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Leather Quality and Properties - Page 9

post #121 of 1197
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post

First heat is the enemy of leather...maybe the worst enemy. Sunlight generates heat. To the extent that you can control the heat generated when an object is left in the sun (really?!) the damage may be mitigated...somewhat. But of course darker shoes will absorb and retain heat more readily than lighter shoes. Heat volatilizes oils and makes them either fugitive or in cases of extreme heat can actually cook the leather.

As far as causing the colour to fade, I suspect it is the ultraviolet rays that are breaking down the finish and changing the molecular structure of any dyestuff that has been applied...before making and/or after. To the extent that these finishes are anything but superficial, I would worry that damage was being done to the grain as well.

Re: elk and moose...and deer. These leathers are used but because of the way in which the fiber mat of these hides is structured the leather tends to be very coarse, the hair follicles wide apart and very large, and the leather extremely soft, spongy and very stretchy. For some people...who, presumably, would really rather be wearing sneakers or felt slippers...such softness and stretchiness is the appeal.

That said, I suspect most reputable shoemakers would tell you that they don't like working with these leathers and that the suitability to task or function is really limited.

 

Thanks, DWFII.  As always, a detailed and comprehensive explanation.  Good reasons not to bake your footwear in the sun to accelerate "patina".

post #122 of 1197
Quote:
Originally Posted by BootSpell View Post

 

Thanks, DWFII.  As always, a detailed and comprehensive explanation.  Good reasons not to bake your footwear in the sun to accelerate "patina".

 

I always thought that patina is a sign of ageing, and thus degradation.

post #123 of 1197
Quote:
Originally Posted by BootSpell View Post

Thanks, DWFII.  As always, a detailed and comprehensive explanation.  Good reasons not to bake your footwear in the sun to accelerate "patina".

Patina is only created by usage and oxydation. Other methods are used to imitate the real patina.

True for woodwork, bronze work, ceramics, and pottery. True for shoemaking and leather working as well.

Thus the difficulties of #menswear. Unstructured structured suits, brand new antiqued shoes, studied sprezz, paying top dollars to look hobo, going bespoke to look worn.
post #124 of 1197
Quote:
Originally Posted by dibadiba View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Celadon View Post


Why don't we see any shoes made from elk/moose leather?

Why do we see shoes made from far more exotic leathers, but not from this fairly common and widely hunted animal? I hope that one of the leather/shoe professionals can explain this to me.

I believe this is due to the fact that they're wild animals, and as such, quite a portion of the hide can be scarred or be of less than ideal quality.
Additionally, meat from these animals isn't exactly in high demand, nor are these animals farmed.
Also, in my experience, elk or moose leather tends to be very soft and rather stretchy. Nice for mocs or very casual, soft boots, but not exactly something you'd want for anything more than casual footwear.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by DWFII View Post

Re: elk and moose...and deer. These leathers are used but because of the way in which the fiber mat of these hides is structured the leather tends to be very coarse, the hair follicles wide apart and very large, and the leather extremely soft, spongy and very stretchy. For some people...who, presumably, would really rather be wearing sneakers or felt slippers...such softness and stretchiness is the appeal.

That said, I suspect most reputable shoemakers would tell you that they don't like working with these leathers and that the suitability to task or function is really limited.

 

 

The demand for the meat is probably limited due to the price for any kind of game being higher than for farm meat. But it is still fairly common and tastes good.

 

Dibadiba is probably right about scarring etc., but I would have assumed that to be true for many "exotic" leathers. I also expect that some damage occurs during the hunt or during the transportation of the dead animals out of the forest (and some of that may be a result of limited demand, as hunters would probably take more care if prices were higher).

 

As for the softness and stretchiness, this is a reason I can understand. But what is the difference from the "Russian calf" reindeer leather? Does that suffer from the same problem? If I understand it correctly, it was never even originally intended to be used for shoes, but mostly for book bindings or possibly upholstery. Or is the skin of reindeer different from that of other types of deer?

post #125 of 1197

Chogall, to my recent question of the effects of the sun on shoes, you replied:

 

"Lighten, a.k.a., sun bleached. Real patina"

 

Further down the page, though, you write:

 

"Patina is only created by usage and oxydation".

