Frequently Asked Questions

Item Specific FAQ’s

Important Information

What is the ordering process?

After placing an order through the website, you’ll receive an email confirmation. This should include all of your item details. Please verify them and if you made any mistakes, send an email to [email protected] as soon as possible with your corrections. Orders will be marked “Awaiting Processing” at this point.

During this time, your order will be reviewed for potential issues and we may contact you to confirm some details of your order to make sure it is correct. As a precaution, any order that has unusual sizing (either very small or very large) will receive an email or phone call to double check it is correct. We want to make sure you can use the item! After review, the item will be marked as “Details Approved/Order Queued”.

Once your order is assigned to a leathersmith, it will be marked as “In Progress by Leathersmith” and you will received an email indicating this change. This means one of the smiths will be starting your order shortly. Depending on how complicated the order is, it may take anywhere from a day to several days to complete.

Lastly, your order will be marked as Shipped or Ready for Pickup depending on which option you selected at checkout. If you selected shipping, we will always provide a tracking number.

Limited Warranty

If your item fails because of a mistake we made or a defect in the construction (integral, non-cosmetic stitching breaks, a fastener pulls loose, defective snap, etc.), we will repair or replace the item as warranted for the life of the original purchaser. We reserve the right not to cover any item which is suspected of being used inappropriately, neglected, poorly maintained, or intentionally abused.

As leather is an animal product, even new items may have minor scuffs, wrinkles, scars, or cosmetic blemishes. This is part of the character of full-grain leather. Additional marks and wear from use are also to be expected. Acrylic painting or dyeing of characters may wear, crack, or fade with use. These kinds of issues do not warrant repair or replacement.

This warranty applies to our standard items such as radio straps, suspenders, glove straps, etc. It does not apply to custom orders not represented in the online store.

Safety Disclaimer

These items do not have NFPA approval or hold any type of certification from any safety organization. They are not designed or intended to be used as life safety devices and should not replace any personal protective equipment or associated parts.

It is the responsibility of the purchaser to use any items obtained from Fire Dog Leatherworks LLC in a safe manner that is consistent with any relevant safety rules and/or regulations.

Additionally, your department may have Standard Operating Procedures or other regulations which do not allow the use of unapproved items. You should always obtain approval from your superiors and/or safety officers before using any item which was not issued directly to you by your organization. We take no responsibility and assume no liability if you use our items in violation of established safety standards, department policy, or in an otherwise unsafe manner.

What is the wait time on new orders?

This changes week to week. We try to keep a set of updated times right above the online store to give you a ballpark of how long it will be until production. Our busiest time is October through December and if you’re trying to order a gift, please make sure you place your order plenty early as we quickly run out of time. We do not offer a service to “cut in line for an extra fee” and operate on a first come, first served basis.

In stock items and custom items that are smaller/less involved have a shorter wait. Chinstraps, glove straps, custom gift cards, will ship much more quickly compared to things like Truck Belts and Radio Straps.

The provided wait times are our best estimate and can vary by a week or so. We are constantly working to get orders out as quickly as possible but will not compromise on craftsmanship or materials to do so. Thank you in advance for your understanding and patience!

Refunds, Returns & Cancellations

Sales on all items are final. Please pay careful attention to the sizing instructions listed on the site and make sure the spelling is correct on any stamping requests before submitting your order. If we send you an incorrect item or do not make it according to the specifications you provided when ordering, please get in contact with us ASAP. While we can certainly make mistakes, we will always remedy them as quickly as possible. We are not responsible for incorrect measurements or spelling errors if they match the specifications provided by the customer.

You may cancel your order prior to it being marked as Processing. Once an order is Processing, one of the leathersmiths has already started working on it. All order cancellations are subject to a 5% “restocking” fee that covers transaction fees and the time spent processing your order.

Privacy Policy

We use your information to make your item, receive your payment and get it to you. Outside of these purposes, we value your privacy and don’t share any of your personal information. We use Ecwid for our online store and Lightspeed and/or Square Inc to process credit card payments. You can view Ecwid’s privacy policy here. You can view Square’s privacy statement here.

General Questions

What leather do you use? What is the difference between regular leather and the “Traditional” leather items?

