1. Welcome to the new Styleforum!

    We hope you’re as excited as we are to hang out in the new place. There are more new features that we’ll announce in the near future, but for now we hope you’ll enjoy the new site.

    We are currently fine-tuning the forum for your browsing pleasure, so bear with any lingering dust as we work to make Styleforum even more awesome than it was.

    Oh, and don’t forget to head over to the Styleforum Journal, because we’re giving away two pairs of Carmina shoes to celebrate our move!

    Please address any questions about using the new forum to support@styleforum.net

    Cheers,

    The Styleforum Team

    Dismiss Notice

Leather cracking on EGs - please advise

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Tibo, Mar 18, 2011.

  1. DWFII

    DWFII Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    8,219
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    Location:
    The Highlands of Central Oregon
    Maybe I'm reading it wrong, but I always have the sense that you post from a 'us against them' platform. 'Us' always being right and 'them' always being wrong. It's really not that way.
    You are wrong about my perspective on factories. It is not the factory itself or even the underlying objectives, philosophies, etc., that inform factories that bothers me. Rather it is the attitude of the vast majority or people who live in a society which is so dominated by the hype of advertising (an inevitable and even necessary adjunct to mass-manufacturing) and the prospects of faster, cheaper, less involved, that they live their lives as if life itself were simply another department in some cosmic factory. We...and I include myself in this--it is hard to escape...eat fast food, talk to each other in short, almost unintelligible bursts on devices that insulate us from real intimacy or human contact. We drive our cars so wrapped up in detachment or diversion that we don't even see our surroundings. You can go on and on. Is there an area of modern existence that is not on a time clock? Is there one where quantity is not valued over quality? Even the law--laws get passed every day that seem to deliberately ignore truth...facts, IOW...in favour of perception. It doesn't make any difference what reality is, perception has become reality. It is the triumph of style over substance. In every aspect of our lives. It is nearly genetic by now...although it wasn't always that way. And most people in our society not only can't recognize the difference, they aren't even interested in learning that there is a difference. Similar to my observations about "honour" and "ethics." It's all part of the same paradigm. It is not the factories that I lament--they are inevitable (given human nature) and undoubtedly serve a useful purpose. No, it is the mass buy-in to the mentality of the factory that bothers me. Not the _______ s (fill in your favourite shoe brand name) of the world but the consumers who think that manufacturers set the standard for quality...and ought to. [Parenthetically, the Guild I belong to has members who speak for, and from, the manufacturing community--they are accorded at least a modicum of respect. And I am currently in the final stages of scanning and recognizing J. H.Thornton's, Textbook of Footwear Manufacture--a project that has occupied me for more than three years. Thornton's perspective is decidedly factory. Without some residual respect...I would even go so far as to stipulate that without, in some ways, more real respect for manufacturers than the average SF member has...I could not sustain that kind of effort.] I'm not trying to change or eradicate factories...I'm coming for you! (a generic "you")[​IMG]
     
  2. Don Carlos

    Don Carlos Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,527
    Joined:
    May 15, 2009
    ^^

    Ironicallty, the word "manufacture" originally meant "to make by hand."
     
  3. DWFII

    DWFII Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    8,219
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    Location:
    The Highlands of Central Oregon
    With regard to the back and forth about Lexol.... I went looking for a list of ingredients. And I found the website that Rider quoted in his remarks above. Summit Industries--the maker of Lexol--gave this interview.Worth looking at if you are comparing notes. One of the interesting things that was said refers to mink oil:
    (emphasis mine) After over 40 years, I myself may look into other conditioners...I've heard some good things about Bee Natural.
     
  4. DWFII

    DWFII Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    8,219
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    Location:
    The Highlands of Central Oregon
    ^^ Ironicallty, the word "manufacture" originally meant "to make by hand."
    I'm not sure of the significance in this context. As I said, above "it wasn't always that way." Once upon a time everything was made by hand. And valued accordingly.
     
