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JE_FR88

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Speaking of suede, what is the best way to get rid of a stain? Someone dropped sunblock on my suede chukkas once and I could never get rid of that stain. Is there a consensus regarding what works? Do you guys also like to use the Saphir suede conditioners?
 

audog

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Mishap and evolution of my “Carlos Nieto” Chelsea boots
Cross post with the "Boots, Boots, Boots" thread

I bought my “Carlos Nieto” Chelsea boots last January 2017, so they are three years nine months old. The next images were taken during their maiden voyage day: a very deep chocolate suede colour, with a wonderful nap and touch.


With my shoe rotation, they were very well kept as seen in the next image taken one year later (January 2018), until the unfortunate day when they received some oil drops while I was helping in the kitchen. I didn’t realize the mishap until later on, so I couldn’t sprinkle the stain with some baby powder or cornstarch to absorb the oil, which had created a few ugly patches on the top of my boots.


I tried all sort of tricks, suede cleaning solutions, suede shampoos, brushes, erasers, I even bought colour spays to mimic the stains that still there. When you don’t want to see something in its when it's more clear, even though the rest of the people didn’t even notice it. The fact was that I felt that they were deteriorating with so many brushes, erasers and cleaning solutions...

Last December 2019 they still kept their dignity, at least that was what I thought, even though the stains were there but they didn’t show much because of my right boot position.


But, during last weeks, every time I put them on my feet, I felt that they had lost their original charm: I thought they were dirty, peeled, scraped even though it could be just my imagination. During the last months, I had bought other three Chelsea boots: they weren’t any more “unique”, as a way of saying it, I had my new Magnanni, Cheaney and Loake Chelsea boots.

The next image was the last I made when I decided that if it was not possible to get an appearance that would satisfy me, they would be part of an experiment that I wanted to make but I needed a suitable pair of shoes to do it. The change from the first photos to the latter is clear: the deep intense chocolate colour wasn’t there anymore, and instead of that I had stains and discolourations that were already difficult to correct.


So, I converted the fragile suede Chelsea in a pair of boots that I could use without restriction under the rain or in any harsh situation with a radical appearance change: I applied Sno-Seal that I had used before with my Pimlico chukkas, in this case over the suede for a homemade waxed effect, whose result I imagined although it was still an experiment that could end in total botch...


Next images are the final exercise result: the appearance changed radically, nothing to do with the chocolate suede that I enjoyed during the last years. Now they have an aspect that reminds me a newly waxed Barbour, with some shine but at the same time mate colour, with a "rough" texture that I don't know how it will evolve over time.

How pictures are worth a thousand words, these are my “new/old” Chelsea boots. Now I “need” a new pair of chocolate ones but I have a pair that I will use with my Barbour jackets, that are unique and exclusive and show with their wrinkles and character the use they have had.




It is now up to you to tell me now if this was crazy. Personally, I am very satisfied with these experiments. ;)
They turned out ok, neatsfoot oil would have darkened them and hidden the spots, and given them a texture more like a reverse oiled chamois.
 

Mercurio

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Speaking of suede, what is the best way to get rid of a stain? Someone dropped sunblock on my suede chukkas once and I could never get rid of that stain. Is there a consensus regarding what works? Do you guys also like to use the Saphir suede conditioners?
The most important thing to do is to act promptly: every minute counts.

Sprinkle the stain with some baby powder or cornstarch to absorb the oil, in your case the sunblock, for as long as needed, then, you can remove it with a soft brush. After you have get rid of the grease/oil stain, you can proceed with a suede cleaner/shampoo.

 

Mercurio

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They turned out ok, neatsfoot oil would have darkened them and hidden the spots, and given them a texture more like a reverse oiled chamois.
Thank you, I didn’t know about the neastfoot oil, as that was the texture I was looking for: that would be my next experiment, but I hope I don’t have to do it.
 

JUAN MANUEL

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Agree, I think just leaving them for at least a week in a dry place may be best at the moment. Adding more products could actually worsen the problem.

Just to clarify @JUAN MANUEL I don't think the shoes in question are cordovan, unless that is you have had success with a deerbone on calf shoes also?

Once the shoes have had plenty drying time to see if the bumps go away, it might then be time to assess if the leather needs conditioning.

Then potentially assess if the surface needs refinishing with dye or just simply a couple of light coats of pigmented cream and maybe a coat of wax polish if the leather appears in decent condition.

Less is usually more I have learned from some bad experiences in the past.
Hello Reiver

Indeed, general knowledge says that the deer bone should be used in cordovan leather, but a couple of months ago checking A Fine Pair of Shoes site I found the Abbeyhorn Snake Headed Sleeking Bone and I quote: Made from a 100% natural bone material this unique item is a must for any craftsperson or leather worker. It smooths leather/ folds paper without leaving any scratches or marks.

I have a pair of LWB from Cheaney that shows to much wrinkling in the right foot vamp (my right foot bends more than the left one due to a metatarsal fracure of the left). So I applied the bone and most of the wrinking disappeard.

I haven't purchased the "standard" deer polishing bone yet. I wouldn't like my wife to be frightend thinking that I have started a taxidermist hobby, she has enough with my shoes.
 

