Leather Quality and Properties

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by VegTan, Jul 8, 2013.

  1. JermynStreet

    JermynStreet Senior member

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    Hello, thread.

    I was looking at the Hermann Oak Tannery's website (a tannery in my hometown of St. Louis-coincidentally I also went to elementary school and high school with the owner's daughter). Mr. Hermann states that prices are rising for American hides and also delves into what he thinks is causing it. Not exactly related to the properties of leather...but he does mention how hormones affect the quality of leather. I don't know if DWF ever buys American leather, but I'd be interested to hear if he does, whether he has shared Mr. Hermann's experience.

    Screenshotted:

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  2. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    X-post of initial reactions to GlenKaren shoecare products:

     
  3. WICaniac

    WICaniac Senior member

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    Bumped from the Allen Edmonds appreciation thread, where someone recommended this thread and its subscribers highly.

    I just discovered why my black cordovan Leeds by Allen Edmonds were factory seconds.
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    I could certainly obscure the laceration (which is deep enough to reveal the fibrous interior of the shell without going all the way through), but I am worried somewhat about the longevity of the shoe. Is the leather here at a greater risk of drying out? Will the laceration expand? How might I heal or close it? Thanks for any assistance.
     
  4. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I think it will be fine. I would put a dab of conditioner like neatsfoot oil where it split, or some lexol and then use that Saphir repair cream to seal it down and then polish it over.
     
  5. MoneyWellSpent

    MoneyWellSpent Senior member

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    I agree. I would just dab some extra conditioner in it periodically, and cover it with a little black polish. It is in an area of the shoe that isn't really flexing (assuming you are properly using a shoe horn when putting your shoes on). It is also very close to that stitching, which should hold it nice and tight. Plus, the heel counter will help keep the area rigid.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2013
  6. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    Between the almost unforgivable sloppiness in the way the dogtail has been cut and the photo quality I wasn't sure where the problem was. But looking at the larger size photo, I can't offer much consolation. If the advice above is followed you may be able to preserve the shoe for some time. But it is in an area that gets more stress than one would think....especially if the shoe fits anywhere close to well.

    Having said all that it is not uncommon for a shoe to rip or break out there if the manufacturer is using spring loaded lasts. When the last is pulled from the shoe, such lasts actually get longer and that's a natural rip spot if it has not been rigorously reinforced.

    Even "firsts" have been stretched and stressed at the backseam...there is no guarantee that with time the other shoe won't show similar effects.
     
  7. dibadiba

    dibadiba Affiliate Vendor

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    Seriously. Did somebody lose their knife and use their teeth instead?
     
  8. WICaniac

    WICaniac Senior member

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    The jagged edge on the dogtail looks much worse in the photo for some reason. I sent this picture to the recrafting department to get their opinion. My wife's: "$300 off for that?!" She clearly isn't troubled by it, but none of her shoes are so expensive--something she reminds me of with some regularity.
     
  9. WICaniac

    WICaniac Senior member

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    The head of AE's recrafting department seems to share your assessment:
    "In its present state, the shoes are eligible for recrafting, and they should give you years of service. However, you must use a shoe horn to put the shoe on, and be very careful when inserting/removing your shoe tree, so you don’t put undue stress on the back of the shoe. Should you still have concerns and the shoes are unworn, I suggest returning them to the Brookfield store for a refund."

    I have concerns, but among them is finding this shoe at this price again.
     
  10. TimH

    TimH Senior member

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    Great to see this thread still yielding such a volume of leather related information, I'm learning loads. If anyone has a leather related question they want to run by me, I'll give it a try.
    Best,
    Tim Hardy
     
  11. wurger

    wurger Senior member

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    Cheers for that, Tim.
     
  12. Fang66

    Fang66 Senior member

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    Can't find a more appropriate thread, so hopefully I can get an answer here. Horween are obviously the Bee's Knees when it comes to shell, but how about their calf?
     
  13. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    Veg retan...great for casual and work. No significant or notable dress calf finishes.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2013
  14. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Who do you recommend for dress calf, and why?
     
  15. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    I like the St. Crispins Baby Calf I've seen even though it is not entirely finished. It tends to be a very smooth surface with little or no hair follicles. And I tutored a student of mine from Brussels through a pair of whole cut oxfords from Annonay...I thought it was very good as well.

    Here in the states...it's like pulling teeth and just when you think you've found a great source it goes away. Currently, I'm using some Milano Water Buffalo Calf that has a nice finish and a Spanish calf that also seems pretty smooth and devoid of noticeable hair follicles.

    There's also an importer of French calf and it's pretty good ...a little on the heavy side for men's dress shoes, however as the importer caters to the boot community and sometimes, for that reason alone, esp. with regard to finish, it can be a little inconsistent.

    And there is no source for full grain sueded calf that I know of unless you're buying in commercial quantities.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2013

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