  5. DWFII

    DWFII Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    8,219
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    Location:
    The Highlands of Central Oregon
    I agree that it's no guarantee of quality and that there's different degrees of "correcting" that can be applied. I am comparing it to (heavily) corrected grain leather that I've seen in the past, where you can't see these follicles at all. No comments on the fine creases? Or am I wrong in thinking this is an indication of good leather? As I said though, there's only so much I can tell from a photo. Why do you think it looks like bad quality leather?
    First, let me set your mind at ease (although I find myself doing this...for the very same reason...more often with people who skim over remarks and don't read for content or, ahem, "substance.")-- I didn't say this was "bad quality" leather. I asked if anyone thought it was top quality leather. Ask Rider the same question...that's your vision quest for the day. Rider has access to leathers that we seldom see in the US. He certainly has experience with a wider range of leathers, and a wider range of quality leathers. In all likelihood, Rider sees a greater percentage of top quality, first choice, skins than most most bespoke makers ever will. Whether that translates into a recognition of quality at first sight (from a photo), is not for me to say. Perhaps his silence is telling? Beyond that, I suspect "fine creases" as an indicator of quality is an over-simplification. Most people want simple answers--it obviates the necessity for thought and involvement. But the actual answer is far more complicated... It depends on so many factors--substance....thicker leathers will crease more coarsely than thinner leathers. A good example of this is French Calf vs. kangaroo. [Parenthetically, kangaroo is one of the strongest leathers with regard to tensile (tearing ) strength known to man. A two ounce kangaroo is probably as strong as a four ounce calf.] Both of those weights are common for their respective leathers. But because 'roo is so thin, it creases/flexes/bends around a smaller radius than the Fr. Calf. Tannage makes a difference. Veg tans will, all other things being equal, bend differently than chrome tans. Veg tans tend to be firmer and denser thus resisting (albeit slightly) distortion; chrome tans softer. It depends on whether a lining is used and what substance and tannage the liner is comprised of. Bespoke shoemakers often add a third lining along the side of the shoe, called a side liner or a mid liner. It is there not only to strengthen the inseam but to ameliorate the creasing that occurs at the sides of the shoe. Creases collect dirt. Dirt, on a microscopic level, is grit...sometimes, as in my area, even nano-particulate glass (volcanic). Finer creases not only provide more surface area to collect that grit, but more surface area to grind it together and abrade the fibers of the leather--voila!...cracks. But if you want to believe that XYZ is the best of the best and would never stint on the quality of their raw materials...inadvertently or for whatever reason/economic model...be my guest. BTW, have you ever dreamt of owning your very own bridge? Well now you can! Just send six easy payments of....
     
  6. fritzl

    fritzl Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    12,299
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2006
    Location:
    Gmunden, Salzkammergut, Austria
    Folks,.

    this is one of the biggest waste of time ever happened on sf. this is really disgusting. shame on you.
     
  7. Xiaogou

    Xiaogou Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,793
    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    this is one of the biggest waste of time ever happened on sf. this is really disgusting. shame on you.

    No way this is a waste. Hell, you can quote this thread as a reason to buy Vass.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. TKDKid

    TKDKid Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    680
    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2004
    Location:
    London, UK
    First, let me set your mind at ease (although I find myself doing this...for the very same reason...more often with people who skim over remarks and don't read for content or, ahem, "substance.")-- I didn't say this was "bad quality" leather. I asked if anyone thought it was top quality leather.

    Actually, that's not all you said. Your original quote:

    Go back to page one of this discussion...blocking out any awareness of the brand name or the price paid...does that look like top quality leather to anyone? Really?

    I trust you'll forgive me for interpreting this as "you must be stupid to think that that's top quality leather", which implies that you think it's obviously bad leather. Perhaps you can clarify your view?

    We already know that the leather in question is (French?) calf.

    Of course using the creasing to determine quality is an oversimplification, but you're the one asking us to comment based on a photo. How would you answer your own question?

    This, to me, is your most interesting point. I think you've explained that fine creasing does not necessarily imply good quality leather. But does good quality leather imply fine creasing? Because if so, then your comments above suggest that good quality leather will tend to crack more easily. I hope this isn't the case.

    For what it's worth, my shoe brand of choice is Crockett & Jones. Not because I believe they use the best materials, use the best construction or have the best styling, but because they offer me the best fit out of all the shoe manufacturers that I've tried (which includes Edward Green and JL Paris). I hope we can all agree that "fit" is the most important quality of a shoe rather than materials, construction, design or even if it's hand-made or machine-made.
     
  9. Raoul Duke

    Raoul Duke Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    975
    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    With regard to the back and forth about Lexol....

