Custom hand-made Kirk Hammett (METALLICA) guitar straps made from high-end Italian leather are now available at Kirk-Hammett.com.
Commented Kirk: “My wife Lani and our friend Era used to work on leather projects ages ago at our place in Northern California. We had so many rattlesnakes on the land (and literally on our doorstep) we had to find something useful to do with them. The workshop was laced with skins, hides, and peacock feathers. It seemed back then we were all wearing something from those hills.
“There’s always something artistic being made in our home, whether it’s music, clothing, good food, and now guitar straps.
“I really love these straps and others will appreciate their story and craftsmanship.
“I know the concept of a guitar strap is nothing new to the world, yet I find a great need for these. They are simple (yet detailed), beautiful (and durable), extremely well made from vegetable tanned leather (in Italy no less), and just plain kick-ass!”
San Francisco-born Kirk Hammett has been playing the guitar since 1977. Influenced by musicians such as Jimi Hendrix, Michael Schenker, and Ulrich Roth, Kirk‘s sound is both unique and distinctive in its own right. Since 1983, Kirk has been the lead guitar player of the band METALLICA.
Also a San Francisco native, Era Balestrieri has been the apprentice of leather “Maestro” Ferruccio Serafini in Rome, Italy for nearly ten years. Her work has been featured in the New York Times Style magazine, Elle magazine, WWD, The LUXE Guide to Rome, and Italy’s La Repubblica newspaper.
The idea to create a line of guitar straps was born after Era made a strap as a gift for Kirk. He was instantly hooked on the comfort and weightlessness of the leather.
Lani and Era collaborate on the design of the Kirk Hammett Guitar Straps.
Mission statement: “Creating a relevant, well-crafted and responsible product is our goal. We make our straps from the finest quality materials, starting with vegetable-tanned leather. This leather is why these straps will perform well year after year and only get better with time. No azoic colorings, nickel, chrome or harmful chemicals of any kind are used in the tanning process. These properties make them an ideal strap for those with sensitive skin or allergies to chrome-tanned leather.
“Initially, vegetable-tanned leather will have a stiffer feel than the chemically tanned variety; but with time and wear, this stiffness quickly yields to a soft and supple touch. This tanning process uses a high concentration of natural oils and fats and requires very little maintenance. With average use, a light coating of saddle soap once a year is all that is needed.
“All our straps are made using leather from the Santa Croce Sull’Arno region in Italy. Known for the high-quality process of natural tanning and drum dyeing, this leather is completely biodegradable and is produced responsibly in association with the regulations established by the Vegetable Tanning Consortium of Italy. We also use full-grain hides (not to be confused with top-grain, an inferior quality) which is a natural material where slight grain variations and scratches are inherent. These are signs that the hides were not altered in any way. In fact, they highlight the caliber of a leather unmasked by sanding, varnishing, and waxes.”