Leather Quality and Properties

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

  1. Celadon

    Celadon Senior member

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  2. jd13jd13

    jd13jd13 Senior member

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    Shoe Leather Quality and Properties? Seems to cover the whole gamut of what's already been discussed here.
     


  3. Celadon

    Celadon Senior member

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    "Leather Quality and Properties" sounds fine. Is there any reason to limit it to leather for shoes, as opposed to belts, bags etc?
     


  4. VegTan

    VegTan Senior member

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    Celadon and d13jd13, thank you!
     


  5. jd13jd13

    jd13jd13 Senior member

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    No problem, keep up the informative posts!
     


  6. Munky

    Munky Senior member

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    We are currently having a lot of sun, which is very unusual here in Wales. What effect (apart from drying out) does sun have on shoe leather? Can it lighten or darken it?
     


  7. chogall

    chogall Senior member

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    Lighten, a.k.a., sun bleached. Real patina.

    Direct sunlight also warms up the existing wax.
     


  8. Munky

    Munky Senior member

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    Given that we are having an extended, sunny, period, would it be safe and/or useful to put calf leather shoes out in the sun? For those who live in constantly hot climates, I am only talking about 25-30 degrees. Alternatively, is this a stupid idea.
     


  9. dibadiba

    dibadiba Affiliate Vendor

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    I'm not an expert on this aspect of leather, but I think that kind of heat is less of a problem than actual direct sunlight. If you're able to keep them in the shade, you'd have less to be worried about.
     


  10. BootSpell

    BootSpell Senior member

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    What is your reason for wanting to do that? Not sure about calf, but someone (maybe Ron Rider?) posted pics of a burgundy/#8 shell shoe left in direct sunlight for some period of time. One foot had faded to a brown (not bad looking but definitely faded) whilst the other (not left in the sun) still had the red/eggplant hues and was much darker.
     


  11. Munky

    Munky Senior member

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    Yes, reasonable question, BootSpell. Given Chogall's response to an earlier posting, I wondered if it would add to patination.
     


  12. BootSpell

    BootSpell Senior member

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    There was a discussion (can't remember if it was this thread or maybe the Alden thread) about this. I asked if it was advisable for me to put my #8 Alden x J.Crew PCT boots in the sun for a few days to see if I could accelerate the "aging" of the colour. I was advised against doing that and should just let time do its work normally. I'm not exactly sure why it was discouraged. Maybe some with more knowledge about leather can chime in.
     


  13. Celadon

    Celadon Senior member

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    I'll use this thread to restate a question I previously posted elsewhere to no avail:

    Why don't we see any shoes made from elk/moose leather?

    Why do we see shoes made from far more exotic leathers, but not from this fairly common and widely hunted animal? I hope that one of the leather/shoe professionals can explain this to me.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2013


  14. dibadiba

    dibadiba Affiliate Vendor

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    I believe this is due to the fact that they're wild animals, and as such, quite a portion of the hide can be scarred or be of less than ideal quality.
    Additionally, meat from these animals isn't exactly in high demand, nor are these animals farmed.
    Also, in my experience, elk or moose leather tends to be very soft and rather stretchy. Nice for mocs or very casual, soft boots, but not exactly something you'd want for anything more than casual footwear.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2013


  15. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    First heat is the enemy of leather...maybe the worst enemy. Sunlight generates heat. To the extent that you can control the heat generated when an object is left in the sun (really?!) the damage may be mitigated...somewhat. But of course darker shoes will absorb and retain heat more readily than lighter shoes. Heat volatilizes oils and makes them either fugitive or in cases of extreme heat can actually cook the leather.

    As far as causing the colour to fade, I suspect it is the ultraviolet rays that are breaking down the finish and changing the molecular structure of any dyestuff that has been applied...before making and/or after. To the extent that these finishes are anything but superficial, I would worry that damage was being done to the grain as well.

    Re: elk and moose...and deer. These leathers are used but because of the way in which the fiber mat of these hides is structured the leather tends to be very coarse, the hair follicles wide apart and very large, and the leather extremely soft, spongy and very stretchy. For some people...who, presumably, would really rather be wearing sneakers or felt slippers...such softness and stretchiness is the appeal.

    That said, I suspect most reputable shoemakers would tell you that they don't like working with these leathers and that the suitability to task or function is really limited.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2013


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