Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Patrologia, Apr 9, 2012.
My words exactly..
he knows jack about shoes, though.
Edge dressing is similar in its content to leather tanning solution - once it gets on the leather, it soaks right in there.
However, with shell, and it's different properties to calf, one would assume it wouldnt penetrate that deep into the leather. I wonder if a good deerboning, with its slightly abrasive surface, would help remove the first couple of micrometers of surface? Might be worth a try.
And I've been looking for an (additional) reason to buy a deer bone.
Of course, my wife will probably only approve my deerbone purchase if it includes 90 pounds of venison.
That's a safe method.
I have found Afta to be the most effective product in a case like this.
Another product that I recently started using has me impressed. Saphir R'eno 'Mat.
Most edge dressings are oil based. That's difficult to remove as it's almost as stong as dye.
If you are going to use that Bengal-stripe's advice is excellent except if you get to much dressing on the tape it could bleed through into the upper. So, still take caution.
It's much safer to use an water based product.
We use "Kiwi Instant Wax" on the shine stand. It does a great job, easy to work with and, can be easily removed if necessary.
It will also last for several wearings.
Another safe effective easy product is Allen Edmonds "Heel & Sole Edge Dressing".
There's probably a way to remove it, but not without changing/pulling some of the color underneath the edge dressing. If it's sitting all the way up on the surface, you may be able to scrape some of it (carefully) with a the backside of a knife. You can also trying rubbing alcohol cut with water, or full strength.
My grandfather sent back a pair of shoes to be resoled (shoemaker will remain anonymous) and they came back completely refinished. When the shoemaker asked how his shoes looked when they came back, he said "the bottoms look great, but it took me a whole can of lighter fluid to get all that finish off." If you're willing to commit them to science, there may be lots of options to try.
That knife idea sounds like a good way to start. The edge dressing I used to use always seemed pretty lousy to me because it almost flaked off after a couple of wearings. Tossed that years ago and I just use a bit of shoe polish if I want my sole edges darker. Hopefully whatever this person used comes off just with a bit of mechanical encouragement.
I'll look for those too. Based on all the comments, I think once I'm using cleaning products to work at it I'll use Q-tips as the applicator in order to limit the range as much as possible.
Thanks to both Nicks for your comments, I have some solid ideas for moving forward now.
I'll post some "after' pics as I go along.
Kiwi Instant Wax is what I use. It works just as well, IMO, without damage to the uppers should any of the stuff get on them. I've been using the instant wax for several years.
What do they propose using on the edges of the soles then? Just simple shoe cream/polish?
That or Kiwi Instant Wax Shoe Polish. I've used the Kiwi Instant Polish for years, it works well.
I just use polish myself. Works long enough, well enough, and I don't risk the kind of mess I'm currently dealing with.
As for that, I'm waiting for some Guardsman to come in the mail, and may try rubbing alcohol before it gets here, but I have made pretty good progress just with the back side of a knife. If you do this, I recommend using very little pressure, so little at first that it doesn't actually remove anything, and then incrementally applying more pressure while continuing to scrape across. That way you can tell when you've got just enough pressure to remove whatever is there. Frankly I'm amazed at how much pressure I can use without it seeming to affect the cordovan at all. There may be some minor scratches that weren't there before, but not that I can really tell. Anything that looks more significant is actually just removing a bit of the waxy buildup, and brushes away when I take the horsehair to it. Here are selected updated pics (and a slideshow link of all), post knife, but with no other cleaning applied. I'll update again after the next step.
Slideshow: http://s799.photobucket.com/albums/.../Florsheim Shell Scraped/?albumview=slideshow
I came home from the cobbler yesterday with a pair of Florsheim shell loafers that the cobbler said are about 30 years old. He dated the shoes by the heels, which he replaced. Upon arriving home, I found he had gotten a half inch wide line of edge dressing all the way down the side of one shoe. Nothing worked until finally I sat down for an hour and a half and just rubbed away, using Allen Edmonds' Leather Conditioner as a lubricant so the rubbing would work by increments. The edge dressing came off and the finish below is fine.
Hate to bump the thread again since I'm not really adding much, but my last post is apparently too old to edit.
I did take the plunge with the dry cleaning fluid (Guardsman). It certainly was taking off additional edge dressing, I could see black stuff on the q-tip I was using. I would rub for a few seconds, and then wipe it off. Then I immediately put on some lexol with my finger or a clean cloth. I saw no signs of damage at all. The surface looked fine. Probably if I kept at it, I'd be able to get the rest of the edge dressing off, but the whole process made me nervous, and even though I didn't see any damage, and did see evidence of removing more of the black, I couldn't see much difference/improvement on the shoe. Since the back of the knife blade had already done such a good job, I'm just going to wear them as they are until and unless the remaining black marks start to bother me. I doubt that they will.
If I do or discover anything else (or if I take any pictures of what I've got) I'll update the thread, but otherwise, I expect that this project is at a conclusion.
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