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Leather Quality and Properties - Page 83

post #1231 of 1279
Quote:
Originally Posted by RIDER View Post

Tough statement to hang your hat on......I'm pretty sure - over the centuries of veg tanning - there has been at least a few questions asked by those in the business regarding 'the finish'. Probably why 80%+ now are chrome tanners.

To wrap it up I'll ask a question.....if there are so many issues with chrome calf, why do you use it? And, have you stopped using alligator or croc? Since they are only chrome tanned.

Sounds about the same as all the leather in your closet......you know, veal and all -

Ron,

I'd like to see any veg tanned leather that is finished the way, or as well as, chrome tans are...from any time period--even a contemporary product that I may know nothing of.

Sad to say, in all my career, I've yet to see more than a handful of veg tanned leathers with a finish on them. And most of them were reptiles that already have a very dense, virtually waterproof grain surface in the tiles. Of any of the others the finish was amateurish at best compared to what is routinely applied to chrome tans.

I'm not against chrome tannages. I've used them all my life and will continue to use them but I have made and own 100% veg tanned leather shoes and know other shoemakers who do also. With an acrylic finish they don't age or weather in the fashion you alluded to. And in some ways I prefer to work with veg tans and prefer to wear them. Make yourself a pair, give it a finish and you may change your mind.

FWIW, I'm not a tree-hugger and I suspect we share a similar disdain for those that are. I've spent my entire career/life working in a Trade that is dependent on the killing of animals. Nor am I one of those people who become so besotted by novelty that they lose all sense of proportion. Anytime I can avoid placing myself in proximity to known toxins; anytime I can make a choice that forestalls my own personal involvement in further poisoning the environment of other people (and other creatures), I will. Every time.

I'm not going to pursue this business with the study you cited, either. It's yours to validate...or not.To take beyond hearsay. But ask yourself which would you rather see seeping into your water table--chromium sulfate or an oak bark tea not too dissimilar to the water of peat bogs that have existed for millennia.

--
Edited by DWFII - 6/6/14 at 6:57am
post #1232 of 1279
Quote:
Originally Posted by JP Marcellino View Post

totally agree, but im not sure i get the dye residues from leather causing harm if that were the case we would hear more about it from the public at large and especially since tanned leather has existed for some time.

In a shop that handles dyes, there is constant exposure to the carrier--the solvents. Even when the lid is tight, there is always outgassing.

Dyed leathers that are abraded...as they may occasionally be...become dust to be inhaled. I am thinking particularly of the dyes that makers use to finish the outsole and heel. If you've been in a shoemaker's shop (or even a factory), one of the most striking aspects is the amount of dust...everywhere.

And mind you, anytime you can smell dye, adhesives, solvents from conditioners (Saphir?), etc., what is really happening is that molecules of that chemical are making contact with the olfactory receptors in your nose--if you smell toluene, you're breathing toluene. If you smell sh*t, you're literally inhaling molecules of it..
post #1233 of 1279
epatanneryreport.pdf 1862k .pdf file
Quote:
But ask yourself which would you rather see seeping into your water table--chromium sulfate or an oak bark tea not too dissimilar to the water of peat bogs that have existed for millennia.

My point exactly.....I choose neither.

As far as 'tea', I'm afraid science disagrees though. This was the landmark study issued by the EPA that was the beginning of the end for many tanneries here in the US.

Fast forward to page 26:
Quote:
The LD50 concentrations of sulfides, tri-, and hexa-valent chromium are such that effluents out of normal tannery operations would not be lethal. It was found that two very toxic agents, pyrocatechol and pyrogallol, originating in synthetic tannins and vegetable tan liquors, respectively, are lethal at doses as little as 3mg/1.

Further, it would be far too simple to assume that the only process of a tannery that would possibly have an impact on the environment would be the method of tanning - of far more consequence is the method, and materials/waste, associated with preparing the hides for tanning. And on this point there is, generally, no difference between a chrome tannery and a vegetable tannery (not to mention the fact that many continuing tanneries process in both methods - don't think that a veg tannery doesn't tan in chrome because they think they want to save the environment or anything - it's just business).

Anyway, if someone has an interest, they can go freely to the EPA's document site and download a hard drive worth of docs connected to this - and the following 10+ years of litigation, rulings, reports from tanneries that participated in the study's, etc. - and see the facts clearly.

I don't think there is any room for opinion on this topic - the facts are the facts.

What would be better questioned is the use of 'easy' words that smart marketers use....like vegetable, green, all-natural, non-toxic.....when they know full well the impact these will have on an uneducated, and unaware, buying public for their products.
post #1234 of 1279
Ron,

You're right, facts are facts and I can't honestly say that I am well versed in the science of tanning....so most of my remarks are indeed opinion.

I did read most of the brief you provided. I was struck by the emphasis on chrome tanning and the intense emphasis on re-using the chemicals involved (chromium and sulfides) so that they do not enter the environment. I was also struck by the fact that virtually nothing was said about the same kind of effort being made with regard to vegetable tanning (not retanning) except that synthetic tanning compounds pose an unknown but potentially serious risk.

Again, I have to yield to people like yourself who have studied this in more depth than I have, but at some level I remain unconvinced.

For centuries we have had tanneries using vegetable tannins in almost all western countries. In fact, at one point in time shoemaking and allied industries...that certainly includes tanning...employed more workers than any other industry...including farming in the US. This was well before chromium tanning was known, much less widespread.

