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Japanese Shoes: Bespoke & RTW Super Thread

j ingevaldsson

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Well the Weinheimer sample I saw recently was rather stiff. Not in a bad way as it was still very malleable. Sturdy would probably be the more appropriate adjective.

I guess those old Freudenberg boots must have been made of something else. Then again, it is not box calf so who knows.
Not sure if I own Fre. box calf. I definitely own Weinheimer box calf. As you alluded to, just because it is tanned in the same manner does not make it the same leather.



Yes the options offered were just outstanding! We are talking supple, soft, but substantial. The Suede was beyond beautiful.

Secret is safe with me. Hopefully people bypass this commentary 😎.
Well Weinheimer is a Polish tannery, not German. And yeah what they offer is not the same as the old Freudenberg (which certainly was aniline dyed box calf, many would call it the box calf of box calves :) ), it's different for many reasons (it's an interesting story, but not the fora to go through that).

Yeah people, pass by, nothing to see here! :D
 

Oshare

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IME and from what the Japanese factories have said to me, main problem for Japanese leathers is that the raw hides are less suitable to become premium shoe leather, with coarser more loose grain (opposite to your experience), more veins and blemishes etc, and a bit thinner/softer perhaps (so agree there, don’t know which German leathers you talk about though, basically no tanneries left doing chrome tanned leathers suitable for shoe uppers since a decade back or so. IME Europe have all types of calf leathers, thick sturdy ones and soft thin, not really one way or the other in this regard).

Some Japanese tanneries therefore import hides which they tan themselves, as a sort of middle way. And I’ve seen a few new Japanese calf leathers from some tanneries that for example Miyagi Kogyo have started using, which have looked much better then it usually do.

Yes, the EU free trade agreement has removed import costs for European hides for Japanese makers, will probably mean we’ll see more of it (both hides to Japanese tanneries and finished leathers). That said, might not be so easy for Japanese brands to get in on the cake, there’s already a huge lack of good leathers available for brands in Europe, everyone struggles more and more each year with this. A factory I work with had to discard a whole shipment with leathers from one of the most famous tanneries in Europe last week as useless for making customer shoes, even to the lowest standard they make. Which is just my most recent example...

The shortage of good leathers is likely the main challenge this industry is facing worldwide, going forward. For us shoe lovers, the fact that car companies are starting to look away from leather and go towards “vegan” alternatives (ergo plastic, or sometimes plastic with 5% corn etc., but can still be sold as “sustainable” to the “conscious customer” who exchanges SUV every other year...) is a good thing for us though, only the luxury leather goods industry to compete with again 😊
Thank you all for the very interesting discussion.

Why is the quality of leather going down?

Even if factories still use age old processes and tanning methods, have the raw materials changed in some way that means quality leather is more difficult to produce?

It's something I heard talked about from time to time, and I'm really curious about why this is true.
 

j ingevaldsson

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Thank you all for the very interesting discussion.

Why is the quality of leather going down?

Even if factories still use age old processes and tanning methods, have the raw materials changed in some way that means quality leather is more difficult to produce?

It's something I heard talked about from time to time, and I'm really curious about why this is true.
Many reasons. Less good raw materials, tanneries cutting corners, larger competition (growing luxury leather goods market and more (at least before) car manufacturers buy up the best leathers, they got deep pockets...), etc.
 

BColl_Has_Too_Many_Shoes

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Thank you all for the very interesting discussion.

Why is the quality of leather going down?

Even if factories still use age old processes and tanning methods, have the raw materials changed in some way that means quality leather is more difficult to produce?

It's something I heard talked about from time to time, and I'm really curious about why this is true.
I would say the most qualified person to answer that would be @DWFII. Mostly because he's handled different grades of leathers throughout the years. He couldn't potentially answer as to the actual "why", as there would be a multitude of reasons. Saying that, his insight on the subject is always invaluable.
 

brax

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Is non-shell Japanese leather even exported? Japanese shell is the only Japanese leather I've seen available for purchase.

Japanese leather products (when I was there) was probably not on par with European leathers but it wasn't too bad. Saying that, would I want to use it for shoes? Probably not. Would make good bedroom slippers though 😁.

Actually in my travels to Argentina, I saw some quality leather as well. Again, not sure how appropriate it is for premium leather shoes though, but I hear good things about their Shell as well.
I haven't seen potro leather (white, from horse) anywhere outside Argentina. I use it for my summer belt.
 

BColl_Has_Too_Many_Shoes

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I haven't seen potro leather (white, from horse) anywhere outside Argentina. I use it for my summer belt.
In Argentina, you definitely can find quality leather. It's just not readily available anywhere else (as @brax noted). One guy offered to make shoes with that shell then again he's from Argentina 😎.
 

brax

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In Argentina, you definitely can find quality leather. It's just not readily available anywhere else (as @brax noted). One guy offered to make shoes with that shell then again he's from Argentina 😎.
This is what a belt made from potro leather looks like. I wear it with jeans during the summer.
1589859457659.jpeg
 

boot_owl

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Since we're talking about Japanese leathers, has anybody had any experience with lacquered leathers such as that from Himeji Kurozan? Seems like an intriguing option for those in search of interesting textures

1589872560009.png
 

Stefan88

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Since we're talking about Japanese leathers, has anybody had any experience with lacquered leathers such as that from Himeji Kurozan? Seems like an intriguing option for those in search of interesting textures

View attachment 1391403
I have considered them for a collection. According to the two suppliers I've spoken with, it is expensive without any apparent return 😂
 

Stefan88

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What return needs consideration besides your own enjoyment? :)
Own enjoyment is important, but when the price is higher than cordovan and the leather isn't all that great, using it wouldn't lead to enjoyment for me.
 

boot_owl

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Own enjoyment is important, but when the price is higher than cordovan and the leather isn't all that great, using it wouldn't lead to enjoyment for me.
Price I was quoted was 21 euro/sqft, less than half the price of Rocado shell cordovan (but you will need to find people to split the hide with you)
 

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