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Leather Quality and Properties - Page 74

post #1096 of 1313
Is acrylic finisher appropriate for fine leather?





A piece of veg tanned horse hide. Acrylic finisher applied on the left. Bare, on the right.
post #1097 of 1313
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtc2000 View Post

Is acrylic finisher appropriate for fine leather?
  Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)




A piece of veg tanned horse hide. Acrylic finisher applied on the left. Bare, on the right.

 

 

 

I usually try to stay away from acrylic finishes, because for me they look like cheap wall paint.

post #1098 of 1313
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtc2000 View Post

Is acrylic finisher appropriate for fine leather?

A piece of veg tanned horse hide. Acrylic finisher applied on the left. Bare, on the right.

Many leathers that shoes are made of come from the tannery with an acrylic finish already applied. If a leather has a very shiny "table" (what it looks like when laid out on the table) the chances are it has an acrylic wax finish. Not always...depends on the leather but lots do. and I'm not talking about corrected grain or cheap leather either.

Acrylic waxes are just that--waxes.

And I agree with Calzo--they can look cheap if not applied professionally or judiciously. But acrylics can be super glossy...which looks unnatural...or satin which is not too far off what the ideal finish would be if you spent hours and hours hand rubbing and polishing the leather.

Acrylics are ubiquitous in the industry. Myself I would prefer to not use them but I know how.

(and, FWIW, I've sever seen veg tanned leather that responded well to acrylic waxes)
post #1099 of 1313
Quote:
Originally Posted by CalzolaiFeF View Post


I usually try to stay away from acrylic finishes, because for me they look like cheap wall paint.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post


Acrylics are ubiquitous in the industry. Myself I would prefer to not use them but I know how.

(and, FWIW, I've sever seen veg tanned leather that responded well to acrylic waxes)

Thank you, Calzo & DWFII.

The reason I asked is that I am intrigued by the exceptional high gloss on some of the Cordovan shoes from a certain American maker.
It is often described as a superior "wet", elusive glossy finish. So much so that a lot of the customers are saying the untreated Cordovan to be dry and abnormal.

I did an experiment a month ago with a new pair of "glazed" Cordovan boots. I stripped the glossy "wet" overcoat off using chlorobenzene. As expected, what is left behind is bare Cordovan.

Deglazed boots from the well known American maker.


Based on my observation, the "elusive" finish is nothing more than a heavy layer of acrylic finisher.


Brand new "glazed" wingtip shoe on the left, deglazed boot on the right.


The deglazed boot received a coat of Renovateur.

Edited by mtc2000 - 2/18/14 at 4:23pm
post #1100 of 1313

I spotted an earlier thread regarding Ilcea & Vecchia Toscana. I can confirm that Ilcea have restarted production finishing wet blue hides in Turin for Vecchia Toscana. For black calf Weinheimer Leder (formerly Freudenberg) are still used by all the top end shoe manufacturers and Societe De Cuir Les Rives supply a very good quality aniline dyed burnishing calf (No pigmented waxes).

post #1101 of 1313

One of the things I love about this thread is the fine gradations that people make between one shoe finish and another.  Take a shiny shoe, strip off its shine, give it a different shine. :smarmy:

post #1102 of 1313
It isn't a secret that Alden over dyes their cordovan shoes. Supposedly it is to kind of make it their own. It does give it a very shellacked look and I have always mentioned why I think they are more impervious to water than cordovan by other makers.
post #1103 of 1313
Based on my observation, the manufacturer applies the dye to even out the natural variation in shell Cordovan, then a clear acrylic overcoat finisher to give that glossy shine. Mostly likely done to improve yield.

With the acrylic overcoat, the "flesh-out leather" characteristics of shell Cordovan are destroyed. The traditional "vigorous brushing" or "deer boning" methods are no longer applicable.

Shouldn't we just treat them as if they were patent leather?
post #1104 of 1313
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtc2000 View Post

Based on my observation, the manufacturer applies the dye to even out the natural variation in shell Cordovan, then a clear acrylic overcoat finisher to give that glossy shine. Mostly likely done to improve yield.

With the acrylic overcoat, the "flesh-out leather" characteristics of shell Cordovan are destroyed. The traditional "vigorous brushing" or "deer boning" methods are no longer applicable.

Shouldn't we just treat them as if they were patent leather?

Patent leather is a plastic / vinyl layer permanently bonded to the surface of the leather.

