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Leather Quality and Properties

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

  1. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    The first and second photos suggest that the shoe does not fit the customer (although I wouldn't be surprised if the first photo was taken of an empty shoe) but the second photo also looks like the leather is cut from marginal areas of the hide or from really suspect quality leather. The third photo looks pretty normal, IMO.
     
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  2. VRaivio

    VRaivio Senior member

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    ...there are creases and then there are crevices. Still, I'd like to remind all of us in the shoe bubble that most people will only see that we have shoes on. Nice shoes at best. If these marks trouble you very much, do take a few photos and send them to the maker. The reply could just be quotable.
     
  3. Claghorn

    Claghorn Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    First photo has my foot in it. My left foot is about a half size smaller than my right, so this is generally an issue. Doesn't bother me much. The leather is the most supple/pliable (whatever term is used for leather) I've felt. Not sure how I feel about it. I think I prefer leather to have a bit more firmness. It certainly looks better while walking.

    Fritzl suggested soft leather is an Italian thing.

    The second and third pictures are of the shoe empty, with me pressing down on it and then releasing it.
     
  4. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    FWIW, Clag, those shoes are hideous anyway. You generally have better taste, wtf is the matter with you!?!?
     
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  5. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    If that's the case, there is way too much room in the forepart of your shoe. That, as much as anything is causing the creases to form as they are. But the quality of leather is also a factor. It may be great leather, in general and very supple, but it is poor shoe leather. Those creases around your thumb tell the whole story.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2014
  6. Claghorn

    Claghorn Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Excellent, the answer I was looking for. Is it an Italian thing, as Fritzl suggests? If so, it'll be one of a number of reasons why I avoid Italian shoes.

    pB, there is a story behind why I happen to own these shoes.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2014
  7. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Please, do tell.
     
  8. Claghorn

    Claghorn Senior member Dubiously Honored

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  9. dbhdnhdbh

    dbhdnhdbh Senior member

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    Does anyone make undyed leather or use it for shoes? I assume it would lack the perfect (?boring) uniformity of a good dye job. Would it also change colors as it wore, becoming even less uniform over time.

    It might end up looking like a well used item with rears of use.

    On child labor- I wish it were so simple in the consequences if we refuse to buy from third world factories that employ children. We would like to believe that the children would then go to the sorts of safe caring elementary schools found in the best districts in the US. But of course this is not the case. These are impoverished kids in poor countries. Their alternatiy should be school, but it is working at some other, perhaps even lower paying and more dangerous job. World poverty is a difficult problem, not solved by boycotting the products of poor countries.
     
  10. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Saint crispins gets a lot of naked leather and dyes and polishes it themselves.
     
  11. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    Crust is fundamentally undyed leather. And I've made shoes from undyed veg kips, which I dyed. Works a treat.
     
  12. dbhdnhdbh

    dbhdnhdbh Senior member

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    I should clarify my question. Do people deliver undyed goods as the finished product? Not make it with crust which is then dyed.
     
  13. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Yes, I've seen it called "Vachetta" leather on shoes and more commonly handles and straps for like Louis Vuitton bags and such.
     
  14. dbhdnhdbh

    dbhdnhdbh Senior member

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    Re:safety. As far as I know, making leather has always been a toxic process. The risks start with natural biohazards- dead animal flesh- and continue throughout. Modern chemistry has created a lot of dangerous new compounds that are best avoided, but asking for nontoxic leather production may not be realistic.

    One would love to have all leather and shoemaking done with OSHA-level protection for the workers. This may be achieved now in American and other first world factories. But even getting the expertise, let alone equipment, in smaller shops may be a real challenge.
     
  15. chogall

    chogall Senior member

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    septieme largeur

    You could also request unfinished crust leather via G&G MTO.

    I would imagine you could request the same with most if not all bespoke shoemaker as well.
     
  16. Neognosis

    Neognosis Senior member

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    Quote: I disagree.


    If their alternative is working at a WORSE job, then we should also boycott those products as well. There is not purely a question of POVERTY in India, but one of a gigantic wealth gap. When the relatively wealthy people who own the manufacturing facilities realize that they cannot sell their products until they improve conditions for their workers and their environment, they will do so. But you have to make the choice between making less profit or making no profit.


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Widening_income_gap_in_India

    Sources used in the wiki page are at the bottom of the page itself.

    1. "India struggles with income gap"
    2. "Income inequality in India: growth, health and development"
    3. "Income Inequality growing in India"
    4. "India still suffers from huge income gap"
    5. "Income gap rises in India: NSSO"



    This thread spurred me to email white's. I'm in the early process of ordering a pair of semi-dress boots. I feel better knowing that the two leather's I'm considering are tanned in Chicago and Portland.

    Call me a hippie if you want, but I try to spend money in places that support my idea of how the world should work.
     
  17. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    Glad you feel better...

    In Portland? What tannery would that be?
     
  18. Neognosis

    Neognosis Senior member

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    I'm sorry, can you elaborate on what you mean by "glad you feel better?"

    Over the vagaries of electronic communication, I can't tell if you are being genuine, or if you are making a snide comment.

    The Dress Brown leather White's uses comes from Tasman Leather Group in Portland, Maine.

    However, a look at their website makes me think that they might not be tanning the leather there, and it might be imported....

    Oh dear... their literature contains phrases like: "By globally sourcing our hides and vertically integrating our production, we are able to provide maximum value"

    That's corporate speak typically used to obscure something... Searching their web page for 5 minutes or so reveals a lot of ties and suppliers in other countries, but no specifics on where the leather is tanned. "Hide processing" is done in Texas, but I don't think that "processing" encompasses tanning. Or does it? The website is unclear. You would think that if they were tanning hides in the US, they would broadcast it.

    Guess I'm going to go with the British Tan from Horween in chicago... unless they tan it somewhere else as well.
     
  19. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Horween's legit. It's expensive though, naturally as anything legit ought to be.
     
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  20. Neognosis

    Neognosis Senior member

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    I have a pair of wolverine 1000 miles that are made with Horween chromexcel. The right boot is absolutely horrible. The leather is very wrinkly. At the start of this thread, I learned that is likely due to the leather being from the cow's belly or shoulder.

    That speaks lowly of Wolverine for buying and using that leather, but does it also speak lowly of Horween for even selling it?
     

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