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Old handmade belt shop in Kunming

Updated:2018-03-29 09:30:26   english.yunnan.cn

Located in Guanghua Street of Kunming City, southwest China’s Yunnan Province, the handmade belt shop has been running by Xu Baoying for nearly three decades. Every morning around nine, he removes those wooden doors one by one, kicking off the daily business hours of the small shop.

Suitcases, leather holsters, belts, purses…Although Xu made various products in early years, he now only makes belts as the main product. Usually, a belt needs eight to nine procedures according to the color and texture ordered by customers.

Xu learned the craftsmanship spontaneously from his father. At that time, his father was a skilled leather maker who specialized in producing leather suitcases of different sizes. Xu often helped him after school as a little assistant. As time passed by, he mastered the workmanship of making various leather products. Xu worked in a factory in his early years but had to start up his own career after the business of the factory went bad. 

Xu Wei, son of Xu Baoying, works in a foreign company. Edified by his father, Xu Wei is also capable of making leather product. But he has never thought of living on making belts. 

Measure and cut the leather into proper length and width; tailor the belt to certain cutting types; grind edges and set decorative patterns…Xu carries on the working processes expertly. He then used leftover materials to make belt buckle. The last step is to punch holes. The larger the waistline, the fewer holes there will be.

Generally, it takes him less than 20 minutes to make a belt. Thanks to its long history and durable belts, the small shop has gained fame, winning an increasing number of customers home and abroad. “Some of my Malaysian and Singaporean customers come to Kunming only for a new belt, and a few of them have returned more than once,” Xu said proudly. “I can guarantee that my belt can be used for ten years at least!” 

Chinese reporting by Guanxi Ruyi and Wu Mingfang; translating by Li Hengqiang

Keywords:   belt shop Kunming