Patent leather...

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by WJTW, Nov 2, 2004.

  1. WJTW

    WJTW Well-Known Member

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    A bit silly, perhaps, but: Is patent leather real leather?

    How does one know if the leather is real or not?

    Thanks,
    WJTW
     


  2. Horace

    Horace Senior member

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    There was a series of posts on this topic either on Ask Andy or here.

    I always thought it was one of three things (though I don't know that anyone came down with authority on the original type of so-called patent leather).

    1) cheap plastic

    2) leather with an artifical (i.e. plastic) finish

    3) Leather that had been treated with polishes and potions and whatnot, in order to achieve the desired gleam.

    There was an interesting debate on one of the forums on which was more correct, patent leather or highly-polished black calf. For patent leather apparently came later than black calf.

    Though I do wonder if there is a way to achieve the sheen of patent leather that is no longer used.

    Linseed oil someone mentioned.

    Hope these babblings are helpful.

    Hey ho,

    H.
     


  3. stache

    stache Senior member

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    Yes to choice #2 (it used to be #3). Odd fact, patent leather was invented in Newark NJ in the 1820's. It has its own historical sign. [​IMG]
     


  4. WJTW

    WJTW Well-Known Member

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    So... how does one tell if it is 'cheap plastic' or leather with a glossy/shiny finish? The price is one way... any other way(s)? If I get to buy one, which would probably be months later, I would like to make sure what I am buying isn't some cheap plastic fake, especially if it is priced at ridiculously high amounts.

    Thanks,
    WJTW
     


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