Originally Posted by dibadiba
I find this pretty interesting. I work with French boxcalf, as well as Spanish baby calf that average around 8-9 square feet. As you are well aware, the leather from younger animals has a denser structure (one of the reasons I stay away from split cowhide, even when the grain is intact), but the leather is thinner. I'd like to get your thoughts on this.
The calf is noticeably thicker than the baby calf, but how much more durable
is it really?
My question would also apply to the case of kidskins I've recently started using. They're absolutely tiny...about 2 sq ft! I wonder how these would compare to goat in terms of durability and strength.
I'd be interested in knowing where you're getting French boxcalf. And even the Spanish baby calf. ?? My sources seem to be drying up.
When we talk about "durable" we have to qualify the term--do we mean tensile strength? Wear resistance? The tensile strength of the thicker skin will...up to a point...be greater than the thinner skin. That said, kangaroo is much stronger for its thickness than calf. But as long as we're talking about cal
f...as opposed to cow...I'd say thicker is stronger.
Tensile strength doesn't necessarily equal durability, however. If the leather is dry or cracks before its time, it doesn't make any difference how strong it was initially. And a lot of that has to do with tannages and finish.
As for kid skins...I don't work with them much. I was always taught that kid skin would peel. You see that regularly on women's shoes which are often made of kid.
Also kid and goat tend to be very "open"--the pores and hair follicles need to be painted over to make the surface acceptable. For example, I don't think you would want to use a crust kid. Or a crust goat. That's why kid and goat are available in so many and such bright colours--it's a "paint job." I have worked with goat a bit and use it for bright tops that are well protected. It doesn't seem as prone to peeling as kid.
Having just received a shipment of nice calf from A.A. Crack, and noting...as I did above...that it is thinner than I am used to, I am almost inclined to reconsider using kangaroo for men's dress shoes.
Kangaroo has one of the tightest grain structures I've ever seen and it is one the strongest leathers for its weight known to man. If the really good calf is going to come in not much larger than kangaroo and not significantly thicker, there doesn't seem much to be gained by using it. And good quality 'roo is available.
Anyway, those are my thoughts...for what they're worth.
--Edited by DWFII - 3/14/14 at 7:12am