Essential Hardware Definitions

1 comment by Hannah Shimko

Welcome to Master the Meaning! The idea behind this series is to educate people on certain terms within specific topics.

Today it is all about hardware! From fasteners, rings and slides, swivel snaps, and buckles. The world of hardware can be a bit intimidating, so we wrote this to serve as a helpful guide for beginners and experts alike.

  • Fasteners:
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  • Rivets
    • A solid brass piece of hardware usually two pieces used for securing materials like leather, webbing, nylon, or canvas. Can be used functionally by joining two pieces of leather together or decorative detail.

  • Jiffy Rivets
    • A solid brass piece of hardware that is exclusively distributed by Ohio Travel Bag, that can have a double cap or single cap, domed. Used for securing materials like leather, webbing, nylon, or canvas.

  • Snaps
    • Made up of four pieces of hardware: the Cap, Socket, Stud and Post. These are used for closures on bags and pockets, knives or ax sheaths, and attachment points on straps. Snaps can be magnetic as well but are composed of two pieces rather than four. Check out our Ligne snap sets!
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  • Eyelets & Grommets
    • Either metal plastic or rubber ring is used to reinforce holes by being inserted in a hole in thin material to prevent rips. Grommets tend to be larger in diameter than eyelets and are also usually used with a washer. Eyelets are smaller in diameter and usually use without a washer. When set into the material it folds into itself creating a smaller ring on another side. Used for lacing together garments and footwear.
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  • Chicago Screws
    • Can be used similarly to rivets, depending on the use, commonly used for belts to provide secure fasten; Rather than setting with a hammer and inserting a cap on the post, the Chicago screws have grooves to secure material.

  • Rings & Slides:
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  • D-rings
    • Has one curved side and one flat side to gets its name D-ring. Welded together and attached by looping a strap through it. The curved side is usually used for a clip or swivel snap. These have less movement than an O-ring because of their flat side.
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  • O-rings
    • One of the most basic rings! Used as a connector to attach strapping or hardware. Usually attached by looping straps around the ring and setting with rivets. These can come welded, split or cast. Welded are a solid circle, split will have a small space between the metal, and cast was molded together.

  • Rectangular Rings
    • Used to attach strapping on bags, usually on bags, totes, and purses. The difference between a rectangular ring, O Ring or D Ring comes down to style choice and use of our end product.

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  • Tri-Rings
    • Used for attaching leather straps, saddlery, dog leads, and collars usually solid brass or steel allowing for mobility between elements or to create forks in straps.

  • Spring Gate
    • These are like O-rings but have a swinging latch that opens and closes. They are attached in a similar way as them also by looping strapping through them. These are popular connectors for the ease of opening the gate.

  • Slides
    • Used to keep strap ends tight against a purse or bag.

  • Buckles:
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  • Center Bar
    • They have a connector bar located in the center of the buckle. Usually used for straps or belts.

  • Double Tongue
    • Has two prongs on both sides of the buckle. Used to hold material from both sides or two-hole straps and belts.

  • Heel Bar
    • Usually used with belts and handbags with a connector bar on the end of the buckle.

  • Roller
    • They can be used for a wide range of things like belts, handbags, and briefcases, with a roller bar on one side of the buckle.

  • Side Squeeze
    • Used to adjust length belts, pet collars, and straps functionally or used for decorative detail. Usually attached with strapping.

  • Swivel Snaps:
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  • Bolt, lever, trigger, and halter swivel snaps are used to attach straps to bags, dog collars, saddlery tack. Either fixed or have a swivel to turn freely. These are less likely to fall off than spring gates because they are attached at the base and will not fall off when open. Usually used with rings on strapping.

1 comment


  • Timothy M Dolan Jr.

    I would add to “Center bar” that the center bar buckle has a built in keeper, where as an heel bar or end bar buckle needs a keeper to keep the tip of the belt/strap flat against the belt/strap. Keepers can be made out of Leather, or a rectangular ring.

    And then on “Roller” I would add "the roller makes it slightly easier to pull a belt/strap tighter than a buckle without the roller.

    And finally possibly add “Lock Tongue” description.

    Pictures would be nice as well. I highly recommend a picture of a buckle with the parts outlined and described.


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