Acrylic finishes, on the other hand, are not waterproof and eventually will breakdown and disappear.
post #1105 of 1313
Thank you, DWFII.
post #1106 of 1313
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtc2000 View Post

Thank you, DWFII.

fing02[1].gif
post #1107 of 1313
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
My opinion...At some level, if the slaughter and preparation of raw and blue hides are the same or similar there is not going to be much difference in quality. Age, of course is somewhat of a factor. How a tanner defines calf--calf can be anything from unborn to what? a year old?

Then we come to tanning, the same basic principle holds--if the tanning procedures are the same or similar there shouldn't be any real discrepancy in quality.

Finally it's down to finishing...that's where the differences really are. An opaque top coat will look and break in differently than an aniline dye. And crust will behave differently as well.

If you associate "quality" with appearance only, the better quality calf skins are always going to be more transparent--allowing you to "look into" the leather.

Also, a good quality calf will have almost no "pores" or "hair follicle" pits. They'll be there...as in any leather...but the coarser, the more open, the less quality I would assign to a leather that purports to be calf. Other leathers have their own character in that respect. But calf is a young animal...it is prized for the fineness of it's grain surface.

Real quality is a combination of things though--temper, hand, density, thickness, etc.. Sometimes it just take years of hairpulling and disappointment to get to the point where you can discern the really good from the pretty good and the pretty good from the OK. Experience--hands-on experience. Handling the good and the bad. Working with it.

PS...I would be remiss if I didn't add that feed, water, and other intangibles such as exposure to disease or bot flies will make a difference but esp. the environmental factors will show up in the temper and density of the leather.
--

Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Simply not true. The threads you have seen or are familiar with...and which are invariably tapered and waxed with paraffin, not a good hand wax...may be limited in that fashion (although I was told, way back when, that they were originally "designed" for stitching moccasin plugs not inseaming).

But the dacron I use comes on a roll....200 yards? The roll is roughly 4" x 10" on a one inch tube.

It is not cut into lengths and it is not waxed.

I cut the dacron in 12'-14' lengths--that's plenty long for a size 14 shoe inseamed all the way around...heel breast to heel breast and stitched through the heelseat with several feet of thread left over--as in the photos I recently posted of the burgundy ostrich jodhpurs.

DSCF1567.JPG


And yes, I use the same stuff for sewing the outsole but in three cord rather than eight cord.

I am familiar with what you describe..have a large bundle in my shop and wouldn't use it unless it was an emergency.
Like any new material, you just need to adapt to the dacron--use a pine rosin based wax and make a lock in the stitch. If the problem was as extreme as all that, you'd see "grinning" in my inseaming work. Not gonna happen. And I'm not surprised Janne likes it but I'm not surprised he's having trouble with it either, esp if he's using the prewaxed stuff. Paraffin is no substitute for hand wax.

And DW's "no iron nails" rule does not pretend to be English tradition--simply common sense, best practices and providing for longevity against all possibilities. As much as I admire...hell, even worship English Traditions--willingly acknowledging them as the foundation of all my work and techniques...I don't believe that they are the be all end all and I don't think "best practice" means ignoring weaknesses and limitations inherent in any material and or any technique, English or not. All the reasons for using a nail could be addressed by brass nails rather than iron...and the whole, possible, rust / carbonization-of-the-insole issue put to bed. That would be "best (or at least better) practices". Besides pegs may very well pre-date nails...in the English tradition...anyway.
FWIW, I've seen, purchased, and used hemp yarn. Most of what I got was not real hemp...including some I got from a shoemaker in England...but rather just linen re-labeled as hemp. Lots of confusion about that even among shoemakers.

And the yarn I knew for certain was hemp, was unusable with traditional hand waxes. It was coarse and more of the fibers ended up embedded in the wax than were left on the thread. I would love to purchase a ball of real, certified ...maybe even wet spun...#10 hemp yarn. Even if I never used it I'd still like to play with it. But who know? I might even switch again if I thought the benefits outweighed the weaknesses.

