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**The Official Shoe Care Thread: Tutorials, Photos, etc.**

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Mr. Moo, Feb 28, 2011.

  1. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    To give it a certain look and finish. I think the word "correction" in some cases shouldn't be applied. I mean it could be inferior, but it isn't always.
     
  2. MoneyWellSpent

    MoneyWellSpent Senior member

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    The information that I am able to find seems to suggest that even the "definition" of corrected grain that I sometimes subscribe to, which includes adding "fake" textures to the leather isn't necessarily truely corrected grain. In other words, it is common for leathers that truely are corrected grain to have a texture embossed on them to create the pebbled or Scotch grain, or a fake Alligator or lizard appearance. This is done to make them more palatable. However, technically, a good quality leather that is simply embossed to create a texture isn't truely corrected grain even though the grain is affected by the act of embossing. It starts to sound like semantics, but it isn't. With good quality leather that is simply embossed, the grain layer is still intact, while with corrected grain it is sanded and may even expose part of the corium layer (which is then covered back up with a plastic like painted surface to protect the corium.
     
  3. Fang66

    Fang66 Senior member

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    I also use it bare handed, actually I use Creme Universelle, have not come across Renovateur in Japan. Never had a problem. With regard to solvents, if it is a solution, it has a solvent...
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2013
  4. MoneyWellSpent

    MoneyWellSpent Senior member

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    Yes, in chemistry, water is known as the universal solvent.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2013
  5. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    What do you think of Saphir products? Interested in your thoughts.
     
  6. Numbernine

    Numbernine Senior member

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    Guys Please dont do this . Thousands of my co-workers in the plumbing and pipefitting industries are suffering and dying as a result of the improper handling of organic solvents (vocs). Nervous system disorders , organ failures , and cancers are produced by the absorption of these properties into the human body. At least we were (hopefully) being paid a living wage . Do you want to be looking for a new liver at 55 because of a shoe shine ? Take a few precautions none of these guys thought that stuff was going to bother them either . If you feel Im being alarmist just do a little research you might feel differently
     
  7. Fang66

    Fang66 Senior member

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    Not all VOCs are created equal, it is my understanding that the problem VOC in shoe care products is nitrobenzene, and I don't believe Creme Universelle contains that.
     
  8. ncdobson

    ncdobson Senior member

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    Is there a reason why cream polishes or dubbins are labeled "for smooth leather"? Do they cause problems if used w/ grain leathers?
     
  9. Numbernine

    Numbernine Senior member

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    It is true all vocs are not equal neither is the effect depending on route of entry be it inhalation, absorption or ingestion .many are perfectly safe at normal temperature as they remain a liquid and thus unbreathable but when applied with bare hands we are providing a route of entry unintended by the manufacturer . Just go to the hardware store and observe how many products are labeled avoid contact with skin . The point im trying to make is that many products may seem safe and probably are as long as they are used" as intended " but before applying a solvent containing product with bare skin you should know
    1- what that solvent is
    2- what the lower exposure limit is
    3-what is the possibility of exceeding that limit without protection
    To be.honest I apply various products with with bare fingers on occasion but to do so on a regular basis is imho a very bad practice
     
  10. RIDER

    RIDER Senior member

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    Cheers.

    Well, that's a simple one....it's not. I guess those that say that never went back and looked over any of my refinishing posts on here, where I have always washed.....not used, but washed...the shoes on the bench in straight turpentine. I'm not sure of too many brands that haven't passed thru my hands, and my finishes didn't flake off and the shoes didn't rot out at the seams. And the customers always sent more to me to fix up......I had many JL clients who sent fresh pairs to me and I beat the hell out of the finishing room in the UK in the results. Every pair saw a lot of turpentine. But, hey, maybe these guys know more than I do and maybe they also spent hours before the sun came up refinishing other peoples $1,000 shoes so they could make the mortgage payment that month, I don't know. But when you are in that spot, you look for things that can create a little market better than what's around, and that's when I started using turpentine as a prep in the work. Which then led me to Saphir which really gave the finishes I was doing life. It's second nature to me to understand that the actual promoting benefit of Saphir IS the turpentine. But, with that being said, there are plenty of other balm, wax & cream options out there as well......try them all and stick with what you like best. If the turpentine in Saphir is a turn off, maybe try Tarrago, which we also distribute from here and is actually our fastest growing line of products (sold thru regional distribution houses to shoe repair and shoe shops, and easily found on-line).....it's very good for $3.50 a jar. In the end, it's all just shoe polish.......not worth having a stroke over.