JFWR

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I think these are water damages. A full soaking in water might correct them but no garantee
If it doesn't go away in two weeks, I second this motion.

It's scary, but sometimes you gotta soak shoes.
 

JUAN MANUEL

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Thank you. As @Reiver mentioned, I’d just wait a good two weeks before hitting them with other products. I’m already using shoe trees which are a size bigger. Will show the progress in two weeks’ time. Thank you once again.
Please keep us posted, is nice to learn new tricks, specially with someone else shoes. Good luck.
 

San780

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If it doesn't go away in two weeks, I second this motion.

It's scary, but sometimes you gotta soak shoes.
Thank you once again. So here is my question. Apparently the “bump” damage on toe area comes from water damaging that area by totally saturating the leather and getting into the fiber. How would totally soaking the whole shoe in water would resolve the issue? Wouldn’t it do the same damage all over the shoe? Just trying to understand the logic behind it.

This is becoming bit of an obsession, I’m afraid. Showed the shoes this evening to two Parisian cobblers who assured me that the shoes were fit to be thrown in the bin. Made me even more committed to find a solution. Just for the sake of proving them wrong. Even though I’m sure they know what they are talking about.
 
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JFWR

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Thank you once again. So here is my question. Apparently the “bump” damage on toe area comes from water damaging that area by totally saturating the leather and getting into the fiber. How would totally soaking the whole shoe in water would resolve the issue? Wouldn’t it do the same damage all over the shoe? Just trying to understand the logic behind it.

This is becoming bit of an obsession, I’m afraid. Showed the shoes this evening to two Parisian cobblers who assured me that the shoes were fit to be thrown in the bin. Made me even more committed to find a solution. Just for the sake of proving them wrong. Even though I’m sure they know what they are talking about.
The idea is that once you soak the shoes, they will tighten around the shoe tree as they dry and any bumps/wrinkles (like these) will be smoothed out. Also, any stain will be evened out by equivalent staining uniformly over the shoe, so that the shoe will no longer display any problem.

I mean, if you have cobblers telling you "you're screwed" you might as well try this. FIRST, though, let your shoe dry out and see if it is just a matter of the shoe being saturated.

Also, be careful right now with MOLD. I'd put these shoes on a rack with a fan blowing to keep circulation of air.
 

CWV

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The idea is that once you soak the shoes, they will tighten around the shoe tree as they dry and any bumps/wrinkles (like these) will be smoothed out. Also, any stain will be evened out by equivalent staining uniformly over the shoe, so that the shoe will no longer display any problem.

I mean, if you have cobblers telling you "you're screwed" you might as well try this. FIRST, though, let your shoe dry out and see if it is just a matter of the shoe being saturated.

Also, be careful right now with MOLD. I'd put these shoes on a rack with a fan blowing to keep circulation of air.
Do you need lasted trees for this?
 

San780

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The idea is that once you soak the shoes, they will tighten around the shoe tree as they dry and any bumps/wrinkles (like these) will be smoothed out. Also, any stain will be evened out by equivalent staining uniformly over the shoe, so that the shoe will no longer display any problem.

I mean, if you have cobblers telling you "you're screwed" you might as well try this. FIRST, though, let your shoe dry out and see if it is just a matter of the shoe being saturated.

Also, be careful right now with MOLD. I'd put these shoes on a rack with a fan blowing to keep circulation of air.
Nothing to lose indeed. Point noted about uniform tightening of the shoes.

Will report back in 12 days.

Thank you once again.
 

JFWR

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Nothing to lose indeed. Point noted about uniform tightening of the shoes.

Will report back in 12 days.

Thank you once again.
Hope it helps.

Before you do any soaking, show us what the shoes look like so we can give you advice.

As you say, there's nothing to lose right now, so it's either the dump or this works, just be careful of green mold. Once your shoes get moldy, there's not much you can do as the leather can be ruined entirely, and you definitely have to resole.

Plus, as someone else mentioned, you might even ruin the shoe trees.
 
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Goofy

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@San780 Are you absolutely certain it’s box leather? I own a pair of late 90s/ early 20s Hershung, which surprisingly turns out are made of bookbinder leather. The shoe could almost pass for cordovan were it not that the telltale wrinkles give it away. Back then I wasn’t as educated and knowledgeable about the different types of leather as I am nowadays. Imagine my surprise when I found out that shoes from a reputable brand were made of such poor quality leather.
 

San780

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@San780 Are you absolutely certain it’s box leather? I own a pair of late 90s/ early 20s Hershung, which surprisingly turns out are made of bookbinder leather. The shoe could almost pass for cordovan were it not that the telltale wrinkles give it away. Back then I wasn’t as educated and knowledgeable about the different types of leather as I am nowadays. Imagine my surprise when I found out that shoes from a reputable brand were made of such poor quality leather.
Good point actually. Even Church’s does bookbinder so why not Heschung, I suppose. You might have a valid point there. Unfortunately I discovered them only last week. Please find the pic below as I found them (after brushing them a bit). Does it look like bookbinder? In my opinion, the leather was too matte for it to be bookbinder...

C8DF42E9-ACB8-4A47-A1E5-64ABEAF40784.jpeg
 

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