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

Leather Quality and Properties - Page 62

post #916 of 1274
Quote:
Originally Posted by Munky View Post

Thank you DFII for your response to mine and other postings. You are, as usual, very informative. 

Yr. Hmb. Svt.

post #917 of 1274
Are there are "true" scotch grains out there? I heard somewhere they were literally soaked in scotch or some spirit and dried out. I know Saint Crispin's does the shrunken calf, but I am just curious what is out there.

The whole thing about grains being "corrected" makes sense to me. I have a pair of "inca" calf boots for the winter. Scotch and, pebble grain shoes always seemed more water repellent to me, that is why I got these winter boots with this grain. They are probably more water replant because the grain is either stamped, or compressed or whatever to get the desired look, which essentially seals the pours.

In general I don't know why some people are so obsessed with not having corrected grain like they are getting something inferior. Some manufacturers offer both for seemingly cosmetic reasons. I would think there is a difference between a Church Grafton in corrected grain at $700 vs. a Johnston & Murphy at $90, no?
post #918 of 1274
I don't know why some obsess over supposed "natural" versus "unnatural" processes when it comes to leather in the first palce. There is nothing natural about the tanning process. Or dying. Or polishing. It strikes me as absurd that one particular surface treatment should be derided as being less than genuine.
post #919 of 1274
I would argue that there is nothing unnatural about the tanning process. It is all about the finishing really. Some people like the idea they are getting a pristine hide free of blemishes, while others enjoy, or don't care about imperfections. Others lump finishing with "quality", which they really mean "durability". I would say that some finishes hide physical weakness of the product, while others are simply cosmetic. I think it all boils down to people having the idea that they are, "getting what they paid for". Since correction is most often seen in cheap shoes their minds see all correction as being "cheap", or "low-quality".

It's just another logical fallacy: All black men have 20" penises. Al Sharpton is a black man. Therefore, Al Sharpton has a 20" penis.
post #920 of 1274
Quote:
Originally Posted by patrickBOOTH View Post

I would argue that there is nothing unnatural about the tanning process. It is all about the finishing really. Some people like the idea they are getting a pristine hide free of blemishes, while others enjoy, or don't care about imperfections. Others lump finishing with "quality", which they really mean "durability". I would say that some finishes hide physical weakness of the product, while others are simply cosmetic. I think it all boils down to people having the idea that they are, "getting what they paid for". Since correction is most often seen in cheap shoes their minds see all correction as being "cheap", or "low-quality".



It's just another logical fallacy: All black men have 20" penises. Al Sharpton is a black man. Therefore, Al Sharpton has a 20" penis.

 



Well it would come down to semantics on the tanning process - an awful lot is done to the hide once it is stripped from the beast, and the resulting effects too significant for it to be still be described as being in a "natural" state in the literal sense of the the term.

But that is perhaps less germane to the point you were originally making - and in respect of which I am in complete agreement.
post #921 of 1274
Quote:
Originally Posted by patrickBOOTH View Post

I would argue that there is nothing unnatural about the tanning process.

If we can imagine ...or draw on the discoveries of paleontologists...it's not all that hard to understand that tanning is indeed a natural process. Imagine a tree struck by lightening. An animal of some sort is sheltering under it from the storm . The strike kills the animal, shatters the tree, "debriding" large sections of bark onto the ground near the trunk. The rain fills the depression that the animal was sleeping in and soaks the bark. Weeks, months, later one of our distant forebears comes upon the carcass that has steeped in bark infused liquor and discovers that the hide is not only intact, it is amazingly supple.

Voila! Veg tan.

Or during a cold snap, homo neanderthalensis decides to wrap himself in the skin of a freshly slaughtered cave bear--Ursus spelaeus. It's warm. But it gets stiff..still better than nothing...until after repeated exposure to grease and wood smoke our ancient forefather finds that the hide is much much softer and lasts longer.

Chamois is produced using similar methods and the white leather that Native Americans use is brains (grease, fat) and wood smoke...nothing else, except elbow grease.

Of course that's all speculation but not having degrees in chemistry it is doubtful our ancestors could have invented tanning whole cloth.

Up to a point...where actual functional defects are being obscured or camouflaged by grain correction...I have no problem with scotch grain or hatch grain, top finishes or even shrunken grain. Each has characteristics that could be considered flaws but it's still leather, after all.