 

I'm a bit confused!  shog[1].gif 

post #126 of 1197
Quote:
Originally Posted by chogall View Post

Patina is only created by usage and oxydation....going bespoke to look worn.

How true that is!

Oxidation/patina does occur through exposure to air and sunlight. It's still fundamentally a breakdown in the finish. Perhaps...as I suggested above...if you could control the amount and placement of sunlight you could accelerate the process. But it will always look fake to the experienced eye simply because it is near-as-nevermind impossible control all the factors--including time--that make a true patina.

The thing that has always bothered me is to see makers...sometimes highly regarded makers...applying stains and dyes to create an ersatz patina even before the shoes leave the bench. Nine times out of ten, the areas that the maker has darkened are so at odds with what would occur through normal wear and oxidation that the shoes just look clownish to anyone who understands and appreciates fine leather shoes.

It's pretty near impossible to fake convincingly simply because you would have to duplicate the creasing patterns, etc., as well as the parts of the shoe that see minimal or no attention, and how those areas resist or accept polish or oxidation.

Just glopping extra stain or darker shoe polish on visible or easy to reach areas of the shoe doesn't make a patina.
post #127 of 1197
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Munky View Post

Chogall, to my recent question of the effects of the sun on shoes, you replied:

"Lighten, a.k.a., sun bleached. Real patina"


Further down the page, though, you write:


"Patina is only created by usage and oxydation".


I'm a bit confused!  
shog[1].gif
 


Here are shoes with so-called bronzed antique patina.

Quote:
http://www.marcguyot.com/2en.aspx?sr=6

Obtaining a bronzed antique patina on a black shoe is something like the Holy Grail for any shoe lover. Those of the London bootmakers Foster & Son will make you pale with jealousy, but the models in their window have undergone 40 years of exposure to the sun and to artificial light.
Quote:
http://foster.co.uk/our-products/bespoke-services/bespoke-archive/cambridge-shoe-3/
Designed by Terry Moore in 1966, it has developed an antique patina.

2060-Chavez.jpg
Quote:
http://foster.co.uk/our-products/bespoke-services/bespoke-archive/cap-oxford/
The fading you see here, caused by half a century of sunlight, can be carefully replicated in our Workshop with a shorter waiting time!

2050-Oxon-Cap-NP.jpg
post #128 of 1197
Quote:
Originally Posted by VegTan View Post

Here are shoes with so-called bronzed antique patina.

"The fading you see here, caused by half a century of sunlight, can be carefully replicated in our Workshop with a shorter waiting time!"


Maybe, but to the eye of someone who makes shoes or works with leather, the leather itself just looks damaged. Is it a look worth aspiring to? I don't think so but substance has always been my focus...as opposed to superficiality...so what do I know?

I know that no matter what they say they cannot duplicate a natural patina...if you think through the process a shoe has to go through to achieve that state--polish applied liberally in some places, not at all in others, exposure to the environment, etc., I am dubious.

The shoe is worn. Polish oxidizes and/or flakes off the shoe, and some areas of the shoe are then exposed to sunlight without the blocking aspects of the wax. And polish builds up in protected areas or areas of little flex Dirt gets in the creases, some of it is cleaned off, some of it is missed. Cycle repeats daily, weekly, monthly. And yes, "dirt" even if it's only oxidized polish contributes to patina.

Ever watch Antiques Roadshow? Think of a bronze or a silver teapot...as the years go by and it gets polished and used, dirt and/or oxidized polish builds up around handles and in low-lying areas. Same thing happens with wood, iron, pottery, jewelry, and leather.

If you're savvy enough you can spot a fake patina from across the room.
post #129 of 1197

I was just looking for the meaning of  "Lighten, a.k.a., sun bleached. Real patina". I understand the sun bit and the fact that it can age shoes. I'm not sure about the 'Real patina' bit. To me, it reads as though sun causes real patina - but from many responses on this page, the suggestion is that sun isn't particularly good for your shoes. 

 

It all sounds to me as though 'natural' exposure to sun can cause patination  but it is best not to let your shoes get too much sun. I'm still a bit confused.

post #130 of 1197
Quote:
Originally Posted by Munky View Post

I was just looking for the meaning of  "Lighten, a.k.a., sun bleached. Real patina". I understand the sun bit and the fact that it can age shoes. I'm not sure about the 'Real patina' bit. To me, it reads as though sun causes real patina - but from many responses on this page, the suggestion is that sun isn't particularly good for your shoes. 


