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Leather Quality and Properties - Page 11

post #151 of 1279
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post

I never said anything untoward about paint or plaster or any of the decorative arts.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post

Applied patinas...in any form...are not only an oxymoron, they are, at bottom, a studied deception.....
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post

What they don't understand is that, as with all such "applied patinas", it is easily (and quickly) spotted as deception.

You said that applied patinas.....in any form (not just in shoes)......are a studied deception. Of course they are. They even take pride in deceiving. There is nothing wrong with deception. Trompe-l'œil (to deceive the eye) has been around for hundreds of years. It can be done skilfully, it can be done crudely.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post

I objected to the misuse of the word "patina."

I think the word 'patina' is the one misused. In certain metals 'patina' is the result of oxidation, the very same thing as being 'tarnished'. Why has 'tarnished' negative, but 'patina' has positive connotations? Maybe you explain us your use of the word 'patina' and why you see it as something positive and (in leather) not just an accumulation of grime and the scars of time.

You stated the 'museum calf' (which I am not fond of at all) looks like a 'bad dye job'. But as leather has no natural colour, (chrome tanned leather is white-ish, veg-tanned acquires the colour of the tannins used) you are at liberty to dye leather in whichever way you want: plain, stripy, blotchy, swirly. If people like their leathers blotchy, isn't that their prerogative? These are people in the tanning and shoe industry who have, just like you, 40 or more years of experience.

You might not share their ideas, but you do use every opportunity to put everyone else down. Did you ever consider trying to understand why people make things differently from the way you make them?

No, you don't! If someone does anything different from DWF, they must be wrong.


"You play Bach your way, I play him his way!"
Harpsichordist Wanda Landowska (1879-1959) to her collegue Rosalyn Tureck (1913-2003).
post #152 of 1279
Quote:
Originally Posted by bengal-stripe View Post


You might not share their ideas, but you do use every opportunity to put everyone else down. Did you ever consider trying to understand why people make things differently from the way you make them?

No, you don't! If someone does anything different from DWF, they must be wrong.


"You play Bach your way, I play him his way!"
Harpsichordist Wanda Landowska (1879-1959) to her collegue Rosalyn Tureck (1913-2003).

Your quote by Landowska is so apropos...it's too bad you don't understand it. More importantly you don't seem to want to communicate with anyone. Whatever patina is...to you, a non-shoemaker...it is not paint or plaster. You can not make the two words synonymous even with obduracy and repetition. If paint is patina then welcome to corrected grain leather.

And no, there's nothing wrong with deception when it is acknowledged and/or pursued for its own sake. You've taken a discussion about the qualities of leather and the pros and cons of trying to patinate leather through exposure to sunlight (infrared and ultraviolet), and through misdirection and deliberate misconstruction, made it into a discussion about something altogether different, with you imposing your own singular definitions of the words being used. That's not just deception, it's posturing at the very least and trolling more likely. Acknowledged or not.

People can like Museum calf...I've no problem with that ...but acknowledge it for what it is. It's not patination. I said it looked like a poor dye job. That's my opinion...but it is based on a depth of knowledge and experience that is not easily duplicated in the modern world. That's not to say it is right, in some absolute sense, but it will pass for truth until a better rationale...grounded in experience...can come along.

Many makers do things differently than I do...again I have no problem with that, despite your repeated and unsuccessful (maybe even hysterical) attempts to change the narrative.

But these are makers. They are not posturing. They are not supposing. They are not fantasizing. They have real reasons for making their choices...sometimes I disagree but in almost every circumstance I at least understand--a claim you cannot legitimately make given your level of understanding and contact with the work.

Do you see the difference? Words have meanings...a concept you seem to have trouble with--from pattens to patinas.

Whenever I get into one of these attenuated, suspiciously disingenuous, discussions with you I am reminded of the old saw: "Opinions are like a$$holes--everyone has one but they're not all worth sniffing." My opinions are grounded in experience, in sweat and tears and mistakes and wax under the fingernails. For whatever they are worth they are not the product of daydreams or the parasitation of other people's work...and their grounded opinions.
post #153 of 1279
Quote:
Originally Posted by Munky View Post

Overall, I suppose, this is an argument for allowing shoes to age of their own accord. However, presumably anyone with the right money can order shoes that are in any state. Notice that shoes with  with accelerated patina are made that way with an aesthetic idea in mind. Shoes that develop a natural patina cannot be guaranteed to develop in such a way. However, as indicated above, many might prefer the 'natural aesthetics' of shoes allowed to patinate on their own.

puzzled.gif

I think you've mostly got it right...although there are many, esp. here on Style Forum (as opposed to Substance Forum?), who really want to give the impression that they are old money...or so old money that they can afford to be indifferent to the condition or quality of their clothing. That's what, if I read him correctly, Chogall was getting at with the comment about "studied sprezz." It's posturing, it's affectation, and it's entirely transparent. But it's what some people like...indeed structure their lives around.

