Friday, January 20, 2017

NAMM 2017: Axe Leather Company Custom Guitar Straps

Aloha!

There are many companies making guitar straps, but few of them check all the boxes for what I am looking for. These things include quality materials and workmanship, comfort, durability, and a clean/classic look. If I can buy one from a local small business that is owned by a fellow musician, that would be the icing on the cake. Well, the Axe Leather Company checks all of those boxes!

The Axe Leather Company is a labor of love from Violet Heart, an accomplished Seattle-based guitarist (www.violetheartmusic.com). She started the company, designs the straps, sources the materials, and constructs all of the products right there in the Pacific Northwest; there is no doubt that the buck stops with her.

Violet starts with solid materials to build her straps, including chrome-tanned leather from Italy and nickel plated hardware, including the solid brass buckles. That's right, I said buckles – the straps are available in 3 different lengths (35-43”, 44-52”, and 53-61”) and they have buckles so you can fine tune the length without having an extra chunk of strap poking awkwardly out.

Besides the length, there are other options, including lots of colors, having a smooth or suede backing, and your choice of styles: Classic, Eyelet, and Rings. Look at the pictures - I’m sure you can figure the last part out for yourself. The only option you do not have at this time is width, as right now all of the straps are 1.5-inches wide. But Violet is in touch with her market, and production of 2.25-inch straps will start this month!

Having had the opportunity to see and touch the strap in person at the 2017 NAMM show, I can assure you that Violet Heart certainly has a good eye for design and style, and she is also very careful in her crafting of these straps. The seams are straight, her cuts are clean, there is no glue seepage, and all of the hardware is perfectly installed. As a side note, these straps are 100% leather, with no poly or foam fillers to pad things up and create uneven weight distribution.

I think Axe Leather Company straps are a winner, and considering the quality and care that goes into their construction, the price range of $99 to $136 (plus shipping) is more than reasonable.

At this time, all of the products from Axe Leather Company are available online from their website. For more details of materials, options and prices, head on over to www.axeleather.com - you will be glad you did!

Mahalo!

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