Unlike its name, Italia Leather Straps is not an Italian brand! Born in California, they just want to highlight the origin of the best leather and suede quality used in their straps, handmade since 2003. In this post, I will detail my opinion about two different straps, and also help you to choose the one that would please you the best.
4″ Wide Standard Black Leather with Beige Suede back
The first strap is really big with its 4″ wide. Black leather on the top and beige suede on the other side, we see that we have a really high quality product in our hands. The strap is made with two layers: 3,5mm for the leather one, and 1,5mm for the suede layer. As you may have understood, that gives us a thickness of 5mm, a bit more than a classic Dunlop Nylon strap for example. Nevertheless, it is more flexible and more resistant at the same time. Moreover, the grain of the leather does not mark even after few hours of use. On the other side, the deer brings an additional softness and padded comfort.
This size is very nice on heavy guitars because the weight is shared on all the width of the shoulder. I think that the maximum 49 inches length is a little bit short for me because I am tall and I play with my guitar at the level of my hips. The same strap with the “Long” option would have been perfect for me. Do not hesitate to check the below section “Which model to choose?” to know more about the sizes. It fits easily on small strap buttons like the ones of my Epiphone Country Gentleman Chet Atkins. If you have bigger buttons, I would recommend to unscrew them to preserve the leather here.
2.5″ Wide Long Acorn with Golden Brown back
The second belt has a more standard width of 2.5 inches. It is 6cm of wide, about 1cm more than a classic Nylon Dunlop strap. The back is not made with suede, there is a classy golden brown leather instead. Even if it is a little less soft than the suede, it remains pleasant thanks to its very fine grain, making it smooth and flexible.
We notice on the pictures that the Acorn side marks easily after only few hours of use. In the future, I am sure that this kind of marks will quickly make it a vintage model. I really like the “Long” option on this one, extending the length to 54″. It’s the perfect feeling for tall players above 6″ like me.
I installed it on my Custom77 Watcher, and this guitar has, as you can see below, big strap buttons. Nevertheless, the elasticity of the leather allowed me to install the strap by forcing a little, even if I do not recommend it: it is better to remove the strap button to preserve the leather.
Which model to choose?
There is no rule concerning the choice of the width of a strap, but if your guitar is big or heavy, I would recommend a 4″ model. More comfortable, it will perfectly fit with the size of your guitar. It is not necessarily the sexiest kind with thin guitars (like Strat, Tele, SG, etc.), so if you have one I would suggest you to take a 2.5″ model, except if you have pain in your back.
About the length, it will depend on your size and how you play: if you strum very high, you do not go to take the same size as somebody who plays at the level of the knees. Do not hesitate to measure your current adjustment, and if the result is:
– Between 37″ and 49″: choose a “Standard” size,
– Between 42″ and 54″: choose a “Long” size,
– Less than 37″ or the more than 54″: a custom order is needed.
The color will depend on your personal tastes, but keep in mind that a leather like the thiner strap I have will easily mark compared to a darker model.
What are the prices?
Their products are separated in two different widths, with a length option for each strap.
Italia Leather Strap 2.5″ Wide:
– Standard: $89
– Long: $94.99
Italia Leather Strap 4″ Wide:
– Standard: $99
– Long: 104.99
The price of a custom order will depend on your demand (colors, size, etc.). Anyway, you have to know that the shipping is free worldwide.
Italia Leather Straps are designed to last in time. They are expensive, but the price is explained by the choice of a great leather and a high handmade quality, even if we can see that a leather can mark more than the other (but it is maybe what you are looking for). If I had to choose a width, it would be difficult to say because I enjoyed both: the 2.5″ strap fit perfectly with my Watcher, and the 4″ with my Country Gentleman. The quality does not vary from a model to another, and once the strap is installed, we forget the fear of bringing down our guitar, and even to scratch it because the regulation buckle is not in metal but also made with leather. This brand and this two products were a very good discover for me, and I think I am not going to wait a long time to buy a new “Long” version of the 4″ to fully enjoy it.