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Leather cracking on EGs - please advise - Page 7

post #91 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post
And always, always...as with any mass produced object...there is the pressure to maximize profit, minimize costs.

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?

You are implying that the leather is not top quality. Can you say, with certainty, that "top quality leather" will always last 5+ years? I don't believe that you can. There are always variances beyond the manufacturers control.
post #92 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by rebel222 View Post
You are implying that the leather is not top quality. Can you say, with certainty, that "top quality leather" will always last 5+ years? I don't believe that you can. There are always variances beyond the manufacturers control.
Of course I can't. Go back and read what I've previously written in this thread. That said, if you start with good raw materials, the chances of having good results magnify, don't they? All things being equal. More importantly if you're going to talk the talk you need to walk the walk, don't you think? "Best" means something in most people's lexicon...and probably not anything that encompasses "second best."
post #93 of 185
I just don't think it's fair for you to write off the leather quality on these shoes when the are exhibiting natural faults of making shoes out of leather. When you imply that they leather isn't top quality, please have some substance to back it up. I know you are biased against manufactured shoes, but I don't know what your basis is to imply the leather quality could be better. I've been following this thread closely, and I've read all your posts. I have recently had "issues" with Edward Green. They are currently being resolved, but I am interested in others tales with EG, as well. I must say, you are a great resource for this forum to educate us about the shoe-making process, but you are always quick to bash mass produced shoes. I don't think it's fair unless you have a basis to do so, in this circumstance.
post #94 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by rebel222 View Post
I just don't think it's fair for you to write off the leather quality on these shoes when the are exhibiting natural faults of making shoes out of leather. When you imply that they leather isn't top quality, please have some substance to back it up. I know you are biased towards manufactured shoes, but I don't know what your basis is to imply the leather quality could be better.
What would you require for substance? Would forty years of working with leather and making boots and shoes as as a full time career, work for you? And in fact...just to clarify...I am biased, admittedly--toward hand made shoes not manufactured shoes.
post #95 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by rebel222 View Post
I just don't think it's fair for you to write off the leather quality on these shoes when the are exhibiting natural faults of making shoes out of leather. When you imply that they leather isn't top quality, please have some substance to back it up. I know you are biased against manufactured shoes, but I don't know what your basis is to imply the leather quality could be better. I've been following this thread closely, and I've read all your posts. I have recently had "issues" with Edward Green. They are currently being resolved, but I am interested in others tales with EG, as well. I must say, you are a great resource for this forum to educate us about the shoe-making process, but you are always quick to bash mass produced shoes. I don't think it's fair unless you have a basis to do so, in this circumstance.
Well, you've edited your remarks subsequent to my response...that's OK--it's much clearer now. The thing is...the question has gone unanswered: Does anyone out there think that the leather depicted in the photos on page one of this discussion represents top quality? You tell me...what is fair or unfair? Was it unfair for me to ask that question? I spent the better part of my remarks to this discussion pointing out all the reasons that the manufacturer could not be held entirely responsible for the variations in the quality of the leather and all the reasons that, after five years, it is unrealistic to expect them to accept that they are at fault. Don't you think...for the sake of fairness...both sides ought to be examined? Isn't that the essence of "fair?" My experience, knowledge, even my "intuition," as who should say, tells me that the leather depicted in the photos is heavily finished--never a sign of top quality. I'm sorry if that offends...anyone. But ask yourself..."how does he know this?" Most lessons are learned the hard way.
post #96 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post
What would you require for substance?

Would forty years of working with leather and making boots and shoes as as a full time career, work for you?

And in fact...just to clarify...I am biased, admittedly--toward hand made shoes not manufactured shoes.

Just for my own edification, do you consider Vass and St Crispin to be hand made shoes? I believe they are both gemming free, though I could be wrong. At what point does a shoe become hand made in your opinion? Is hand lasted + hand carved welt the criteria?

I'm not trying to start an argument. I'm highly impressed by your artisanship and share your desire to "turn away from the machine."
post #97 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post
....blocking out any awareness of the brand name or the price paid...does that look like top quality leather to anyone? Really?





Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post
.....I am biased, admittedly--toward hand made shoes not manufactured shoes.

These shoes are bespoke and hand-made!

