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Making top quality, handcrafted belts using the very best Spanish leather since 1993.

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About Leather

If you have a little patience, read this before you buy anything. We want to make sure that you know exactly what you’re buying, and why it is so different to what you will find in most shops or other outlets. The more you know, the better chance you have of finding what you want.

When you are looking to buy any leather item, there are all types of labels and/or printing on the item itself, to assure you that you are getting a leather item of high quality. Words like...real leather...100% leather...pure leather...split leather...quality leather etc.etc.....The one you need to see, and you don’t see it very often, is FULL Grain Leather or FULL Grain Cowhide. You may even see TOP Grain Leather but this too is inferior to FULL Grain Leather.

To explain quickly without going too deeply into it. Somewhen between the skin being taken from the animal and it ending up in our workshop ready to go, it will have gone through a splitter. As the name suggests, it splits 1 sheet or hide of leather into, lets say, 3 sheets or hides of leather. Only the top layer, the layer that used to have hair on it, is full grain leather. This top layer is just like your skin, it’s supple, wrinkles when you bend it but doesn’t break when you bend it, it’s incredibly strong, very hard to break or tear, but cuts easily. It has one face that is smooth, absorbs coloured dyes and like quality wood, has character. Although its back edge is rough, this is always hidden inside the leather item or, in the case of a belt, against your clothing... What a wonderful material.

So what happens to the lower layers? These splits have two rough faces. A percentage of these will go through a machine that brushes up the fibres and trims them. The result is suede. To me this is fine, you can see what you’re getting.

However a very large percentage of these lower layers, which remember have two rough faces, then have one face sprayed with paint or plastic to make them look like the top layer. They have such good techniques that sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference. The trouble with this is, although it is still technically leather the lower layers tend to have looser fibres and therefore are nowhere near as strong. Also the paint and plastic finishes look tatty really quickly. Although all the different layers are technically and correctly called leather, We think the leather industry should have a rethink on it’s labelling.

There is worse to come...a strip of cardboard or rubber with a wafer thin strip of leather glued on either side and called a belt....what can we say? it might last a week.

Now that we’ve scared you half to death about buying leather goods that aren’t what they seem to be, let us tell you, there are plenty of places to buy top quality leather goods, but don’t be tricked by misleading labels.

Back to Full Grain Leather. After the tanning and finishing are complete,the hides are sorted into two grades, the higher grade having less cuts, scuffs and blemishes. We hand pick our hides from this higher grade. When you buy from us you really are getting the highest quality possible.

A close up of the back of a black leather belt showing a cheap rivet for fixing the buckle. A close up of the back of a black leather belt, showing an expensive rivet.

The Fixings.

The photo on the left above shows a typical cheap finish. The fold over on the belt has one rivet holding the buckle and the keeper in place .It is a cheap, one part rivet that can easily pull through. The keepers are held together with a staple meant for paper.

The photo on the right is one of our belts. The buckle is held in place with two rivets, and the keeper held in place with one more. The keepers themselves are riveted together not stapled. We use two part rivets which have wider heads and bases and don’t pull through.

The difference between machined patterned leather, and hand patterned leather.

Machine patterning, unless done on a very expensive press, always gives a weak and shallow impression. The first photo below, No.1, shows how weak this can be. Also note how the pattern just runs off the end of the belt, leaving an unfinished look to the whole thing. This is because a rolling drum is used.

The second photo, No.2, shows hand patterning. Sharp, deep impressions that are tooled neatly into the tip of the belt. Individual small punches are positioned onto dampened leather and then struck with a hammer, a time consuming but, beautiful addition for an extra special item.

A close up of a black leather belt showing inferior machine patterning. A close up of a tan leather belt showing hand patterning.



Guarantee and Returns

At Decuero Leather, we want you to be 100% happy with your purchase. To be assured of this, always do the following.

1.  Check your parcel in front of the person who delivers it. If it is damaged in any way, open it and check the contents are O.K. If the contents are damaged, get the delivery person to sign that he has seen that the goods have been damaged in transit. Contact us straight away.

2.  If you are not happy with your purchase, and it is not an item that has been personalized. You can return it unused within 30 days of purchase, and we will give you a full refund on the item. (Not Postage and Packing).

3.  If your purchase is faulty in any way, we will replace it, if it is returned unused within 30 days.

4.  If in the course of normal, everyday wear, a zip, popper, rivet, buckle or strap breaks or fails. Please return the item and we will repair or replace it, free of charge for up to 1 year. If the item is more than 1 year old, contact us. More likely than not we can repair it free of charge, but you will have to pay the postage. By the way, normal wear and tear does not include... Being chewed by children or pets, going mouldy by being stored in damp place or using the item in some way other than what it was intended for. (You can’t tow a car with a belt without some type of damage).

5.  If you have incorrectly measured a length for a belt, we need to talk. If it’s too long, no problem. I can shorten it. If it’s too short...... Well like I said , we need to talk, contact us.

6.  We carefully inspect every item before it is shipped, to ensure that you receive the very best quality goods. We look for any cuts or scuffs on the leather and any scratches or faults to the hardwear that is fitted (buckles, poppers etc.) Vein markings, wrinkles and scar tissue are part and parcel of a real leather item. They show that the item is made from full grain cowhide. No guarantee can be given on colour accuracy, as every hide takes dyes differently, and your monitor may show colours differently to ours. We do make every effort to keep colours about right, as we don’t want you to buy what you think are matching items and then find out they’re not.

