My attempt at Altair's large belt. Took about a month of mildly motivated work, and I'm relatively happy with the finished product. The red cloth is a placeholder for now. After doing this I've figured that my favorite part of leather work is definitely distressing, texturing and dyeing.
The distressing is a combination of heat and water, the heat applied with a wood burner in uneven strokes, and the water lightly spattered over the top. The combinations are endless when it comes to heat and moisture. If you saturate the leather surface a little, when you apply an even layer of heat the surface fuses, becomes brittle, and then cracks leaving larger rifts in the leather. If no water is added, the same thing happens albeit on a smaller scale. I also used an iron on some parts of belt, and found that leaving small splotches of water on the leather and then ironing it causes the water to boil away and leave pockmarks. It's all just experimentation. After the distressing I added a gel antique which blackens the cracks and if wiped away leaves the surface a lighter color. The dyeing of the piece is just as important as the distressing itself, because it reveals the distressing that was done.