I don't have much truck with prints that emulate other leathers--such as faux ostrich or printed alligator, etc.. It's just another deception...for no good purpose.
post #922 of 1274

I hope I'm not repeating, here, what others have said. Isn't all leather corrected in some way? Presumably, no-one has a pair of shoes that is made of leather that has come straight off the animal, without any 'correction'. However, this is a doomed argument. If all shoe leather is corrected in some way, we no longer need the word 'corrected'. It would just be a process that necessarily takes place between taking the hide of the animal and the making of a pair of shoes. We probably need to use the word 'corrected' in a very specific sense. And I ain't got the required knowledge to say what that very specific sense would look like. 

post #923 of 1274
Quote:
Originally Posted by Munky View Post

I hope I'm not repeating, here, what others have said. Isn't all leather corrected in some way? Presumably, no-one has a pair of shoes that is made of leather that has come straight off the animal, without any 'correction'. However, this is a doomed argument. If all shoe leather is corrected in some way, we no longer need the word 'corrected'. It would just be a process that necessarily takes place between taking the hide of the animal and the making of a pair of shoes. We probably need to use the word 'corrected' in a very specific sense. And I ain't got the required knowledge to say what that very specific sense would look like. 

If the definition of "natural" ...esp. in this context...is that human beings have not changed, modified or had any input into the sourcing or usage of a material, nothing in this world (shoemaking/clothing) is natural. But then it sort of begs the question...is it like the physics conundrum of needing an "observer?" Or is it just a silly imposition of someone's singular and uninformed or ill-reasoned opinion?

I personally think that as long as there is a direct connection/relation between the material/object and human beings...at every step, from harvesting to consumption...the "naturalness" cannot really be questioned. If only because human beings are part and parcel of life on this planet. As much as some would like to deny that fact.

Beyond that, and on a more practical level of consideration, people have been wearing footwear that came straight off the animal since time out of mind (one of the first kinds). And even more so with just a little intervention--as with the examples given in my previous post. Up until the late 19th, early 20th century all shoes, and all parts of the shoe, were veg tanned.

Dyes were derived from vegetable or mineral sources. Just as paint was/is. A very good black dye can be made from iron filings steeped in vinegar (urine?)...only works with veg tanned leathers. Finish coats were oils, resins and other paints.

Many modern crusts...which are used as is...are undyed veg tans

None of it exists without human intervention.

As far as "corrected grain" as a term is considered...if you think about it, it is nearly self-explanatory without a lot of navel gazing. "Corrected" means that the default surface is either so damaged or so unsightly (or even undesirable) that it must be changed or covered up to be sold and utilized. I've never considered, nor tried to make the case that Scotch grain and the like were corrected grain leathers...even though it is technically true that the grain has been altered/corrected.

That too exists only with human intervention, in that with corrected grain, it is...as it so often is...the bottom line that is at issue. Because before the emergence of modern synthetics and technology (further widening the gap between the materials and human beings) "corrected grain" leathers did not exist. Leathers that would otherwise find no market, that might have had to be discarded, could now be sold and a profit made.

Yippee! Animation by Camilla Eriksson website: www.millan.netUSSPCMT

--
Edited by DWFII - 12/10/13 at 8:29am
post #924 of 1274

I just spent an hour putting together a response to DWFII's comment on faux animal print shoes. :brick:  And it disappeared into a black hole :brick:  I had honed a literary masterpiece. 

 

On the other hand, thanks for your detailed response about corrected grain leather, DWFLL. Very much appreciated. 

post #925 of 1274

^^^ Been there. :censored:

post #926 of 1274
Quote:
Originally Posted by Munky View Post

I just spent an hour putting together a response to DWFII's comment on faux animal print shoes. baldy%5B1%5D.gif  And it disappeared into a black hole baldy%5B1%5D.gif  I had honed a literary masterpiece. 

On the other hand, thanks for your detailed response about corrected grain leather, DWFLL. Very much appreciated. 

I hate that! And as loquacious and long-winded as I am you can imagine how much I hate it.
post #927 of 1274

Thanks for your condolences, chaps. It was never meant to be. 

 

It was a response to DWFII's comment:

 

'I don't have much truck with prints that emulate other leathers--such as faux ostrich or printed alligator, etc.. It's just another deception...for no good purpose'.

 

This is a quick summary of what you could have enjoyed: 

 

I'm not sure it is often a case of deception. I wouldn't think too many people buy these sorts of shoes with the intention of confounding others. I would have thought that they were, more often, bought because they are fun. A value judgement arises here and it is probably a lot to do with age, but I would have thought that  the 'good purpose' is to enjoy the shoes. 

 

As Jay Mcinerney said: 'Taste is a matter of taste'.

 

(Be assured that the original was so much more profound.)

post #928 of 1274
Quote:
Originally Posted by Munky View Post

Thanks for your condolences, chaps. It was never meant to be.

It was a response to DWFII's comment:

'I don't have much truck with prints that emulate other leathers--such as faux ostrich or printed alligator, etc.. It's just another deception...for no good purpose'.

This is a quick summary of what you could have enjoyed:

I'm not sure it is often a case of deception. I wouldn't think too many people buy these sorts of shoes with the intention of confounding others. I would have thought that they were, more often, bought because they are fun. A value judgement arises here and it is probably a lot to do with age, but I would have thought that the 'good purpose' is to enjoy the shoes.