It all sounds to me as though 'natural' exposure to sun can cause patination  but it is best not to let your shoes get too much sun. I'm still a bit confused.

Sunlight can destroy or change the molecular structure of the dyestuffs...either the basic colour or tint used to darken specific areas.

But patination isn't entirely due to sunlight...or any one thing, really...and again if you're confused, consider my comments about controlling the exposure and the heat build-up that ensues. Beyond that, shoes aren't exposed to that much sunlight in any given day. A couple of minutes on average? In a rotation...maybe not even that.

Remember, leather is just skin. So, think of your own skin. If you expose yourself to the sun for a few minutes every day...slowly but surely you'll acquire a tan--and some places will be darker and some not so much. Woo-hoo! You've just acquired a natural patina. But if you sit out in the sun without protection for 20 minutes or so you'll get a sunburn at the very least and cancer is not beyond the realm of possibility. No good can come of it, in other words.

It's worth remembering as well, that to some extent creams and polishes act as a sunscreen for the leather in your shoes.
post #131 of 1197

Thanks, DWFII, that's really helpful.

Munky

post #132 of 1197
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post

If you're savvy enough you can spot a fake patina from across the room.


I don't have the technique, but John Lobb Paris (Ilcea's Radica) and Weston (Annonay's Vocalou) sell it.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Munky View Post

I'm not sure about the 'Real patina' bit.

It is my understanding that patina means shading.
post #133 of 1197
Thread Starter 
Light-Fastness Testing

Quote:
http://horween.com/products/brownout/
The same color again, the left is #8 after about 4 months of direct sunlight.

dsc_0032.jpg

Quote:
Upper pieces are exposed to sunlight, but lower pieces are not.
Mustang Paste (a trade name of horse oil) is applied to the right half of upper pieces.

4eee4d4c861b6e47856b4f2beb9c008601d56883.jpg


http://koto.kushitani.jp/?eid=300
After a month. From left to right: olive, navy, brown, black.

44ba9a66f9d51cd49aa5f2b394dbe5f8a643d112.jpg


http://koto.kushitani.jp/?eid=352
After 4 months. The left half of upper pieces are slightly oxidized/faded, compared with the right half.

e617a5f0e5d08d3b64a037ea13aa3bfa8e63a547.jpg

Edited by VegTan - 7/26/13 at 10:29am
post #134 of 1197
Patina is not just shading nor is the Museum Calf representative of patina. The Museum calf looks like a poor dye job to these eyes--eyes that have been looking at, and analyzing, and evaluating, and using leather for over 40 years. It looks splotchy to me and I would not use it. I understand that some people like it but it looks exactly like what it is--a rather clumsy attempt to simulate patina. Again, anyone who knows anything about leather or shoes knows it's a fake. It might as well be "tie-dyed."

And yes, you can set your shoes out in the sun for four months or forty years and the colour will fade...no one ever said different. But so will the life of the leather. So...good luck on that.

Patina is more than just shading or fading or splotchiness. It is a predictable, non-destructive, and usually attractive aging of aniline dyed leather that results from use...in conjunction with regular maintenance, conditioning, polishing, and exposure to a multitude of environmental factors. Take away any of those factors and patination does not take place.

Do bleach splotched and purpose-torn jeans really and truly look old? People pay more for them than for new jeans...just as people here pay more for fake patina. It's ignorance...not knowing any better...the stubborn pervasiveness and blind repetition of misinformation in the common narrative. It's marketing 101 taken into the streets--repeat a rumour enough times and people start citing it as fact.

"There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'" - Isaac Asimov, column in Newsweek (21 January 1980)

--
Edited by DWFII - 7/26/13 at 11:08am
post #135 of 1197
Indeed it seems it's not just sunlight but other light that can fade the color of the leather. I was looking at a floor sample of EG shoe in Rosewood Country Calf color at SAKS .When I picked up the shoe to see what color it is, I was surprised to see the name Rosewood Country Calf.This color is usually very reddish brown but on this sample shoe it looked almost yellow. It seems to me that floor sample has been there for a long time at the rack directly under the floor lights. .
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