In any case, the yarn I got from England, that was touted as "hemp," wasn't any stronger or long fibered than the pre-war Irish linen I have.
--
Really interesting. Thanks for this.
Quote:
Originally Posted by JermynStreet View Post

Hey all, my briefcase just arrived from Glaser Designs in San Francisco. I ordered it from there because I had read reviews on this site that they made good products with superior techniques. Basically, I was looking for a DWF of briefcase makers…
They share the commitment to do everything they can to produce the best goods possible. Myron Glaser and DW would agree on a lot of things.
Quote:
Originally Posted by RIDER View Post

We are….he's the grumpier side of the personality.
I laughed out loud at this. Come to think of it. I've met both of you more than once, but never at the same time. Hmm… :suspicious:
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post


Sheesh, these are gorgeous.
post #1108 of 1313

Hello everybody, I speak for the property of Vecchia Toscana Group and I'm glad to announce you that the company has taken the management of Ilcea Tannery since 01/01/2014. The entire technical staff of Ilcea still work for the tannery and all the historical articles are now available for production. The news reported by xabi2005 is not entirely correct because Ilcea thanks to the financial strength of the new owner is now producing only from top european raw calf hides, while the old Ilcea in the last years was forced to buy wet blue hides from different traders because of financial problems (the major suppliers didn't give credit to old Ilcea), this fact has caused many quality problems to the old Ilcea. The tanning process is now realized in a dedicated department in Vecchia Toscana plant under the exclusive control of Ilcea staff (the choice not to produce in Turin is due mainly to legal and environmental problems), the finishing process is realized in the original Ilcea plant in Turin also under the control of Ilcea staff. If this solution seem strange to you I want to remind that Weinheimer is only a commercial company (Freudenberg closed in 2002) and devolves all the productive process to a Polish tannery (Kegar tannery). 

I think that Ilcea is a heritage to be preserved, because Ilcea calf leathers are unique.

This is the website of Vecchia Toscana Group (you can also see a video of our plant and our productive process): http://www.gruppovecchiatoscana.com/htm.htm

While this is the new website of Ilcea (is under construction, soon you will be able to see all the articles): http://www.ilceaconceria.it/

For any question or doubt you can contact me in PM 

post #1109 of 1313
Quote:
Originally Posted by FranceT View Post

Hello everybody, I speak for the property of Vecchia Toscana Group and I'm glad to announce you that the company has taken the management of Ilcea Tannery since 01/01/2014. The entire technical staff of Ilcea still work for the tannery and all the historical articles are now available for production. The news reported by xabi2005 is not entirely correct because Ilcea thanks to the financial strength of the new owner is now producing only from top european raw calf hides, while the old Ilcea in the last years was forced to buy wet blue hides from different traders because of financial problems (the major suppliers didn't give credit to old Ilcea), this fact has caused many quality problems to the old Ilcea. The tanning process is now realized in a dedicated department in Vecchia Toscana plant under the exclusive control of Ilcea staff (the choice not to produce in Turin is due mainly to legal and environmental problems), the finishing process is realized in the original Ilcea plant in Turin also under the control of Ilcea staff. If this solution seem strange to you I want to remind that Weinheimer is only a commercial company (Freudenberg closed in 2002) and devolves all the productive process to a Polish tannery (Kegar tannery). 
I think that Ilcea is a heritage to be preserved, because Ilcea calf leathers are unique.
This is the website of Vecchia Toscana Group (you can also see a video of our plant and our productive process): http://www.gruppovecchiatoscana.com/htm.htm
While this is the new website of Ilcea (is under construction, soon you will be able to see all the articles): http://www.ilceaconceria.it/
For any question or doubt you can contact me in PM 

Great to hear, and thanks for posting!
post #1110 of 1313
Quote:
Originally Posted by VegTan View Post

Bill Amberg's Rocket Briefcase seems to be the first product.
http://www.billamberg.com/the-rocket-cordovan/
I came across an interesting paper.
http://nihon-shika.info/kenkyu_2.pdf (in Japanese)

Experiments are done on acrylic boards as follows.



Here are scratch marks on acrylic boards by 3 kinds of chamois leather (deer suede), microfiber felt, microfiber eyeglass cloth, kleenex, and cotton face cloth.



Here are diameters of fiber bundles by scanning electron microscope: chamois (deer suede) 3μm, sheep suede 2-3μm, calf suede 2-10μm (from left to right)



and diameters of single fibers by scanning electron microscope: microfiber felt 3-10μm, microfiber eyeglass cloth 2-3μm, kleenex 3-15μm, cotton face cloth 3-15μm (from left to right)

If I read the paper right single fibre diameter of chamois is 0.3 μm or about 1/10 that of the others? Also did they test actual chamois chamois? Chamois and deer aren't the same thing.
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