There is, as far as I know, no one antiquing or accelerating patina who gets it exactly right. Darkening is added where the leather is most exposed to sunlight or most apt to be worn and the leather is often lightened where the shoe is the least exposed. Look at the Fosters posted earlier. The old one, the chewed up one, is darker on the sides of the shoe--where the pant would cover and protect the finish and the leather. The peanut brittle coloured pair have been deliberately lightened at the same location. How does that make sense? It's a mish-mosh...almost random...in many cases. And again, to those who really know, it's immediately apparent. Like a thumb in the eye, it just looks fake. So, yes shoes with a natural patina will look different than shoes that have been "doctored."

The whole point of the discussion, however, is not whether a natural patina is preferable to to an applied patina--that's a matter of personal opinion, as declasse as it may be, but simply that some of the techniques...such as prolonged exposure to sunlight...are actually extremely detrimental to the life of the leather.

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post #154 of 1279

Without venturing into whether it should be called "patina", it does seem that many on SF like the appearance of shoes on which the color of the leather varies. Some may share DWFII's ability to tell at a glance whether this variation is due to years of wear, polishing and  exposure to elements or a result treatments used to produce the effect. Most, I suspect, are like myself and would have no clue how to distinguish age from an artist's efforts. Those of us who are clueless need not care how the appearance came to be. Those few who can tell the difference still have to decide whether they like the look of a particular pair of shoes.

 

Why does the dye job has to be uniform? It is probably harder to get perfect uniformity than variation, and it may well be that leather that is less than perfectly consistent in color may be less expensive than flawless samples. Hence "bad dye job" may also be "cheap dye job". But these are back to matters of taste. Some people like it, some do not. What is there to argue about? Not one of my favorite musicians has anything like the audience of the big pop stars. But I feel no need to debate a pop music fan about whose taste is "correct". Free country. 

 

For my shoes, since I buy cheap and old, if they have color variation it could due to age, it could be due to a cheap dye job when the shoes were new. It could be bad dye job on aged shoes. I don't care. But most SF folk are far more interested than I in the appearance of their shoes.

 

DWFII: aesthetics aside, is there a reason to prefer uniform to varied color in new leather, or color variation due to age over variation due to finishing in older shoes?

post #155 of 1279
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbhdnhdbh View Post


DWFII: aesthetics aside, is there a reason to prefer uniform to varied color in new leather, or color variation due to age over variation due to finishing in older shoes?

The short answer is "no."

But the longer answer is something along the lines of "Why prefer naturally finished, aniline calfskin to corrected grain calfskin?" "Why prefer short even stitches to long stitches?"

The only reason is that non-uniform dyeing, long stitches, etc. (and on and on, ad infinitum), are generally signs of sloppiness and expediency.

To some extent, it's context--and the context is shoemaking. I am a shoemaker; I see with the eyes of a shoemaker. I understand construction and technique and longevity from the background of having been a shoemaker for closing in on half a century. I am a craftsman. I think about things in terms of how they can be done, if they can be done and how they can be done to effect best quality and function.

Substance versus style.

That said, it's not heart surgery. It's not world peace. It's just shoemaking.

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Edited by DWFII - 7/27/13 at 2:27pm
post #156 of 1279
Quote:
Originally Posted by bengal-stripe View Post

All 'patina' is an acquired sign of ageing in a given material. Some deteriorations are culturally desired, so they are given the fancy name 'patina', while others are not, so they are called 'dirt', 'stains', 'tarnish', 'discolouration', 'fading', etc. In a leather briefcase you may call the dirt and sweat rubbed into the handle and next to the locks 'patina' while a water stain is just that: a water stain (unless there are dozens and dozens of water stains acquired over decades, then it will be called patina.

Artists and craftsmen have used for centuries techniques to accelerate the speed and to have greater control of those inevitable effects of ageing. Copper roofs have been treated with acid to speed-up 'verdigris' which rain and pollutants would have caused anyhow. Artists have used coloured tints and varnished to mellow the colour of the paints used. Gilders have rubbed soot into the crevices of newly gilded decorations. August Rodin is supposed to have encouraged his assistants to urinate over finished bronze sculpture sitting in the back yard.

