuable customers. You can maximize employees' influence and marketing potential by designing and giving them company belt buckles. In this way, you make your employees happy and appreciated while marketing your brand. This will give them opportunities to wear and endorse your brand without spending more on expensive endorsements. One cannot help but talk about their stuff when it's excellent and precious to them.


Having custom made belt buckles are a fashionable way to show affiliation, style, and your personal message. It is widely used by a broad range of individuals, organizations, and businesses, including popular business brands, rodeo events, and military personnel.


Designing your Custom Belt Buckles



Designing your Custom Belt Buckles has never been this easy and fun. Of course, the practical purpose of the belt buckles is to keep your belt closed, but it also can tell a story. These stories can connect people and organizations to you and for your advantage.


We at Ties N Cuffs have been designing and producing custom made belt buckles for several decades now and would love to extend our services to you and your company. We produce rhodium buckles of the highest quality with several plating options to serve and keep you satisfied for a lifetime. Our designers will be glad to collaborate with you in making your free artwork. Company belt buckles will surely stand out with 3D shapes and high-resolution images. Our production only takes 2-3, weeks so you will have your products in no time.


Visit us today at for samples and orders or call us at 1300-851-412 for inquiries.