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How costly an excercise is antiquing?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by benecios, May 22, 2006.

  1. benecios

    benecios Senior member

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    My favourite shoes are EG and my favourite aspect is the antiquing.I have heard many people on this forum say the same thing.My question is how difficult/costly is it?My thoughts being why dont manufacturers at a lower price bracket employ the same techniques?I would love to own a few pairs of shoes with the same level of antiquing as my EG even if the construction is nowhere near as good and pay a 1/3 of the price.

    Is it maybe that you need a much higher grade of leather to acheive it?
    (Just thinking out loud)
     
  2. tiger02

    tiger02 Senior member

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    While quality of leather certainly does come into play, the cost of labor for antiquing is quite high. I don't know the entire process, but I believe at least a couple of man-hours go into each EG shoe.

    If you're watching a ball game one night, get three $4 tins of Lincoln Stain Wax or $8 tins of Saphir and get at it yourself. It doesn't always come out quite as well as the pros' work, but it's much more rewarding.

    Tom
     
  3. j

    j Senior member Admin

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    Some leathers won't take antiquing like the EG leather does. The way they do it is not the same as we do it - AFAIK it involves heat burnishing, probably with motorized buffing wheels and possibly compounds. I keep meaning to set up a bench grinder with a cloth buffing wheel and see what I can do to some junk shoes...
     
  4. whoopee

    whoopee Senior member

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    I believe the EG skins are antiqued in their inimitable way from a crust state. This is very uncomomn.
     
  5. Charley

    Charley Senior member

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    I've got a dremel kit with the adjustable speed and the long wand attachment. There are lots of soft buffing pads in the thing - along with many more to purchase it those go bad.

    I agree that the pros at EG do something different from just putting on a bit of polish with a cloth. There has to be quite a bit of rubbing to get the color penetration that they achieve. It is not too difficult to get the effect with polish sitting on the top - it just does not last then you wear the shoes and polish again.
     
  6. LabelKing

    LabelKing Senior member

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    Green's antiquing methods aren't as extreme as say, the French makers' methods. For example Berluti's well-known coloration as well as C&J by Gomez, and the custom jobs, which are the really outstanding examples of antiqued shoes.

    Marc Guyot has a nice photo essay of a pair of black and red shoes.
     
  7. Concordia

    Concordia Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Maximum cost = replacement value of the original shoes. It can be less if you like the results. [​IMG]
     
  8. MarcG

    MarcG Member

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    While quality of leather certainly does come into play, the cost of labor for antiquing is quite high. I don't know the entire process, but I believe at least a couple of man-hours go into each EG shoe.

    Tom


    Quality of leather definitely comes into play and it takes a full time job. But it doesn't take so much time to achieve. For instance, I asked my manufacturer to finish my shoes with this slight antique effect. And he put this guy, Luigi, who is like 60 years old, to the task. I watched him carefully last time I was in Italy. He just applied successively brown and black wax polish on my chestnut brown aniline calfs from "Tanneries du Puy" (same ref as JL rtw or Green, Crockett etc). And then I noticed a small sponge on which he tapped. I asked him what product does the sponge contain apart water, he had a smile and didn't answer, very amused, garding the secret as the Holy Graal itself! I asked his boss who gave me the answer quickly: It's 50% water, 50% Alcohol (70°)! Tha alcohol incrusts the black pigments easily. It takes him only ten minutes to obtain that [​IMG]

    MG
    http://www.marcguyot.com
     
  9. MarcG

    MarcG Member

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    And from the genuine color you could easily with another method obtain this more extreme antique finish! [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    MG
    http://www.marcguyot.com
     
  10. tiger02

    tiger02 Senior member

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    M. Guyot, bienvenue. Beautiful pictures, thank you! There's quite a bit of admiration for your work on this site. The sponge that Luigi used--was that the only moisture in the process, or was that for the finishing touch? And (just for academic purposes of course [​IMG]) what is the "other method" that gave you the subtle wood grain finish in the second shoe?

    Tom
     
  11. MarcG

    MarcG Member

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    what is the "other method" that gave you the subtle wood grain finish in the second shoe?
    Tom

    To obtain this "wood effect", I just used some really dark brown leather dye, without first cleaning the calf. So the dye didn't take, and the result was, on purpose, catastrophic!!! [​IMG]
    Then, acetone on the whole shoe and light natural dye. After that navy polish wax to reinforce the "wood effect". A very simple process, nonetheless tricky, to employ only if you're not cardiac!
     
  12. whnay.

    whnay. Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Marc thanks for the info, hugh fan of your shop and general enthusiam with regards to fine clothes. I look forward to visiting your shop next time I visit Paris.
     
  13. Teacher

    Teacher Senior member

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    Some leathers won't take antiquing like the EG leather does. The way they do it is not the same as we do it - AFAIK it involves heat burnishing, probably with motorized buffing wheels and possibly compounds. I keep meaning to set up a bench grinder with a cloth buffing wheel and see what I can do to some junk shoes...

    Yes, stick with junk shoes. A bench grinder or buffer will undoubtedly spin too fast and generate a good amount of heat, so extremely judicious use of quick, light contact would be necessary.
     
  14. j

    j Senior member Admin

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    Yes, stick with junk shoes. A bench grinder or buffer will undoubtedly spin too fast and generate a good amount of heat, so extremely judicious use of quick, light contact would be necessary.
    If I try this I will be sure to get a rheostat or some way to modulate the speed. I don't want to burninate them, just burnish... [​IMG]
     
  15. Teacher

    Teacher Senior member

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    "Burninating the countryside,
    burninating the peasants!
    Burninating the people
    in their thatch-roof cottage-e-e-e-es!
    Thatch-roof cottage-e-e-e-es!


    Trogdor come get you in the NIIIIIIIIIIIGHT!"

    (I really need to get a life.)
     
  16. Lucky Strike

    Lucky Strike Senior member

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    "Burninating the countryside, burninating the peasants! Burninating the people in their thatch-roof cottage-e-e-e-es! Thatch-roof cottage-e-e-e-es! Trogdor come get you in the NIIIIIIIIIIIGHT!" (I really need to get a life.)
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] No, please, keep going.
     
  17. Aaron

    Aaron Senior member

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    "Burninating the countryside,
    burninating the peasants!
    Burninating the people
    in their thatch-roof cottage-e-e-e-es!
    Thatch-roof cottage-e-e-e-es!


    Trogdor come get you in the NIIIIIIIIIIIGHT!"

    (I really need to get a life.)

    That reminds me, I need to check my e-mail...
     
  18. mikeynyc

    mikeynyc Well-Known Member

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    wow, my worlds are colliding. A Trogdor reference on Style Forum in a shoe thread!
     
  19. sho'nuff

    sho'nuff Senior member

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    my problem is with the so many black shoes i have, i do want to variegate them by polishing /antiquing them up to a shade of red or so.
    but since black is the color that you cannot alter through antiquing /polishing i am stuck.
    i bought today a very bright red melotonian cream and a RED Angelus shoe polish. i hope to delve into my black shoes this weeeknd and see what i can do.
     
  20. j

    j Senior member Admin

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    I have tried various things to attempt highlights on black shoes, with no real luck. I acetoned one pair until I was sure I would go through to the other side. It's all black under there. I did try bleach, but probably not enough, so I guess that's still an option.

    But let us know if you have any luck.
     

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