The shoes are probably much older than five years, but I wonder how they looked after five years.
I presume, the OP has many years to go until his shoes reach that level of "shabby chic".
post #98 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joenobody0 View Post
Just for my own edification, do you consider Vass and St Crispin to be hand made shoes? I believe they are both gemming free, though I could be wrong. At what point does a shoe become hand made in your opinion? Is hand lasted + hand carved welt the criteria? I'm not trying to start an argument. I'm highly impressed by your artisanship and share your desire to "turn away from the machine."
Well, the easy answer is that when every step of the construction process is done by one person...one pair of hands...and that same person is ultimately responsible, and has to personally and ethically answer for the results, the shoe can be said to be hand-made. I know of at least one damn good shoemaker...occasionally posting to this forum...who sometimes uses gemming. I can't bring myself to embrace the concept but I can't hold it against him either. "Hand-made" reflects a state of mind--a particular philosophy that encompasses more than technique or tools or even materials...hard as all that is for me to say. And an entire "decision tree" springs forth from that state of mind. Manufactured...especially mass-manufactured...reflects an altogether different state of mind that necessitates...mandates...an entirely different set of choices. All of them inevitably inimical to "hand made." IMHO.
post #99 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by bengal-stripe View Post
These shoes are bespoke and hand-made! The shoes are probably much older than five years, but I wonder how they looked after five years. I presume, the OP has many years to go until his shoes reach that level of "shabby chic".
Yes, and I've got even money that the main reason these shoes are so badly cracked is that the owner insisted upon spit shining the whole shoe. One way or another it looks like excessive wax build up or a too-heavy finish. Two things: As I mentioned above, I've got shoes that are somewhere under ten years old that are cracked...it goes without saying they are also handmade and bespoke. The second thing...in much the same vein...is that bespoke makers don't have access to many, if any, materials (leather, thread, etc.) that are not also available to manufacturers. In fact, the factories may have the upper hand in that regard buying in quality as they do. We can just as easily buy poor quality leather as the factory. We could, if we wished, use leatherboard for insoles. We just choose not to. The manufacturer could, if he wished, use Baker insole shoulder. He just chooses not to. The issue is why do each of the above make the decisions that they make? Sophistry aside, you know the real reasons and therein lies the answer to all the great philosophical questions of the age. Nothing guarantees that a hand made shoe will be better than a factory shoe any more than there is anything to guarantee that a factory shoe will cost less than a hand made shoe. But the underlying philosophies are different. The goals are different. And every choice and every decision made will have a singular affect on the outcome.
post #100 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post
One way or another it looks like excessive wax build up or a too-heavy finish.

It's more than that! - Look at the black shoes, the upper had two (if not three) patches inserted.
post #101 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by archetypal_yuppie View Post

They are expensive luxury items, not value items. If you want value buy corrected grain leather and replace every 5 years. But you lose the nice looking leather. Tradeoff.

Agree. Or buy allen Edmonds if value is what you really care about. But too many people seem to have been convinced think that the most expensive stuff is also the best on a cost/wear basis.
post #102 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by bengal-stripe View Post
It's more than that! - Look at the black shoes, the upper had two (if not three) patches inserted.
Oh yeah! Huh. Not a bad job either. I don't think I could have done that good back when I was doing repair.
post #103 of 185
I'm so ahead of my time. You will all miss me believe it now or not.
post #104 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post

The second thing...in much the same vein...is that bespoke makers don't have access to many, if any, materials (leather, thread, etc.) that are not also available to manufacturers. In fact, the factories may have the upper hand in that regard buying in quality as they do.

Actually, the opposite is true now. The supply of good calf (especially black) is like nothing these days. Anything good is going to China, and the small niche tanneries can only supply the one-off guys. The word 'quantity' does not exist anymore in better hides.
post #105 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post
And always, always...as with any mass produced object...there is the pressure to maximize profit, minimize costs.

While maximising profit is a given, it's not always by minimising costs. Some companies can just put their prices up.

John Lobb Paris for example have a policy of only cutting a single pair of shoes per skin (see Manton's post here). But they can afford to do so, because enough people are willing to pay their crazy prices.

Do bespoke shoemakers follow such a policy? Or would they cut multiple pairs from a skin to minimise costs, err, waste?

Quote:
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?

There's only so much I can tell from a picture, but it certainly looks like good quality leather to my uneducated eye - I can see the grain so it hasn't been "corrected", and the creases are very fine.

However, the leather also looks very dry? The reason I say this is because I have a pair of shoes where the uppers on one shoe looks just like that and "feels" dry to the touch, or at least there's a distinct difference compared with the other shoe. I've tried working lots of shoe cream into it, but it seems that there's only so much the leather can absorb. Hasn't cracked yet though.
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