Ever seen the navy? Do you know any maker who uses it?
I have a swatch right now, from Borgioli - it's Horweens cordovan. I think Albaldejo delivers navy shell cordovan, otherwise I would think it would need to be custom ordered from someone. I know both Borgioli and R.Martegani will do make-ups in shell cordovan, but not everyone likes to work with it. Mr. Gravati absolutely refused. Shell cordovan, while being extremely durable in the finished product, it is exceptionally difficult to work in the factory. During the lasting or boarding process it often splits. The cost of the material itself is not that much more than a nice calfskin, but the fact that more has to be bought to cover this, and the fact that more is wasted to make sure the pattern is cut from the best part of the hide drives up the cost. This is also why you see those shell cordovan belts selling for a couple of different prices. With all the trimmings, most the belts are pieced together and it's found money in the shape of a belt. Alden sells one piece belts that are, obviously, cut from the hide in the same manner as a shoe upper, so therefore cost more. Ben Silver states that it is 'difficult' to find a hide that can accomodate a one-piece belt; it's not, it's just more profitable to cut an upper from it than a belt. BTW, I really like that saddle oxford Adam Knott(?) did in shell - Beautiful.