In the 27 years that we have been trading, we have had very few returns. Those that we have had, we have dealt with quickly, without fuss or argument. We want you to be happy with our products. We want you to buy more products. We want you to tell your friends. In a time when high priced, designer label goods fall apart in a matter of months, you will really appreciate a good handmade leather item that looks better with time, not worse. Whether you’ve bought a belt, a briefcase or a keyring, you will get years of use from it, and that really is guaranteed.    


Within minutes of you making a purchase, we’ll receive the order and will email you the same day to confirm. Your item will be made and shipped within 3 to 5 days, possibly quicker. Depending where you live, the package should take between 3 and 10 days to reach you, so shortest time one week, longest time 2 weeks for your item to reach you from the day you ordered it. (large items can take longer, a briefcase or shotgun case has a lot of work in it). If for any reason there is a longer delay you will be emailed. As your package will be registered, it will have a tracking number so you (or we) can check where it is at any given time. The tracking number will be emailed to you on the day the parcel is dispatched.

Top of page

John and Linda Powell. Originally from Haslemere, a middle sized town close to where the Sussex, Surrey and Hampshire borders all meet. Roughly halfway between London and Portsmouth.  

One night in the local pub in the winter of 1988 a guy told me that a huge Canadian motor home was parked just round the corner. I walked up to take a look and was instantly smitten. For the next nine months we worked and saved as hard as we could, so that we were able to take a six month break, in a motor home, driving through France, Switzerland, Spain and Portugal in the winter months of 1989, with our two daughters. Maddy, (8 years old) and Lisa, (4 years old). About four months out of the six was spent touring Spain’s eastern and southern coastline.

Now England may be a green and pleasant land, but we had just experienced months of warm sunny days and we wanted more of it. We had also found the Spanish people to be very likeable. So, to cut a long story short, we sold up in 1991 and moved to Spain. We had just enough money to buy a derelict town house, put a new roof on it and buy an old van. We moved in and roughed it while we renovated it. I estimated the work as a five year project. It took ten, as we did the work when time and money allowed. If you wanted to borrow money in Spain at that time the interest rate was 18%.

The first two years we took any work we could get in the winter months, and during the summer months we made and sold leatherwork on the night markets on the seafront. We also did Easter markets, craft fairs and a huge Christmas market in Valencia. With the exception of Frank, a German guy making Tiffany glass, who helped us with the piles of paperwork, we were the only foreigners doing fairs and markets at that time.

In 1993 we were told of a shop for rent in the church square, in the old town, very close to where we live. Four hours later we had done the deal, it was perfect as it was large enough to be a workshop and shop combined.

Two years after opening the shop we were able to give up all other work as it was earning enough for us to live on.

That was us then. What about now? Well, a bit older, a bit fatter round the middle and a fair bit of grey in the hair. Maddy is 38 and works part time with us in the workshop, she's married to a Spanish lad called Edu and they have made us grandparents. The beautiful Laura is 11 years old and Edu Junior is 6 years old at the time of writing this (March 2019) Our younger daughter Lisa is now 34 and is a hairdresser. She lives with her boyfriend (also called Edu) in Granada, Southern Spain. She too has done the business and we have another gorgeous granddaughter called Ariadna who is 6 years old. A lot has changed in 27 years, but we’re still enthusiastic and still enjoy living amongst the Spanish people. They really are friendly if you take the time to learn their language. The shop has gone from strength to strength over the years and we've been selling on the Internet now for just over 7 years. We update the site weekly so keep an eye on us.

A man with dark hair and beard with his arm round a woman, standing in front of a small shopfront. A man with dark hair and beard with his arm round a woman, standing inside a shop full of leather belts.

Where are we?

On the east coast of Spain, about halfway down, between the cities of Valencia and Alicante, the land curves out to a point and back again. Right on the tip of that point is the old fishing town of Javea (Xabia in the local language). Javea port still has a good size fishing fleet that goes out daily, with it’s own fish market, so local restaurants do have wonderful seafood menus that change all year round. It also has good shops and bars, a beautiful seafront walkway,a small marina for private boats, an incredible fisherman’s church and a stony beach.

About half a mile further along the coastline, you’ll find a large bay with a fine, white, sandy beach. Complete with palm trees, shops, bars, restaurants and nightclubs, this is Javea’s main tourist attraction in the summer months, and is where you will find Javea’s nightlife. This area is called the Arenal.

About half a mile inland from the port you’ll find Javea old town. There aren’t so many restaurants here, but there are tapas bars dotted around everywhere. We personally find tapas bars the most enjoyable way of spending an evening, so feel lucky to live and work in the old town itself. The town has it’s own church, covered market, museum, bars and restaurants and of course it’s own handmade leather workshop and shop. We are directly in front of the church, in the church square itself.

The church of San Bartolome is quite an attraction in itself. Anyone who is anyone wants to get married in this church. Over the years we've seen hundreds of weddings.

Within a 50 yard radius of our shop there are about a dozen bars and restaurants. So, if you’re in Javea, come and see us in the mornings and have a coffee or beer nearby, or come up in the evenings and look in before you go on to eat. By the way we live about 300 yards from the shop, the commute in every morning is awful.

About us

Decuero Leather,

Plaza de la Iglesia 11,

Javea, 03730,

Alicante, España.


Privacy Policy.

Leather Colours.

Measure for Belt with Buckle (photos).

Measure for Belt without Buckle (photos).

How to make a Leather Belt (slideshow).

Tel. (0034)865510625

V.A.T. Nº ESX1359589J

Walk around inside the shop with Google Street View.

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