or Connect
Styleforum › Forums › Men's Style › Classic Menswear › Leather Quality and Properties
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Leather Quality and Properties - Page 85

post #1261 of 1279
Where do you think they get the tanning chemicals? Or, if veg, the bark? Quebracho is one of the primary vegetable materials used in veg tanning--it comes from South America.

Where do they get the dyes?

Where do they get the rubber heels for White's Dress boots?

Now another question...why do you think there are so few tanneries in the US?

I suspect I'm just getting tired of magical thinking.
post #1262 of 1279

I'm not as concerned with where they get the materials from as I am with how they dispose of the materials.

 

While there is no perfect way to dispose of noxious chemicals and whatnot, some ways are less damaging than others.

 

While I"m not an expert, I suspect that a tannery in chicago has "cleaner" practices and disposal methods than, say, a tannery in India or someplace in China.

 

Quote:
Now another question...why do you think there are so few tanneries in the US?

 

I suspect it is partly because of the aforementioned regulations regarding worker health and safety and disposal of hazardous materials.

 

Quote:
I suspect I'm just getting tired of magical thinking.

 

I'm really not sure what you are getting at here.

 

Are you saying that concern for an area's manufacturing and environmental practices is "magical" somehow?

post #1263 of 1279
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neognosis View Post

does it also speak lowly of Horween for even selling it? 

All hides come with belly or shoulder. It's the way the Creator designed animals. What is the tannery supposed to do? Trim the belly off? And who would they sell it to?

Every maker bespoke or manufacture buys the belly along with the backbone.

The bespoke maker throws it away or uses it somewhere it won't make a difference...and charges more--every pair of bespoke shoes incorporates the cost of the waste.

The manufacturer cuts every square inch that it can and uses as much of it as it can get away with regardless of suitability to purpose. That's the only way the prices can be held down.

Perhaps it speaks poorly of the customer who looks for bargains while saying that he's seeking quality. Who doesn't inform himself as to what quality looks or feels like. Who allows himself to believe the public relations hype.

Magical thinking....
post #1264 of 1279
Magical thinking is, at least in part, when you cannot...or will not...see the connections that make comprise the whole picture.

You say you're "not as concerned with where they get the material..".

Not concerned with the chemicals and chemical precursors that go into making the tanning agents, dyes, cements, stiffeners and heels? Not concerned with the toxicity of those elements? Not concerned with the lives they affect in the countries that produce them?

How can that be?

But you are concerned with how they dispose of them.

There is no "they." You are "they." We are they.

How do you dispose of your rubber heels or sole guards or danite outsoles? I suspect that like millions of other "unconcerned,' you unconcernedly grind those products up into micro-fine particles and distribute them across the landscape. And let others dispose of what's left.

Why is India a go-to source of tanned leather...for the world? Because the "enlightened" governments of the worlds won't do their own dirty work?

There is no "they," there is only us and as long as we refuse to see how all these things are connected...how they start with our demand for cheaper, faster, invisible, feel-good, NIMBY...it will only get worse. All finger pointing should be done in front of a mirror.

And I don't exclude myself but at least my eyes are open...and I have mirrors all over my shop and house..
post #1265 of 1279

Let's take a step back here for a moment and try to approach this like a regular Joe, instead of a shoemaker.

 

Six months ago the boots I had been wearing for six years every day, day in and day out, wore a hole through the vamp on my motorcycle foot controls. I thought I would replace them so as not to have my sock exposed through the hole.

 

I wanted to buy American if possible, because I am an American and I believe in supporting my own economy. I like to buy things that are made in a more responsible manner with more "fair" employment and worker safety practices, as well as environmental practices. Another reason to buy something made in the US rather than somewhere in china or the third world, if possible.

 

I have an average Joe job, with an average Joe salary, a mortgage, a wife, and three kids. (two at the time i needed to replace my boots).

 

I do a few google searches for "American made boots." Up come Red Wing, Wolverine, and Whites. I go to the local Red Wing store. They don't have anything I like and the salesperson is rude. So I leave. I see that White's have to be custom ordered and there are no retailers within 100 miles of my home. I also would like to not be riding my motorcycle barefoot or with my sock sticking through the vamp, so waiting 8 weeks isn't really an option, as I only had the one pair of boots. Why? Because I'm a regular guy, and that's generally how many pairs of boots regular guys have. (at least the kind that can be work on a bike and into work all day)

 

An online vendor emails me about a sale on Wolverine 1K mile boots. I like how they look... oh, and look at that, they are made in the USA with leather tanned in the USA. Sounds good! They are pricy, but with the sale I can just about afford them, and besides, good things are not often cheap. So I buy them.

 

A month later, I notice that the right boot is shriveling up before my eyes. I google "wolverine 1K mile boots shriveling" or something like that, and I find styleforum.net.

