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**The Official Shoe Care Thread: Tutorials, Photos, etc.** - Page 96

post #1426 of 10596

If anybody's interested, here's how I care for my shell cordovan boots (Carmina 80184s in saddle shell) that I've regularly worn in the rain for the past two months, with photos of what they look like after each stage (cross-posted from http://www.styleforum.net/t/277505/epaulet-x-carmina-mto-group-buy-for-spring-2012 with some edits).

 

Caveat: I'm not an expert by any means. This is just what I do. I've both read and watched many resources, however, and it seems to have been working well at least in the short-term.

 

The materials I use are: a soft cloth, a deer polishing bone, a soft horsehair brush, and Renovateur. I wear nitrile gloves both when using the deer bone because it makes my hand smell weird and when applying the Renovateur because I don't want to absorb it through my skin.

 

1) Clean! I start by gently wiping them off with a dry, soft cloth to remove any dust or other particulate. Then with moderate pressure I wipe them down with a slightly damp cloth to clean them off. I find that this removes nearly all of the spotting from being in the rain (which is relatively minor to begin with). I give them a very quick brush at this point, too, just for kicks. Here's a photo of my boots just after cleaning and brushing with all of my supplies except the soft cloth:

 

The supplies I use to polish my shell cordovan boots: deer polishing bone, Renovateur, horsehair brush, and a soft cloth (not pictured)

 

2) After cleaning, I bone the entire boot. Some people suggest moving the bone in small circles, and I've seen others move it perpendicular to its long edge. But because of my particular bone's shape and a few rough spots that can (and have!) left minor scuffs, I mostly move it back and forth like a bow, using moderate pressure. It leaves behind a fatty, oily residue that conditions the leather.

 

Speaking of scuffs, here's proof that they can be smoothed like magic out by doing the above, before and after:

 

Some minor scuffs in my shell cordovan bootsThe scuffs in my shell cordovan boots have been smoothed over with a deer polishing bone

 

The boot on the right (below) has had the deer polishing bone applied to it. It's somewhat hard to tell from the photograph, but it has a waxier appearance at this point.

 

The boot on the right has had the deer polishing bone applied to it, the one on the left has only been cleaned.

 

3) After boning, I brush the boots with a horsehair brush to flatten the oils left behind on the leather from the deer polishing bone. I imagine that the friction from the brushing warms up the leather and oils, helping the leather incorporate its nourishment---but I don't know whether this is accurate. The boot on the right has been brushed, the left has only been boned.

 

The boot on the right has been brushed with a horsehair brush, the boot on the left has only had a deer polishing bone applied to it.

 

4) Next I apply Renovateur with a soft cloth over my index and middle fingers (too impatient to use just my index finger) in small circular movements. It soaks right in and darkens the leather. At this point any remaining water spots are gone. The right boot has Renovateur applied to it, so the leather is much duller than the boot on the left, which was just brushed.

 

The boot on the right has had Renovateur applied to it, the boot on the left has just been brushed.

 

5) Then I brush them again! I don't spend too much time on this, because I find buffing with a soft cloth has a much greater effect. Brushed on the right, Renovateur on the left.

 

Just after brushing the boot on the right; on the left has just had Renovateur applied.

 

6) After brushing, the final step is buffing with a soft cloth. If I had an even finer cloth (or nylon stockings or a lambswool shine mitt, neither of which I've yet tried), I think I could bring out an even greater shine with not much more effort. The right boot has been buffed, the left just brushed.

 

The boot on the right has been buffed with a soft cloth, the one on the left only brushed.

 

And the finished boots, radiating in diffuse outdoor light.

 

After polishing my shell cordovan boots.

post #1427 of 10596

Very nicely done! Thanks for taking the time to put all that together cheers.gif

post #1428 of 10596
Great post.

icon_gu_b_slayer[1].gif
post #1429 of 10596
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerry Nelson View Post

Very nicely done! Thanks for taking the time to put all that together cheers.gif

That has to be the best post on this thread for 2012 - Well done mymil.
post #1430 of 10596
How do people care for their C&J Northcote? Do you use regular wax and cream or is something else needed because of the waxed leather?
post #1431 of 10596
From what I understand the Northcote is basically corrected grain leather - if this is the case, a damp cloth & wipe should suffice.

