Base for tribal belt

Amaya

New member
Hello everyone!

I am creating a tribal belt!

I need help on what the base of the belt consists of. I am doing this with materials I already have (moving across country is expensive). I have some stiff material I am using for the middle, and I have black, soft cotton for the outside. Hoping that would work so it won't slide. Should I cut the black in strips, the length of the belt and sew it together? Or simply wrap the stiff material in it? Also, what's the best material to use for ties in the front?

Plus if anyone has any ideas for bead patterns I would love to see them!!

Thank you everyone!

Amaya
 

BeatriceC

New member
Definitely sew the layers together! Wrapping will not stay in place well enough.

I can't answer your other questions, I'm afraid, because my costuming experience is not in the tribal field. I'm sure there will be plenty of replies from other tribal dancer/costumiers.
 

Amaya

New member
Definitely sew the layers together! Wrapping will not stay in place well enough.

I can't answer your other questions, I'm afraid, because my costuming experience is not in the tribal field. I'm sure there will be plenty of replies from other tribal dancer/costumiers.

Thank you!!!
 

LilithNoor

New member
I like denim as a the base of my tribal belts - they tend to be narrower than cabaret belts and usually kept in place by lots of skirts and hip scarves, so they don't need to be so stiff and solid.

I tend to wrap the covering material over the stiffer body of the belt and then sew them together through two layers of fabric (the body facing side of the wrapping and the stiffening only). My handsewing looks like chicken scratch and my machine sewing is erratic at best, so I don't want to run the risk of poor craftsmanship showing on the right side.

When I add the decorations I sew right through all the layers, and that ensures they stay in place and that the belt has enough structural integrity. Very important if you're hanging an entire dowry off it.

I've seen a variety of ties used for tribal belts; braided yarn, tubes of velvet, D rings with a ribbon threaded through them. My current belt just has some two pieces of heavy-duty cord on it, which are usually hidden under the knot of my hip scarf. Dancers with more elaborate ties will leave them on show.

I don't bead tribal stuff - I get sick of beading cabaret costumes so tribal is a nice break from the tyranny of seed beads. I like fairly simple designs; a row of metal plaques or Turkoman buttons, some contrasting embroidered ribbon or piping, coins, maybe a few chunky beads, cowries or shisha mirrors. Tassels and fringing to taste. You can buy ready-beaded medallions to put on each end of your belt, which is much easier than making them!
 

Amaya

New member
Wow with all that info already, I feel spoiled! Thank you!

Don't worry my sewing looks awful and I can't even work a sewing machine (I tried, the massive ball of string and material was frightening)

I don't have many larger beads, I have hemp and ribbon. I have two medallions i have made. I am making fringed ribbon with bells for a little ching. My next endeavor will be the long tassels.. I have a skirt and some hip ties.. Looks like I'm going to have to buy stuff!
 
Last edited:

Amaya

New member
Oh wow you really want pictures?! Wow this is terrific! Haha

Normally nobody ever really cares. So this is a huge treat! I should be able to post some tonight. You can see everything in the works.
 

gisela

Super Moderator
You should know that noone can ever post about anything they are making, without people demanding "PICTURES! PICTURES!" :lol: We are a very curious bunch :lol:
 

Darshiva

Moderator
I use denim for my oriental belts (I like a nice soft belt too) so denim is probably going to be a good standard for reinforcement. Actually, that reminds me - the belt of this egyptian set I have has wire along the top to make it stiff - scary!

I can't wait to see what you do with the belt. I've been dabbling in tribal for about a year now and although I love doing the DIY costume thing, it never occurred to me to try making a belt!
 

Shanazel

Super Moderator
I used denim for my cabaret-stye belts, too, becuase I liked them to fit softly and not stand away from my body like the reinforced steel-like ones did. Too bad we can't get the original Levis 501 denim anymore- it was stellar for belts.
 

Ariadne

Well-known member
Too bad we can't get the original Levis 501 denim anymore- it was stellar for belts.
You can. It's the same company and fabric (Cone Denim and red selvage) that is used for the 1791 Supply & Co. jeans. As long as you don't mind purchasing from a company owned by a Libertarian or paying $129.99 a pair (they're made completely in the US so the production costs are higher) you're good.

