Originally Posted by DWFII
First, let me set your mind at ease (although I find myself doing this...for the very same reason...more often with people who skim over remarks and don't read for content or, ahem, "substance.")-- I didn't say this was "bad quality" leather. I asked if anyone thought it was top quality leather.
Actually, that's not all you said. Your original quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII
Go back to page one of this discussion...blocking out any awareness of the brand name or the price paid...does that look like top quality leather to anyone? Really?
I trust you'll forgive me for interpreting this as "you must be stupid to think that that's top quality leather", which implies that you think it's obviously bad leather. Perhaps you can clarify your view?
Beyond that, I suspect "fine creases" as an indicator of quality is an over-simplification. Most people want simple answers--it obviates the necessity for thought and involvement. But the actual answer is far more complicated...
It depends on so many factors--substance....thicker leathers will crease more coarsely than thinner leathers. A good example of this is French Calf vs. kangaroo. [Parenthetically, kangaroo is one of the strongest leathers with regard to tensile (tearing ) strength known to man. A two ounce kangaroo is probably as strong as a four ounce calf.] Both of those weights are common for their respective leathers. But because 'roo is so thin, it creases/flexes/bends around a smaller radius than the Fr. Calf.
We already know that the leather in question is (French?) calf.
Of course using the creasing to determine quality is an oversimplification, but you're the one asking us to comment based on a photo. How would you answer your own question?
Creases collect dirt. Dirt, on a microscopic level, is grit...sometimes, as in my area, even nano-particulate glass (volcanic). Finer creases not only provide more surface area to collect that grit, but more surface area to grind it together and abrade the fibers of the leather--voila!...cracks.
This, to me, is your most interesting point. I think you've explained that fine creasing does not necessarily imply good quality leather. But does good quality leather imply fine creasing? Because if so, then your comments above suggest that good quality leather will tend to crack more easily. I hope this isn't the case.
But if you want to believe that XYZ is the best of the best and would never stint on the quality of their raw materials...inadvertently or for whatever reason/economic model...be my guest.
For what it's worth, my shoe brand of choice is Crockett & Jones. Not because I believe they use the best materials, use the best construction or have the best styling, but because they offer me the best fit out of all the shoe manufacturers that I've tried (which includes Edward Green and JL Paris). I hope we can all agree that "fit" is the most important quality of a shoe rather than materials, construction, design or even if it's hand-made or machine-made.