'Antique' finishes in leather are just the same. Whether or not you like the sponged effect of 'Museum calf' is just a question of preference and taste. In principle this finish is not different from marbleized paper or stucco marble (which was during the Baroque a more preferred and more expensive method than natural marble as it allowed the craftsman the absolute freedom of colour and swirls which the natural stone would not allow).

This division into 'good' and 'bad' patina is absurd. All patina is acquired, whether I use the long or the short route, whether it takes one hundred years or one hour.

 

I disagree completely. 

 

Acquired patinas are from aging and usage.  Applied patina are imitations to look aged.  It's a pretty well defined division.

 

There are for sure ways of creating applied patina, but they are still applied patina, not acquired patina.  An antiqued bronze statue is just not an antique bronze statue.

 

In addition, a part of the acquired patina for personal items is that they are very personal, sometimes nostalgic, and what made the shoes "mine".

 

p.s., oxidation of metals are sometimes the required finish to protect the metals, i.e., intentional rusting coat for carbon steel knives.

post #157 of 1279
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post


The short answer is "no."

But the longer answer is something along the lines of "Why prefer naturally finished, aniline calfskin to corrected grain calfskin?" "Why prefer short even stitches to long stitches?"

The only reason is that non-uniform dyeing, long stitches, etc. (and on and on, as infinitum), are generally signs of sloppiness and expediency.

To some extent, it's context--and the context is shoemaking. I am a shoemaker; I see with the eyes of a shoemaker. I understand construction and technique and longevity from the background of having been a shoemaker for closing in on half a century. I am a craftsman. I think about things in terms of how they can be done, if they can be done and how they can be done to effect best quality and function.

Substance versus style.

That said, it's not heart surgery. It's not world peace. It's just shoemaking.

 

I think the question is what's better or what do you prefer between finished aniline calfskins or unfinished/semifinished crust leather that are dyed/creamed in the shoemaking process.  i.e., JL/Vass box calf vs. EG/G&G semi-finished crust calf.

post #158 of 1279

I appreciate this conversation, but I have an off topic question. I saw somewhere that there is a difference between french and italian calfskin. French is supposedly durable than Italian? Is this true. If this is true, why? Breed of cattle? Tanning procedures?

post #159 of 1279
Quote:
Originally Posted by JermynStreet View Post

I appreciate this conversation, but I have an off topic question. I saw somewhere that there is a difference between french and italian calfskin. French is supposedly durable than Italian? Is this true. If this is true, why? Breed of cattle? Tanning procedures?


I don't think it's necessarily true. I can't speak to all French calf or all Italian calf but I suspect it depends on the tannery itself. Each tannery, even in the same country, is going to be doing some things differently than all the others.

The only thing I would observe is that in my experience Italian calf tends to have a more delicate finish. Of course, the French calf I have been using is fairly large (probably more like veal than calf) and is struck through, as well. It's also a bit thicker (3 oz.) than the Italian calf I've seen.

But take that with a grain of salt...we see more French calf this side of the pond than we do Italian calf.
post #160 of 1279
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Celadon View Post

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).

Here is Finnish elkskin, which is not expensive, but nor cheap.
  • size : 22 - 30 sq.ft.
  • thickness : 4 mm
  • price : US$ 12 / sq.ft.

Other prices in Japan for reference.
  • Anilou (Puy) and Vocalou (Annonay) : US$ 20 / sq.ft.
  • Chromexcel (Horween) : US$ 12 / sq.ft.
  • Shell cordovan (Horween) : US$ 120 / sq.ft.

From http://l-phoenix.sblo.jp/article/44106019.html





Quote:
Originally Posted by Celadon View Post

I'll use this thread to restate a question I previously posted elsewhere to no avail:

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.



Deerskin is very stretchy, but not fragile. It is hard to break. Besides, it is so porous that it is lightweight and breathable. I think these are strong points.

From http://archive.org/stream/smithsonianmisce1201969smit#page/232/mode/1up



I have Midwestern's genuine deerskin and Churchill's genuine elkskin, and one of their weak points that I think of is that the grain is so thin as to be liable to peel off, compared with calfskin and steerhide respectively.



Cross sections of deerskin (upper) and steerhide (lower) from http://www.nihonshika-hikaku.com/product/index.html





I think shoemakers avoid deerskin and elkskin because they have poor resistance to friction and their grain is easily scratched. Instead they prefer to use buckskin (grain side is buffed) or deerskin suede (maybe reversed leather).