    I went looking for a list of ingredients. And I found the website that Rider quoted in his remarks above. Summit Industries--the maker of Lexol--gave this interview.Worth looking at if you are comparing notes.

    One of the interesting things that was said refers to mink oil:

    (emphasis mine)

    After over 40 years, I myself may look into other conditioners...I've heard some good things about Bee Natural.


    The Lexol that I use on my shoes is "neatsfoot oil", not "mink oil".
     
  10. NAMOR

    NAMOR Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    20,575
    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2010
    Location:
    Heavenly & Northstar
    With regard to the back and forth about Lexol.... I went looking for a list of ingredients. And I found the website that Rider quoted in his remarks above. Summit Industries--the maker of Lexol--gave this interview.Worth looking at if you are comparing notes. One of the interesting things that was said refers to mink oil: (emphasis mine) After over 40 years, I myself may look into other conditioners...I've heard some good things about Bee Natural.
    Great read. Thanks for the link!
     
  11. archetypal_yuppie

    archetypal_yuppie Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,877
    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2010
    Well, the easy answer is that when every step of the construction process is done by one person...one pair of hands...and that same person is ultimately responsible, and has to personally and ethically answer for the results, the shoe can be said to be hand-made.

    I know of at least one damn good shoemaker...occasionally posting to this forum...who sometimes uses gemming. I can't bring myself to embrace the concept but I can't hold it against him either.

    "Hand-made" reflects a state of mind--a particular philosophy that encompasses more than technique or tools or even materials...hard as all that is for me to say. And an entire "decision tree" springs forth from that state of mind.

    Manufactured...especially mass-manufactured...reflects an altogether different state of mind that necessitates...mandates...an entirely different set of choices. All of them inevitably inimical to "hand made."

    IMHO.


    Oh my god you will go to any length to tout yourself
     
  12. instep

    instep Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    645
    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2009
    Location:
    the Antipodes
    You are wrong about my perspective on factories.

    It is not the factory itself or even the underlying objectives, philosophies, etc., that inform factories that bothers me.

    Rather it is the attitude of the vast majority or people who live in a society which is so dominated by the hype of advertising (an inevitable and even necessary adjunct to mass-manufacturing) and the prospects of faster, cheaper, less involved, that they live their lives as if life itself were simply another department in some cosmic factory.

    We...and I include myself in this--it is hard to escape...eat fast food, talk to each other in short, almost unintelligible bursts on devices that insulate us from real intimacy or human contact. We drive our cars so wrapped up in detachment or diversion that we don't even see our surroundings.

    You can go on and on. Is there an area of modern existence that is not on a time clock? Is there one where quantity is not valued over quality? Even the law--laws get passed every day that seem to deliberately ignore truth...facts, IOW...in favour of perception. It doesn't make any difference what reality is, perception has become reality.

    It is the triumph of style over substance. In every aspect of our lives. It is nearly genetic by now...although it wasn't always that way.

    And most people in our society not only can't recognize the difference, they aren't even interested in learning that there is a difference. Similar to my observations about "honour" and "ethics." It's all part of the same paradigm.

    It is not the factories that I lament--they are inevitable (given human nature) and undoubtedly serve a useful purpose. No, it is the mass buy-in to the mentality of the factory that bothers me. Not the _______ s (fill in your favourite shoe brand name) of the world but the consumers who think that manufacturers set the standard for quality...and ought to.

    [Parenthetically, the Guild I belong to has members who speak for, and from, the manufacturing community--they are accorded at least a modicum of respect. And I am currently in the final stages of scanning and recognizing J. H.Thornton's, Textbook of Footwear Manufacture--a project that has occupied me for more than three years. Thornton's perspective is decidedly factory. Without some residual respect...I would even go so far as to stipulate that without, in some ways, more real respect for manufacturers than the average SF member has...I could not sustain that kind of effort.]

    I'm not trying to change or eradicate factories...I'm coming for you! (a generic "you")[​IMG]

    Once upon a time, this exchange occurred on SF:

    (paraphrased)

    vox: DWFII, what do you wear on the rest of your body from day to day? Is every item of your clothing handmade bespoke? Do you actively seek out knowledge on bespoke clothing?

    DWFII: T-shirts, jeans.

    vox: Are you not able to see that the compromises you make with your choice of clothing are exactly the same compromises others make with shoes?

    DWFII: ...
     