Polishes aren't really going to get absorbed very much through the artificial veneer - they'll shine, but just sit on top.
post #1432 of 10596
Quote:
Originally Posted by Northampton Novice View Post

From what I understand the Northcote is basically corrected grain leather - if this is the case, a damp cloth & wipe should suffice.
Polishes aren't really going to get absorbed very much through the artificial veneer - they'll shine, but just sit on top.

uhoh.gif

How sure are you about this?

I know that most makers use some leathers that have had some corrective work done to the surface finish. But I'd hate to think that C&J uses any finishes that are 'veneered' or 'plasticized'.

Could you say more about what you know in this regard?
Edited by Gdot - 2/19/12 at 10:13am
post #1433 of 10596
This is a quote from the C&J website concerning care of their waxed leathers:

Waxed-finished or waterproof leather uppers should be treated with dubbin or a ‘waxed leather cream’ to condition, soften and protect the leather. Usually there is no need to use a coloured polish on this type of leather as it is not supposed to have a high shine.
post #1434 of 10596
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gdot View Post

uhoh.gif
How sure are you about this?
I know that most makers use some leathers that have had some corrective work done to the surface finish. But I'd hate to think that C&J uses any finishes that are 'veneered' or 'plasticized'.
Could you say more about what you know in this regard?
+1
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gdot View Post

This is a quote from the C&J website concerning care of their waxed leathers:
Waxed-finished or waterproof leather uppers should be treated with dubbin or a ‘waxed leather cream’ to condition, soften and protect the leather. Usually there is no need to use a coloured polish on this type of leather as it is not supposed to have a high shine.

Thanks, shows you how important SF is. I come here for info instead of shoe maker's website.
post #1435 of 10596
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gdot View Post

uhoh.gif
How sure are you about this?
I know that most makers use some leathers that have had some corrective work done to the surface finish. But I'd hate to think that C&J uses any finishes that are 'veneered' or 'plasticized'.
Could you say more about what you know in this regard?

Firstly as long as Gyasih is happy with the advice then nothing else really matters.

I don't have any direct experience with the Northcote, hence my 'from what I understand..'

But I can confidently tell you and Gyasih that 1) C&J do produce a small number of styles in Corrected Grain leather

2) Applying dubbin to corrected grain is only going to dull it's hi-shine aesthetic and I certainly wouldn't recommend it - it's quite pointless.

Now whether the Northcote is Corrected Grain I would imagine Gyasih would be able to tell/post pic or at least tell us whether it has a shiny finish?
post #1436 of 10596
Here's a picture, I have brown

196
post #1437 of 10596
I can't tell if it's corrected grain from the photo, but obviously they have a high shine so I'm not sure about the dubbin suggestion Gdot made either.

C&J usually term their corrected grain offerings Cavalry Calf
post #1438 of 10596
No, they call it waxed calf
post #1439 of 10596
Quote:
Originally Posted by Northampton Novice View Post

I can't tell if it's corrected grain from the photo, but obviously they have a high shine so I'm not sure about the dubbin suggestion Gdot made either.
C&J usually term their corrected grain offerings Cavalry Calf

Seeing those pictures I would agree that dubbin seems an odd suggestion for boots with that high a shine. My information is based solely on what I found on the website - the boots are said to be 'waxed calf' and the directions I quoted were their recommendations for waxed calf. I have no experience with this leather from C&J so I can't claim to know anything more.


Now that you mention it I do recall some mention of Cavalry Calf in other threads. I had forgotten about that. As best I recall this was a corrected grain in that it had been sanded and heavily dyed? But it was not a split? Not really sure I completely remember. It's a big difference in quality between the two types. Surely C&J doesn't use a split leather.
post #1440 of 10596
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gdot View Post

Surely C&J doesn't use a split leather.

C&J are considered by many as a benchmark for quality but that doesn't mean they don't use corrected grain leather or even split leather.

After all suede is typically produced from the under layer of a hide that has been split.

It would seem clear that Cavalry calf = corrected grain.

Whereas waxed calf is likely to be box calf that has been waxed after manufacture. In which case any beeswax based polish like Saphir will keep them looking good Gyasih.
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