    Part 2 - I actually prefer the Crème Universelle over the MDO Lotion, and the Nappa Balm is for just that - Nappa. Not Calfskin.....it can also be a good conditioner for kangaroo, they say.

    Part 3 - which shoes? And why not the boots?
     
  11. RIDER

    RIDER Senior member

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    Exactly correct. And apparently speaking inside the business and outside the business while using this term gets very different reactions. Folks, the vast majority of black calfskin on the market now (and for the last 5+ years) has to be corrected.....or there wouldn't be many black shoes on the market. And despite the call for various brown shoes in places like this, shoe factories need to sell a lot of black shoes to stay in business.
     
  12. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Thanks for the reply, I have two pairs of boots and both are holding up just fine from you. The insane mix and match skull crushers in black Inca and black shell balmorals. Other than that only the Barker blacks (which ironically maybe? You also refinished are holding up) the barker blacks are probably about 7 or 8 years old at this point. All shoes other than yours are in crack heaven.
     
  13. applied

    applied Member

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    Ron,

    Thank you for your contribution in this forum. Things like most black shoes corrected grain is actually mind blowing information. With the inferior research that I have done, it seemed like corrected grain = bad. I was hoping if you could elaborate on why that is specific to black shoes and not brown. Also, I was wondering if there is something you look for in determining the quality of leather. Many times, shoe makers may not disclose the source of the hide, and any techniques to judge leathers would be valuable.

    I know your probably short on time and the subject is quite broad so, if you could just direct me to a website, that would work.

    Thanks again!
     
  14. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    All very interesting. I will now be adding Saphir back to my haircare regiment.

    What is turpentine actually? I know it is somehow extracted from sap from a tree or something another, but what are the attributes that make people believe it is bad? Ron, why do you use it for finishing? What does it add to Saphir to make their products stand out? I remember Kirby saying that the turpentine acts as the driver for the oils in Saphir. As in, it penetrates allowing the oils to get into the fibers. I was always under the impression that it was used for stripping like paint thinner and such.
     
  15. IronStyle

    IronStyle Well-Known Member

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    T

    Thanks for sharing!!

    One question on the leather balm from Saphir that you recommend routine use of in between using cream polish, is that something like the polishes or renovateur where it needs to be brushed out and applied on a cloth or just a simple touch of the fingers and no brushing?
     
  16. MoneyWellSpent

    MoneyWellSpent Senior member

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    I'm not trying to start the next "firestorm" or trying to be argumentative. I know my experience is quite trivial compared to yours, Ron. That said, this is quite surprising to me, since I too am generally unable to find any sources that state that true corrected grain leather isn't atleast second rate. Does second rate = bad? Not necessarily. It might be a necessary evil for people to have a good looking product that they demand. However, second rate does mean that it isn't the best.

    This same type of concept has been beaten to death as you well know amongst the gemming discussions with DWFII. The arguement being that gemming is a perfectly acceptable and durable construction method according to one side, while it inflames anger from others who are trying to make the point that it simply isn't the best. The point that kept getting lost in translation was that DW was not trying to say that gemming doesn't have a perfectly logical place in RTW shoe construction, and that it isn't durable for what it is. He understands the economics of the shoe industry and why gemming has become a necessary evil. He regrets and laments the course that the shoe industry has taken in the last 150 years or so, which has made the cheapening of shoes seem normal to the masses. His campaign has been to educate people on why gemming is inferior to hand-welting, and remove the wool from people's eyes that Goodyear-welted shoes are the absolute best available as many manufacterers would have us believe. He isn't saying that owners of Goodyear-welted shoes should toss them in the trash and start all over with bespoke hand-welted shoes. He has said recently that even in the heat of those old gemming threads, he never had any misconception that high quality Goodyear-welted dress shoes which are in a proper rotation, kept on shoe trees, cared for properly, and worn in city/office environments will outlast a cheaper cemented shoe any day. He is just sick of people spending over a grand on shoes under the impression that they are getting the very best available, when they aren't. People who can afford multiple pairs of shoes that are over a grand each could likely afford a couple of pairs of hand-welted bespoke shoes just as easily, and they would be getting a better and more durable product.