G&G buckskin
Quote:
http://gazianogirling.tumblr.com/post/30734126596/this-is-a-long-forgotten-leather-which-i-am-really

This is a long forgotten leather which i am really quite excited about, orginal china buck skin. i thought it was extinct. i remember years ago making a shoe from it and have never seen it since. a friend of mine contacted me recently and told me that we can get it in black,tan and dark brown. you really have to see this in person and feel the soft quilt like feel, unlike any other leather i have worked with, and i would imagine has to be the most comfortable.

we have a very small stock at the moment and most is strictly reserved for bespoke.



Carmina deerskin
http://tradingpost.jp/shibuya/6073/




C&J deerskin
http://global.rakuten.com/en/store/eton/item/658348/




An important reminder: Elkskin (except genuine elkskin) is usually cowhide/steerhide at least in the US.

From Pfister & Vogel leather swatch
http://archive.org/details/leatherspecimenb00lacr



From Russell Moccasin catalog



From American Leathers






Justin genuine European elk
http://www.ebay.com/itm/JUSTIN-EUROPEAN-ELK-SKIN-COWBOY-BOOTS-MENS-SIZE-9D-FREE-SHIPPING-USA-/321107512551?nma=true&si=nnQytkX39RYEkWE5eLqpI3Xb3TQ%253D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557

Edited by VegTan - 7/28/13 at 9:23am
post #161 of 1279
Quote:
Originally Posted by chogall View Post

I think the question is what's better or what do you prefer between finished aniline calfskins or unfinished/semifinished crust leather that are dyed/creamed in the shoemaking process. 

If you were asking me this question, I would have to say that I prefer the finished aniline dyed calfskin. But truth to tell we don't get a lot of crust here in the States. We can import it from Europe ...and I have done...but you need to work with it a lot to really get facile with it.

I've played with it---it's interesting. I've made shoes from veg tanned kip---very similar to St. Crispin Baby calf and liked it, as leather, pretty well. But I've also seen shoes that were made from such crusts where the "antiquing" was flaking off the leather.

The one thing I really liked about it was that the St. Crispin and the kip both seemed to have little or no pores/hair follicle pits. I am not sure this wasn't because both were veg tanned however. In my experience, some of the best chrome calfs in the world are much coarser in that regard.
post #162 of 1279

I bought one of the bone folders through Hanger Project. While I feel I get similar results from firmly messaging  out waves/creases in my shell using my thumb and a small booger of Reno, It saves my thumb from cramping up and is quite easy to control. Being that its a quarter of the price of the Flintstones club sized deer bone its a nice tool in my tackle box.
 

post #163 of 1279
Something thatI noticed that I find interesting is that leather seems to have a higher stretching tensile strength than compression tensile strength. If you hold a stick in your hand and bend it it will break where the fibers are stretched. With leather it seems to be the opposite. It has always seemed odd that leather never, or rarely cracks at the welt area where it is stretched over the insole. Leather uppers/lining never seem to break on the inside, but rather in spots where the leather is compressed. Perhaps it is due to it being exposed to more elements, but perhaps something else. I'm curious of how compressing leathers to create density has an effect on strength given this experience I have seen with leather's compression strength.
post #164 of 1279
Both of these shoes began the same color: Burgundy Antique. Both of them were worn by different people, with different lives and who cared for them differently...

egb11.jpg

Prince Charles' bespoke Lobbs over decades...

Prince_Charless_40-year-old_John_Lobbs_at_Keikari_dot_com3.jpg
shoes-prince-charles-vintage-lobb.jpg
Prince_Charless_40-year-old_John_Lobbs_at_Keikari_dot_com.jpg
Prince+Wales+Visits+St+Pancras+Almshouses+iDIIaQ8ioOAl.jpg
post #165 of 1279
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by patrickBOOTH View Post

Something thatI noticed that I find interesting is that leather seems to have a higher stretching tensile strength than compression tensile strength. If you hold a stick in your hand and bend it it will break where the fibers are stretched. With leather it seems to be the opposite. It has always seemed odd that leather never, or rarely cracks at the welt area where it is stretched over the insole. Leather uppers/lining never seem to break on the inside, but rather in spots where the leather is compressed. Perhaps it is due to it being exposed to more elements, but perhaps something else. I'm curious of how compressing leathers to create density has an effect on strength given this experience I have seen with leather's compression strength.


I think so, too. I still haven't come across that kind of research, however.
Quote:
http://www.satra.co.uk/bulletin/article_view.php?id=555

Flex testing of footwear uppers
The SATRA Vamp Flex Test machine reproduces both the inward and outward creasing that develops when footwear is worn

n555-2.png
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