1791 Supply & Co. Denim
 

Shanazel

Super Moderator
No kidding! The real, honest to goodness stuff used in the 1970s? That fades beautifully? Shrinks to fit? Softens to a silk-like sheen?

I have no problem with Libertarian but $130 is a bit steep for jeans I used to buy for a few bucks and wear for farm work then cut apart for belts when the knees of the jeans wore out. :think:

Nowadays I buy Wranglers because they are made for sitting in a saddle. Levis were great for standing up kinds of work, originally designed for miners, I believe.

Just checked that site. Sooooo tempting...
 
Last edited:

Ariadne

Well-known member
No kidding! The real, honest to goodness stuff used in the 1970s?
The real honest to goodness same thing. The owner of the company found out Levi's didn't make their jeans in the US now and decided to add jeans to his (all made in the USA) clothing line so he tracked down the original manufacturers etc. They even use the old original style rivets.

I found a couple of other companies that use the same fabric as well (Levi's even has a Vintage line) but their jeans cost even more. The lowest price I found elsewhere was $178 where the 1791 Supply & Co. clothing is exclusively online just to keep costs down. Scary thought isn't it? $130 is keeping costs down. To be honest the price is what's stopping me as well.


Cone Denim's Old Factory Is Back in Fashion - Businessweek
Aficionados crave “selvage,” or “self-edge,” jeans, which are more durable than the modern variety and develop a kind of patina over time. They’re made on narrower fly-shuttle looms that create a continuous, uncut edge—something jeans devotees can tell instantly from the characteristic edging inside the legs or when the bottoms are rolled up. These jeans began disappearing in the 1970s as U.S. mills switched to high-speed looms to compete with fabric going into cheap apparel. The newer machines operated much faster but produced a less idiosyncratic product. More recently, Japanese companies discovered a market for old-fashioned jeans, which have since caught on with hipsters around the world. White Oak stays open by “targeting a niche business,” says Kenneth Kunberger, International Textile’s chief operating officer. “The only place in the world where these Draper fly-shuttle looms are running right now is right here.”
 

Amaya

New member
This is the base of the belt I have so far... It's very stiff material wrapped in the black cotton. I have sewn it very loosely so the fabric doesn't move around while I'm trying to sew stuff on.
 

Amaya

New member
Here is the jingly ribbon and the two medallions I have done. The medallion on the right is supposed to resemble a compass. I wanted some team punk in there, so I just experimented with some clock pieces. The one on the left is my first ever medallion. My beginner :)
 

Shanazel

Super Moderator
Ariadne, I am in heaven just knowing that fabric still exists. I wonder if I can buy yardage???

Amaya, very nice beadwork, especially for a first attempt! Thanks for sharing with us. I look forward to watching the piece develop.
 

~Diana~

AFK Moderator
Wish I could help but I have never made my own belts. I have no skill...or time...or well patience for me to make my own.
 

Ariadne

Well-known member
Ariadne, I am in heaven just knowing that fabric still exists. I wonder if I can buy yardage???
Factories usually won't talk to you unless you have a business license but it never hurts to ask.

Here is the jingly ribbon and the two medallions I have done. The medallion on the right is supposed to resemble a compass. I wanted some team punk in there, so I just experimented with some clock pieces. The one on the left is my first ever medallion. My beginner :)
Ohhhhhhh! I love that compass idea! You're making me want to pick back up the belts I have sitting on the backburner and see what I can come up with now. I was trying to use a slight steampunk accent on them too. :D
 

Zorba

"The Veiled Male"
Another vote for denim - just cut out of an old pair of jeans or denim skirt. Easy-peasy.

Its the Libertarian way!
 

Amaya

New member
Sounds like the next one I make will be denim!!

Ariadne:
I bought old clocks from goodwill/garage sales and took them apart. I'm hoping to be able to make a hair piece with all the gadgets.

I really appreciate everyone's feedback!
 
Top