I wanted to write a couple of lines about how Ted Su of UTTRADING. Ted crafts his art work, by making leather straps. Ted looks at several Ammo pouches and goes thru them before deciding which pouches he wants, then he strips the pouches down. After the pouches been strip, they will be cleaned and then dried. Once the pouches are dried they will be condition. The pouches are ready to be rubbed down with bare hands (massage) to make sure they are soft and workable. If called for the leather might need some special formulated mink oil, if Ted see's one of his straps is drying out he will add the mink oil, to put moisture back into the strap, sometimes vintage leather dries out and just needs some oil.
Ted turns attention now to making paper templates. He uses the templates to cut out the leather and then glues them together. Ted makes the straps bigger, so they can be trimmed down to size (my vintage ammo strap was 5mm thick). Next the straps are glued and are now ready to have the holes drilled. The holes are drilled from a drill press. Ted does not sew his straps with a machine, so all the holes have to be punched. All of Ted's straps are hand stitched with the best Linen thread from Japan. Ted was sure to point out he does not use nylon threads because they don't look right. Ted does one finale trim (using knifes) to the strap, shaping it, to make sure the two layers are flush.
I thought this part of the process was cool, Ted makes his own buckles. The buckle is made from 316 solid stainless steel plates, 3mm thick. The EDM (stands for Electric Discharging Machining), it’s a way to slowly, precisely cut the metal with complicated shapes. The Tongue is then attached to the Buckle using a Hydraulic press and a special fixture that Ted made to insure that the tongue is attached to the buckle. Next he bends the Buckle with his Hydraulic press, using another special fixture he made to complete the buckle. The buckle will go through a series of treatments to achieve a desire surface texture. No harmful chemicals are used in the processes.
Ted does not color his straps. The pouches (leather) come in all different colors. All leather pouches are handpicked and hand made from start to finish by Ted Su himself.