The History of the Argentine Polo Belt

Polo - known as the sport of kings - has been played all around the world for thousands of years. Ancient forms were played in by the nomads of Turkey and Iran, but the game as we know today originated in India, spreading to the UK by British soldiers. In the late 19th century, British settlers in Argentina began practicing polo in their free time; the local gauchos - who were highly skilled with horses - soon caught on and polo became incredibly popular quickly across the nation. 

Every sport needs a team uniform, and for polo players in Argentina, leather polo belts were originally designed as part of their uniforms. The colourful patterns - often the iconic pampa diamonds we see today - were stitched in the team colours, to help distinguish the teams from one another. It’s fitting that the polo accessories for the gauchos - to play polo, originally just a hobby - were made from the leather from the cows that the gauchos themselves were herding for their livelihood. 

However, while originally the Argentine leather polo belts were made only for polo players, the stylish patterns and vibrant colours made them a sought-after accessory all over Argentina, being sold everywhere from flea markets to high-end boutiques. Even today in Argentina, you can see many people sporting these fashionable belts. 

pampeano was one of the pioneering companies to bring this tradition over to the UK - just as the British brought polo itself to Argentina all those years ago - and we remain one of the few who still hand-craft our belts in the heart of South America. With our worldwide shipping, however, we aren’t just stopping at the UK; customers across the globe enjoy our luxury leather goods. 

Genuine polo belts have always been lovingly stitched together by hand; but sadly, originally the belts were made with low quality leather and old thread to save on cost for the Argentine polo players years ago. However, pampeano cater for the stylish 21st-century customer, using only the finest, genuine, South American materials to ensure durability and reliability. We use luxury wax-dipped saddlery thread, originally designed for high-stress equine leather products such as saddles and bridles; this type of thread is highly durable while retaining the vibrant colouring. Our leather comes from Argentine cows, and the traditional treatment techniques retain the quality from hide to leather, ensuring its resilience, as well as its butter-soft texture. All of this means that in terms of quality, a pampeano polo belt may be a far cry from the original polo belts made in the homes of the original Argentine polo players, while the iconic style, heritage and team spirit remains

Our polo belts are made by local artisans in the La Pampa region of Argentina in the traditional way; hand-crafted using local textiles. The top-grain Argentine cow leather undergoes a vegetable tanning process, which has been passed down for generations. Each individual luxury leather polo belt takes up to five hours to produce. It’s pampeano’s emphasis on heritage and quality which sets us apart from the crowd. 

Each of our polo belts are decorated by our signature pampa diamond, an ancient Aztec motif representing the Andes mountain range, which has inspired the local people of La Pampa for generations. The mountains overlook the polo fields of Argentina, making them very popular - not to mention beautiful - places to play and watch polo. Many of our colour schemes are inspired by these polo fields, with belts representing the sunrise over the mountains, and others reminiscent of the night sky.

Today, polo belts might as well be known as the belt of kings, considering that the polo belt is a common staple of Prince William’s casual wardrobe. pampeano’s leather polo belts are the perfect accessory for lovers of polo, but also ordinary people who love the unique style and the spirit of adventure that the gorgeous pattern and bright colours represent. We have developed our designs over the years to create a stunning representation of our South American heritage, with the finest materials available delivering an Argentine leather polo belt we are proud of. 

Our beautiful selection of belts include a style for everyone, whether you are after a belt that gives a statement of colour and vibrancy then the Multi or Helado is for you, on the other hand, the Jefe encases subtle shades of navy and brown and is favoured by those who don't want anything too loud. Whatever your style is, pampeano have a belt for you, however, if you have a custom design in mind for an occasion contact us at customer.services@pampeano.co.uk to discuss what we can do for you.