Yet we have no evidence of the kind of deleterious effects with veg tanning that are documented in the clip that pB provided--not even anecdotally. We don't even have...that I know of...any real efforts prior to the introduction of chrome tanning to regulate effluents. It's only with establishment of chrome tannages as a viable alternative to veg tans that we start to see concern...and then concern becoming regulation and restriction.

But I thank you for providing the pdf and for raising the issues. Something to think about....
post #1235 of 1279
Perhaps it's worth noting...if only for discussion purposes...that in the EPA studies, toxicity was determined by the effects on a microorganism--Bacillus Megatherium--not on test animals or humans.

While not doubting that this approach is one that yields relevant data about general toxicity...it may be a stretch to suggest that the "lethal" effects of "doses as little as 3mg/1" of pyrogallol on micro-organisms has any bearing whatsoever on larger, more complex organisms such as those with a central nervous system and organs/systems capable of safely eliminating such compounds from the body.

There are many substances...completely natural...that are lethal to micro-organisms yet wholly benign in larger animals.

For instance, garlic is one of the best anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and even anti-viral substances on the planet yet is harmless to humans. Honey and echinacea might be considered in the same category.

What's more, our own bodies create antibiotics that are lethal to micro-organisms.

And some things both micro and macro--including chemicals, maybe most importantly chemicals--can kill humans and mammals without being toxic to micro-organisms...as witnessed by the sheer variety, nevermind quantity, of micro-organisms that flourish within the human body postmortem.

Whether or not exposure to oak bark tea is toxic, nevermind lethal, and in what doses, cannot be determined from the EPA tract, however.

Just a few thoughts...
post #1236 of 1279

What would cause leather to wrinkle like this as I push off while walking?

 


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post #1237 of 1279
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claghorn View Post
 

What would cause leather to wrinkle like this as I push off while walking?

 

 

I'm fairly ignorant about the properties of leather, but those wrinkles are quite large and coarse so I'd say that the leather is probably cheaper leather rather than good quality calf leather. 

 

I've got some cheap, "beater" shoes for wet weather from Barker and they have coarse creases but they cost about and I wear them in the rain so I don't mind. 

 

However, my C&Js, Santoni, Edward Green and so on all have much finer creasing, instead of those large, wide creases. 

 

I also suspect that, in addition to leather quality, it quite possibly has something to do with the fit - do you have a lot of room across the vamp where the shoe bends when you walk? I think that if the shoes are too wide or if there is too much vertical height in the shoe so you've got a lot of empty space, it could also contribute to the creasing/wrinkling.

 

Anyway, that's just my $0.02. Hopefully, someone more knowledgeable will chime in soon.

post #1238 of 1279
Leather creasing is always an interesting topic. A lot of things affect the creasing it seems such as where on the hide the leather is cut from, the type of tannage, and the finish. All in all leather creases as as long as you keep the areas that crease clean and conditioned worrying about it too much is unproductive. Creases can look pretty nice on a well worn pair of shoes over time.
post #1239 of 1279

pB:

 

Yes, all leather creases, but there are creases and then there are creases. 

 

All in all, I'd far rather have fine, shallow creases rather than coarse, wide, deep creases. 

post #1240 of 1279
Quote:
Originally Posted by patrickBOOTH View Post

A lot of things affect the creasing it seems such as where on the hide the leather is cut from, the type of tannage, and the finish.

Aside from getting a different pair of shoes there isn't much you can do about it.
post #1241 of 1279
The first and second photos suggest that the shoe does not fit the customer (although I wouldn't be surprised if the first photo was taken of an empty shoe) but the second photo also looks like the leather is cut from marginal areas of the hide or from really suspect quality leather. The third photo looks pretty normal, IMO.
post #1242 of 1279
...there are creases and then there are crevices. Still, I'd like to remind all of us in the shoe bubble that most people will only see that we have shoes on. Nice shoes at best. If these marks trouble you very much, do take a few photos and send them to the maker. The reply could just be quotable.
post #1243 of 1279
First photo has my foot in it. My left foot is about a half size smaller than my right, so this is generally an issue. Doesn't bother me much. The leather is the most supple/pliable (whatever term is used for leather) I've felt. Not sure how I feel about it. I think I prefer leather to have a bit more firmness. It certainly looks better while walking.

Fritzl suggested soft leather is an Italian thing.

The second and third pictures are of the shoe empty, with me pressing down on it and then releasing it.
post #1244 of 1279
FWIW, Clag, those shoes are hideous anyway. You generally have better taste, wtf is the matter with you!?!?
post #1245 of 1279
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claghorn View Post

First photo has my foot in it. My left foot is about a half size smaller than my right, so this is generally an issue. Doesn't bother me much. The leather is the most supple/pliable (whatever term is used for leather) I've felt. Not sure how I feel about it. I think I prefer leather to have a bit more firmness. It certainly looks better while walking.

Fritzl suggested soft leather is an Italian thing.

The second and third pictures are of the shoe empty, with me pressing down on it and then releasing it.

If that's the case, there is way too much room in the forepart of your shoe. That, as much as anything is causing the creases to form as they are. But the quality of leather is also a factor. It may be great leather, in general and very supple, but it is poor shoe leather. Those creases around your thumb tell the whole story.
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