Leather Quality and Properties

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

  1. TimH

    TimH Senior member

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    The Italians make some truly wonderful leathers (as do many others) and seem to have an extra feel for that understated quality and handle.
    I used lots over the years before I decided to go all British with my product although part of me has a hankering to get some in.
     
  2. JermynStreet

    JermynStreet Senior member

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    Hey all, my briefcase just arrived from Glaser Designs in San Francisco. I ordered it from there because I had read reviews on this site that they made good products with superior techniques. Basically, I was looking for a DWF of briefcase makers. Anyway, the craftsmanship appears to be very nice, however, I cannot get over this choice of hide by the maker. What are these striations? What grade of hide is this? My parents got this for me after I graduated from law school and I hope to get a lifetime of use out of it. Should I send it back?

    [​IMG]
     
  3. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    Fat wrinkles... usually found in the shoulder esp. on older animals. Not particularly prime but I cannot say whether using shoulder is a standard in the briefcase industry.
     
  4. JermynStreet

    JermynStreet Senior member

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    Ah. Thank you, kindly, DW.
     
  5. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    Yr. Hmb. Svt.
     
  6. wurger

    wurger Senior member

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    Got my first pair of shell cordovan shoes, when I first opened the box, I was surprise to find it looking like a pair of Church's with bookbinder leather.

    In Australia, I don't think there is any store that stocks shell cordovan shoes, but there are a lot of corrected grain shoes around, and they look and feel very similar.

    While once worn, the rolls of the shell will differentiate itself from the wrinkles of corrected grain.

    I am wondering was shiny bookbinder corrected grain leather first introduced to create the shell cordovan look like a much lower cost?
     
  7. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    As I understand it, it was made from either lower quality leather, and/or leathers that had marks on them from the animal itself, cuts, bug bites, stretch marks, veins and so on. It is essentially sanding the grain off and applying a heavy finish. I think it had more to do with increasing profit margins than imitating shell.

    Then again it is also an aesthetic. Some people like it as it is easy to clean and stays fairly shiny due to the finishing. Companies like Church offer both regular calf, and polished binder for the same cost. I would think not all corrected leather's are "bad" quality, but rather just another design choice in the case of the higher end shoes. Just a guess though.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2014
  8. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Wurger, also, are your shoes Alden's? I have mentioned this before in different arenas for different reasons, but Alden slathers their own dye over the stock shell cordovan they get from Horween, the tannery. It makes it a little more their own. Anyway, I have noticed that Alden shell is much shiner than other shell, I think this dye and their finishing could be a reason for that "corrected" grain look. As you said, with wear they won't be mistaken for corrected grain shoes.
     
  9. wurger

    wurger Senior member

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    Thanks Patrick, mine are from Carmina, it's not that shiny to be that honest, but if I didn't know shell, I would have mistaken it to be bookbinder leather.
     
  10. VegTan

    VegTan Senior member

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    As for Bookbinder, I presume there was another reason because shell cordovan was less popular.

    (Bookbinder was registered in 1986.)
    http://www.ipo.gov.uk/tmcase/Results/1/UK00001268361


    As for Polished Cobbler, I presume it was substitute for shell cordovan. According to Allen Edmonds' Catalog (http://issuu.com/allenedmonds), shell cordovan is discontinued from 1970 to SS 1983. Polished Cobbler first appears in SS 1978 and on the cover of FW 1978.

    Here is a letter dated Jun/18/1981, which says "very short supply" of shell cordovan.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    BTW, a long-ago corrected grain seemed to be dull finished.

     
  11. wurger

    wurger Senior member

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  12. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    It seems that Horween sells a ton of different kinds of leathers. I was under the impression that there was shell and chromexcel. Apparently there are tons of different kinds of chromexcel leathers. I wonder if they sell regular regular calf and such as well. Is there a comprehensive place to view their different leathers, or at least read about what makes each one distinctive?
     
  13. JubeiSpiegel

    JubeiSpiegel Senior member

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    ^
    I think they make that controversial hatch grain leather as well...
     
  14. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I'm not so much talking about grains and stamps, more so their blends of tanning agents and what the best uses for each kind of leather.

    Also, what is the deal with chromexcel? I thought it was chrome tanned leather that had a veg re-tan, is that correct?

    Also, what makes bridle leather bridle leather? I thought it was just 100% veg tanned skin, but maybe it has something to do with the area of the hide, or a different animal all together.
     
  15. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    http://thetanneryrow.com/
     

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