    Now, I may be mistaken, but this new topic of corrected grain leather sounds like it has the potential to be the same tail chasing discussion. Goodyear-welting is the gold-standard in shoe manufactering in that it is what all others are compared to quality wise. For something to be the gold-standard doesn't mean that it has to be the best or most ideal. It is simply the standard that has been pegged as the basis for comparison and you can either get better or cheaper from there. Saying that most black leathers out there are corrected grain doesn't negate the fact that it is still considered second rate. Full grain calf-skin is the gold-standard and is considered the best for making shoes. I assume that you are including all shoe manufacterers in your group when you say that the vast majority of black calfskin is corrected grain from the Lobbs, G&G, EG, down to Alden, AE, etc.? Again, I'm not trying to argue, because I fully respect your experience and knowledge. This just sounds like it would be the same surprise that was reacted to when DW started explaining that everyone's Goodyear-welted shoes use gemming, and gemming is attached using cement.... surprise!!! All the articles said that cemented shoes are cheap, which is what brought out the strong response. All the articles also say that corrected-grain leather is second rate, or cheap. So is the same reaction about to happen? SURPRISE!!!! All your high-end black shoes are probably corrected grain!!!
     
  17. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I didn't read your essay, but I think it is tanned to the same specs and it comes from good tanneries it is just that the Cow is a living thing and has skin imperfections like most people do. Most people don't want these imperfections on their shoes. That's my guess.

    FWIW, there are obvious differences between the leather on AE's and even Aldens. There are obvious differences in the leather of my G&G's compared to my C&J. I think you can see the difference pretty clearly. AE's to me all look pretty corrected, I don't know if it is the leather, or their sprayed on finish, but I think better, less corrected leather is pretty noticeable. Non handgrade C&J's looks slightly corrected to me, AE's definitely, not so much with Lobb, EG, G&G to my eye.
     
  18. MoneyWellSpent

    MoneyWellSpent Senior member

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    Surely you read it in order to know how to respond. [​IMG] Your response is well understood, and is the very reason that corrected grain leather exists. If people didn't mind imperfections, they wouldn't go through the effort of removing them. The point is, correcting the grain is removing part of the leather grain surface, and is technically weakening the material (albeit only a small and trivial amount if some cases). I think my point still stands though. I too can see a difference in the leathers amongst manufacterers mentioned above, but those differences don't necessarily amount to corrected grain or full grain. One of the reasons that high-end shoes are so expensive is because they are purchasing leather from their tannery suppliers that is nearly perfect. The imperfect hides are passed on to lower quality manufacterers who pay less. That goes back to the "pulling the wool over our eyes" point I was trying to make. All of the manufacterers that are StyleForum "approved" claim to be purchasing the finest quality calfskin, which implies that they aren't correcting the grain. They imply that their cutters are only using the best parts of the hide, implying that they cut around imperfections that may exist.

    I really don't want to be heard as the next torch bearing, campaign running, quality pusher. If the form of "correction" that is used on black calf shoes in the high-end manufacterers is deemed appropriate and acceptable, then I'm ok with it. I wear black so seldom that one pair of black calf captoes will probably last me a lifetime. I am fine with the "gold-standard" that I described above, even if it isn't the best. I am simply trying to say that the sources available to the common person (non-industry insiders), would imply that corrected grain is second rate, and it isn't used by high-end shoe makers. If this isn't true, it needs to be exposed.
     
  19. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Let's call a spade a spade. All shoes are shit unless they are bespoke.
     
  20. MoneyWellSpent

    MoneyWellSpent Senior member

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    Fair enough. [​IMG]
     

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