 

What I'm trying to illustrate is that there is a reasonable amount of due diligence a person can be expected to perform, and it varies by person and the thing they are learning about. I have three children who need attention and a job. If I spend a few days researching every minutia of daily life, I would never actually do any living. 

 

For example:

 

Last Sunday I was mowing my lawn when my lawnmower engine started running rough. Turns out the air cleaner element needs to be replaced. A quick google search reveals there is an american made replacement by K&N. And it's washable! I'll probably get that. Expensive, but I can justify it. However, is there some guy in Peoria making air filter elements by hand, online right now on some small engine forum getting his ego stroked by adoring fans, waxing poetic about how big businesses like K&N use cotton elements that say they are made in the US, but they actually use chemicals that kill honeybees? I don't know. It's an air cleaner element, man. I"m not going to spend three months researching to replace an air filter. I have a lawn to mow, a job to go to, a wife to keep happy, and three kids who need to spend time with their father.

 

So for a moment, consider that there are extremes to every reality, and it might be unrealistic to expect an average consumer to spend several weeks or longer researching what is, to them, little more than a casual purchase.

 

I ended up here when I decided that my 1KMs were just too wrinkly to be presentable at work, or at least I felt that way. In reality, nobody else is noticing, but it's bothering me. I'll likely purchase a pair of boots in the next two weeks or so. Is that enough research? I don't know. But it's what I'm willing to do. Because they are BOOTS and there is more to life on which I choose to devote my time.

 

I'm curious to know how much time and effort you feel is necessary before making a purchase. If you were to buy a razor for shaving your face, how long do you research that purchase?

post #1266 of 1279
I think you did a fine amount of research, but what he is saying is mass manufacturers of shoes use the whole hide and aren't very choosey about the best parts. Therefore some parts of the hide will get used that looks a bit more wrinkly. It has nothing to do with your research, but rather just the way things are.

I have never riden a motorcycle, but perhaps it got that way due to some of the heat that could be by that boot? Just curious.
post #1267 of 1279
Quote:
Originally Posted by patrickBOOTH View Post

I think you did a fine amount of research, but what he is saying is mass manufacturers of shoes use the whole hide and aren't very choosey about the best parts. Therefore some parts of the hide will get used that looks a bit more wrinkly. It has nothing to do with your research, but rather just the way things are.

I have never riden a motorcycle, but perhaps it got that way due to some of the heat that could be by that boot? Just curious.

Yes, but what I'm also saying is that unless you are willing to attend to the minutiae, whatever that takes...including accepting that you're part of the problem....then you're not allowed to point fingers. You don't have the right. The point is not aimed at him or anyone in particular...and everyone in particular.

I think consumerism is a major sickness in western societies.We're all slaves (or addicts or blinded by) to the "1k miles" paradigm. What does that mean...really? Why do we buy into it?

I despise manufactures who invariably put the bottom line at the top of all their priorities. But that's what the world seems to want...even the people of India.

That's just the way things are.
post #1268 of 1279
Quote:
I have never riden a motorcycle, but perhaps it got that way due to some of the heat that could be by that boot? Just curious.

 

No, I bought these back in January, and they were wrinkled before the riding season even started (here in New York).

 

I'll post a picture. 

 

It seems, from what I've read in this thread, to be characteristic of parts of the hide from the belly.


 

Quote:

 

Yes, but what I'm also saying is that unless you are willing to attend to the minutiae, whatever that takes...including accepting that you're part of the problem....then you're not allowed to point fingers. You don't have the right.

 

False. When you are sold a bill of goods that do not meet what was advertised, you have the right to point the finger right at the manufacturer who sold you the crappy object. For the sake of brevity, I did not mention that these are my second W2Ks.... the first pair had an eyelet rip right out of the leather, so I sent them to wolverine... who gladly send me the monstrosities that you see pictured above. In fairness, they did not look AS bad when they arrived. 

 

So, now I'm looking to replace these. Will a pair of White's be any better? I think so... or is that all just hype too? I certainly am not able to pay 700 dollars for the next tier up. I wish I could, but I have different means than most of you and must prioritize my purchases.

 

 

So, what are you shaving with? And how long did you research the purchase of whatever implement you chose?

post #1269 of 1279
I would have taken them back to the retailer when you noticed this to see if they would exchange them or something. It does look like belly leather.
post #1270 of 1279
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neognosis View Post


False. When you are sold a bill of goods that do not meet what was advertised, you have the right to point the finger right at the manufacturer who sold you the crappy object. For the sake of brevity, I did not mention that these are my second W2Ks.... the first pair had an eyelet rip right out of the leather, so I sent them to wolverine... who gladly send me the monstrosities that you see pictured above. In fairness, they did not look AS bad when they arrived. 

What in the world do you think advertising is? Have you never been disappointed by claims made about a product? If you think about it, probably every day. So why are you surprised? Haven't you ever heard that "insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result"?