As Jay Mcinerney said: 'Taste is a matter of taste'.

(Be assured that the original was so much more profound.)

You're focused on the consumer...understandable.

But why not make a leather that is pretending to be expanded steel? Or brick wall?

What reason is there for the manufacturer to make a leather that is pretending to be something it isn't? Just as some construction methods result in shoes that pretends to be something they aren't. Money? Yes, money.

And in the process devaluing the real thing. We raise bovines for food. On farms. Calf skin is a by-product.

Alligators and lizards and elephants...and even ostrich...are relatively rare and often difficult to tan or process into durable goods. They should cost us more. Realistically. Alligator has always been a hallmark of elegance and wealth.

So the consumer gets a print--no pain (low cost)....but no gain either. None of the material benefits of the genuine leather. No recognition of the distinction between the real thing and the phoney. No insights into the nature of quality or worth. But, for chump change he can pretend...and hope to fool his friends...that he can afford the genuine article.

And it doesn't decrease the demand for the real thing at all...indeed the case can be made that it actually increases the demand for the real thing. While at the same time undermining the value of both the animal (its life) and the leather derived from it.

At bottom, it's just my opinion...as a shoemaker and user of leather, profiting from the slaughter of animals, it's true...but still just a personal preference.

--
Edited by DWFII - 12/10/13 at 10:14am
post #929 of 1274

Yes, DWFII, I can fully understand what you are saying. Sadly, or otherwise, there are shoe makers who are quite happy to produce leather shoes that look as if they are made of something else. Oliver Sweeney make shoes that seem to be made of chrome - and they are not cheap shoes.  Doc Marten make all manner of shoes and boots that look like something else. As someone who knows so little about the field, I can only imagine that these shoes are made of inferior leather as a backing for the outer finish. Is there an argument for using something other than leather in the manufacture of these shoes?

 

I appreciate that you can't extrapolate from a sample of one, but I have two pairs of Doc Marten shoes which have faux lizard uppers. I like them because they are so comfortable and - like if or not - I like the way they look (and-sadly-  i'm not a dizzy 18 year old). There is a certain irony here. I have shoes that are much more expensive than these that seem unlikely to be as comfortable. Is there any argument for utility here? Looking beyond the outer finish to the shoes, maybe the underlying leather isn't as bad as we might imagine and and the comfort (or utility value) of the shoes overrides what has been done to them. On the other hand, is it simply a case of cheap leather being covered by something slightly odd. If this is the case, why can they feel so comfortable? Or would you want to say 'my slippers feel very comfortable, but I wouldn't want to wear them all the time?'

 

Is there a case for 'beautiful shoes that aren't so comfortable to wear', as opposed to 'mediocre shoes that are very comfortable to wear?' How do we come down on one side of the other?


Edited by Munky - 12/10/13 at 11:36am
post #930 of 1274
Quote:
Originally Posted by Munky View Post

Yes, DWFII, I can fully understand what you are saying. Sadly, or otherwise, there are shoe makers who are quite happy to produce leather shoes that look as they are made of something else. Oliver Sweeney make shoes that seem to be made of chrome - and they are not cheap shoes.  Doc Marten make all manner of shoes and boots that look like something else. As someone who knows so little about the field, I can only imagine that these shoes are made of inferior leather as a backing for the outer finish. Is there an argument for using something other than leather in the manufacture of these shoes?



 



I appreciate that you can't extrapolate from a sample of one, but I have two pairs of Doc Marten shoes which have faux lizard uppers. I like them because they are so comfortable and - like if or not - I like the way they look (and-sadly-  i'm not a dizzy 18 year old). There is a certain irony here. I have shoes that are much more expensive than these that seem unlikely to be as comfortable. Is there any argument for utility here? Looking beyond the outer finish to the shoes, maybe the underlying leather isn't as bad as we might imagine and and the comfort (or utility value) of the shoes overrides what has been done to them. On the other hand, is it just a case of cheap leather being covered by something slightly odd. If this is the case, why can they feel so comfortable?


 



Did you buy those shoes believing them to be genuine lizard? Does Doc Marten advertise them as genuine lizard?

Aesthetics are a matter of personal preference, but there can be no objectionable deception without false pretense. My daughter has a pair of fuzzy leopard print snowboots of which she is extremely fond. She is under no misapprehension that they are real leopard fur - and likely wouldn't touch them if they were.

I suspect (though correct me if I'm wrong) that you were well aware of what you were purchasing, found the aesthetics appealing and made your purchase accordingly. If so, I fail to see where manufacturer, retailer or purchaser should be subject to criticism. I'm not fond of reptile skin shoes - genuine or imitation. But I don't conflate my personal preferences with rules of general application.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Classic Menswear
Styleforum › Forums › Men's Style › Classic Menswear › Leather Quality and Properties