  13. Luddite

    Luddite Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    291
    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2008
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Again, you have better sources than me. I have , for all my career, laboured under the impression that Sperm Whale oil, and all the by-products of the Sperm fishery, were outlawed many, many years ago--before I was born, 65 years ago, anyway.

    I think you will find that synthetic whale oil contains no whale bits.
     
  14. james_timothy

    james_timothy Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,492
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2008
    Location:
    ~ Chicago ~
    That you had to point that out is quite amusing.
     
  15. DWFII

    DWFII Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    8,219
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    Location:
    The Highlands of Central Oregon
    I feel like I'm dealing with stupidheads... No one had to point that out! I read both Rider's post...thoroughly...and the article which he quoted from. Both stated that Lexol had synthetic sperm whale oil in it. Both then went on to discuss other conditioners.
    ...then they go thru the tanning process which takes all the natural oils away. The final step in the tanning proces is to 'fatliquor' them which simply means the tannery is putting oils back into the leather. These oils are typically a mix of neatsfoot oil (this can be real neatsfoot oil, which is the fat that comes out of boiled hooves, or the more typical pig lard), lanolin, and/or natural animal/mammal oils.....like Sperm Whale.
    No mention of synthetic. What part of "natural animal/mammal oils...like Sperm whale" is so hard to understand? All of it, I suspect given the level of discourse on these last couple of pages. Unlike some people here, I actually read other people's posts and I try very hard to refrain from imposing my own interpretations on what they have clearly stated. "Top quality" means top quality, not all grades below or between. I have noticed that in these discussions there is always a progression...there's a time when people can have intelligent, courteous conversation, share viewpoints even if they disagree and generally behave like adults. Then there comes a time when the conversation is winding down and most of what needs to be said has been said and most of the questions asked, or implied, answered. And that's when the jackals arrive...with their smug interpretations and short Twitter-honed bleats that contribute nothing...to pick at the bones and otherwise despoil what had been a feast for the better angels of this forum. Have at it boys...we ate the liver already.
     
  16. james_timothy

    james_timothy Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,492
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2008
    Location:
    ~ Chicago ~
    Reno is basically a Mink Oil with a variety of other oils in the mix while Lexol is synthetic Sperm Whale Oil.

    That's what I read.
     
  17. Luddite

    Luddite Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    291
    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2008
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Oh, boy - bold and italics!

    I sure done got told.
     
  18. Don Carlos

    Don Carlos Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,527
    Joined:
    May 15, 2009
    I'm not sure of the significance in this context. As I said, above "it wasn't always that way." Once upon a time everything was made by hand. And valued accordingly.
    You're a little too defensive. Relax. My point about the definition of "manufacture" was basically just color commentary to another post you made. It wasn't a critique of your post. You seem to have regarded it as such, which makes no sense. If anything, it highly supported your overall position. At this point I would suggest you take a deep breath and step away from this thread for a day or two. I like you, and I value your expertise on all things shoe-related. But you've got a short fuse, and you have a hard time letting things go whenever you feel under attack (which, 99% of the time, you're not -- well, at least until you start lashing out at people). Just some honest personal advice here; do with it what you will.
     
  19. Cravate_Noire

    Cravate_Noire Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,994
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2007
    Come on, they're almost five years old.

    I have older rtw shoes, from less expensive makers, really fucked up at frat and uni parties (bought before I event started going to uni) and it did not happen in such extent to them.

    Most probably however, this is rather broken shoe wax than bad leather.
     
  20. Don Carlos

    Don Carlos Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,527
    Joined:
    May 15, 2009
    I have older rtw shoes, from less expensive makers, really fucked up at frat and uni parties (bought before I event started going to uni) and it did not happen in such extent to them. Most probably however, this is rather broken shoe wax than bad leather.
    My guess is that the OP's shoes got dried out from being overly waxed, or at least from not having regularly stripped and re-applied the wax. If you've got a built-up layer of wax on your shoes, you can't just leave it there indefinitely. It'll dry out the shoe, which leads to cracked leather. It doesn't matter how much conditioner you apply on top of the wax; very little of that conditioner, if any, is going to permeate the wax coating and get into the leather. This is why I don't wax shoes I'm putting away for more than a few weeks at a time. Always conditioner, and occasionally creme, but only wax if I'm about to wear the shoes.
     

Share This Page

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by