Life itself is the best teacher if we but pay attention in class.
post #1271 of 1279

We are arguing semantics here.

 

When a manufacturer makes false or misleading claims, they should be held accountable. To imply that they are not is, in a sense, failing to hold them accountable.

 

Should a consumer exercise due diligence when considering a purchase? Of course. But should a manufacturer be allowed to make false claims? Certainly not. And when they do and a consumer is taken advantage of, the blame is not with the consumer, it is with the party that lied or intentionally mislead.

 

For instance, when I buy a new motorcycle, there are certain expectations that are entirely reasonable. There's also a reasonable amount of due diligence and research the consumer can be expected to do before the purchase. Talk to people who own that kind of motorcycle, either on person or check out some forums. Check Consumer Reports safety and reliability ratings, research articles on the bike and what sites like webbikeworld and magazines like Motorcyclist have to say (though these are all VERY subjective and they do have advertisers...)

 

I bought my Harley Davidson because they were the only american manufacturer that made a bike in my price range at the time. I did the research I listed above.

 

At around 15,000 miles, while on a trip 300 miles away from home, my front wheel bearing ruptured, spewing grease all over the front of the bike and causing a dangerous situation. I made it home and took the bearings out, to find that they were made in China. I replaced them with american made bearings. I cannot devote months of research to determine the origin and reliability rating for every part of a motorcycle. Wheel bearings should last at LEAST 50,000 miles, and that is the expectation. I hold Harley Davidson responsible for the use of these crap bearings. And I believe that to be just.

 

The same way Wolverine claims that their boots are made with quality leathers and of superior construction. Clearly, they are not. And as a result, I will not buy another pair ever again. But it is just and deserved to point a finger at wolverine for using inferior leather. Because they did and do.

 

I also think that internet forums like this one, while sometimes very helpful, also should not be given too much gravity when it comes to researching a product and deciding whether to purchase or not to purchase. Because people are not always honest, even with themselves, people have various motives when they review things, and I've often found reviews, both positive and negative, to be very different from my actual experience.

 

So ultimately, you learn what you can, you pays your money and you takes your chances. But don't blame a consumer for a manufacture's misleading statements. There are even laws against this kind of thing.

 

However, if you are saying that consumers should vote and make statements with their dollars, as well as try to be informed when making purchases, then I agree with you.

 

You still haven't told me what razor you shave with.

post #1272 of 1279
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neognosis View Post

The Dress Brown leather White's uses comes from Tasman Leather Group in Portland, Maine.

However, a look at their website makes me think that they might not be tanning the leather there, and it might be imported....

Oh dear... their literature contains phrases like: "By globally sourcing our hides and vertically integrating our production, we are able to provide maximum value"

That's corporate speak typically used to obscure something... Searching their web page for 5 minutes or so reveals a lot of ties and suppliers in other countries, but no specifics on where the leather is tanned. "Hide processing" is done in Texas, but I don't think that "processing" encompasses tanning. Or does it? The website is unclear. You would think that if they were tanning hides in the US, they would broadcast it.?

Guess I'm going to go with the British Tan from Horween in chicago... unless they tan it somewhere else as well.

Tasman acquired Prime Tanning Co. while they were originally a rawhide company. Not sure but their leather is tanned in the US.
http://www.pressherald.com/news/prime-tanning-files-for-bankruptcy_2010-11-16.html?pagenum=full
http://www.pressherald.com/news/Cowhide-Hartland-giant-eyes-tannery.html



http://web.archive.org/web/20111120075256/http://www.primetanning.com/clients.html
55d070c9.png
Edited by VegTan - 7/22/14 at 11:49pm
post #1273 of 1279
DW...I hope you lighten up on the Guy. I don't see him as a troll. Just came across SF researching an issue he had.
He's not looking for the hair on the egg -nor- an argument. Rather he clearly stated his priorities and means.
I'll trust my intuition. We should welcome more guys like this to expand the SF population. Better that than chase them away.
post #1274 of 1279
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick V. View Post

DW...I hope you lighten up on the Guy. I don't see him as a troll. Just came across SF researching an issue he had.
He's not looking for the hair on the egg -nor- an argument. Rather he clearly stated his priorities and means.
I'll trust my intuition. We should welcome more guys like this to expand the SF population. Better that than chase them away.

Nick,

If you're talking bout Neognosis, he's fine, in my book.

I have no bone to pick with him nor do I consider him a troll.
post #1275 of 1279
@DWFII Question, you have said in the past that you generally like to choose hides with a dense grain structure and such. I noticed that some leathers, while not "grainy" have a more pitted surface than other due to hair follicles. Other than aesthetics does this sway your choice? Is there anything inherently worse about this particular hide?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Classic Menswear
Styleforum › Forums › Men's Style › Classic Menswear › Leather Quality and Properties