Our standard leather is premium glazed harness. There are no corners cut here, it’s some of the best quality leather money can buy. It comes in many different colors, all drum-dyed at the tannery. When you order most standard items such as Radio Straps, Suspenders, Tool Belts, etc; this is the leather they are crafted from.

Some items are either listed as “Traditional” or have the option for “Traditional” latigo. This is the leather we started with and it remains in such high demand we continue to offer it as an option. The biggest difference is that the Traditional is loaded with tallows and waxes from the tannery. This creates a supremely durable, handsome leather that will resist sweat, water and heat. Because of the heavy oils, it is resistant to the customization our standard latigo offers. Stamping will accept black dye but paints will not adhere to it well. Make no mistake, the Traditional latigo has incredible properties that make it very well suited to firefighter gear but it highly limits our ability to customize it.

Either leather will provide you a durable and functional item that will last forever if cared for.

Mask Covers are made from Hermann Oak Veg-Tanned leather that is oil-dyed to customer specifications.

What is the difference between stamping and laser engraving?

Stamps are machined blocks of metal or acrylic and will make deep impressions when pressed into the leather. They offer a “3D” type effect with the icon/letter/number having some depth. Because these stamps need to be made, we have a standard selection of ones you can pick from.

If we don’t have the stamp you want, there are two options: we can make the stamp OR we can laser engrave your artwork onto the leather.

During the engraving process a pattern is physically burned into the leather. This is done using custom artwork either provided by the customer or that we come up with. Depending on how complicated the engraving is, we may also be able to paint it if desired.

What is the difference between the Seat Belt Buckles and the ITW SuperStrong Buckles?

The SuperStrong Buckles are made from an acetal thermoplastic. They were originally designed for military life-vests but we found they work awesome as quick releases as they have no metal parts to rust and are extremely durable.

We also offer automotive-style Seat Belt Buckles as a more ‘old school’ quick release. These are plated to resist corrosion but all buckles of this type will need lubrication with WD-40 or a similar chemical to keep them functioning well after exposure to water.

Either style of buckle will work well and we’ve found it comes down to personal preference.

The Cobra buckle on my item is stiff, is this normal?

Yes. They are designed not to release under load and the material inside the loop can push against the buckle tab. We make a recessed relief cut into the leather, under the buckle to facilitate its use. You will need to push in on the buckle and activate the release tabs to open it. As it breaks in, it will become easier to both secure and release the buckle.

How do I correctly select my painting options?

Take this example: say your last name is “SMITH” and you want this stamped on the back on your belt and painted red with a black outline. You would select the Stamped Character Painting – Body option and then the number of characters to be painted. For “SMITH”, it would be 5x characters. Once you do this, you will be able to select the color Red. Next, if you want a black outline, you would select from the Stamped Character Painting – Outline option. Again for “SMITH” you would select 5x characters. The color option will appear and you can select Black.

If in doubt, under Stamping & Locations or Special Orders, Requests, Comments you can explain exactly how you’d like things laid out. This can help us make sure we get it to match what you want as closely as possible. The important part is to select the correct number of characters under “Number of Painted Characters” and “Number of Outlined Characters” as this is what enables you to be charged the correct amount.

If you want special stamps or engravings painted, select the “Paint Special Stamps” option with the correct number of special stamps. For example, if you also wanted a maltese cross and an IAFF stamp painted, that would be “2x Special Stamp Painted”.

Unfortunately, we cannot complete any painting that is not paid for.

Do you sell leather or hardware?

Sorry, we generally do not resell leather or individual pieces of hardware, only completed items. Much of the hardware used in our products is made specifically for us by manufacturers or by us in house. If you need something specific for one of our products, please reach out to us and we’ll do our best to help you!

Can you tell me where to get a particular piece of hardware used in your products?

No, we generally do not provide information about our material sources. A lot of the hardware used in our products is either manufactured specifically for us or made by us in house. Additionally, we purchase materials in quantities that most individuals would find difficult to justify.

Do you sell your patterns and designs?

No, we’ve worked and reworked our designs for years in a constant drive to improve them and provide a better product. They represent countless hours of research and real world, fireground testing. For this reason, we cannot offer copies of our patterns.