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

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

  1. JermynStreet

    JermynStreet Senior member

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    MWS-just wanted to commend your efforts again on a well thought out, well organized addition. Thank you for your valuable contributions! I wish I could construct such complete and supported responses in as little time as you do. Right on.[​IMG]
     
  2. gaseousclay

    gaseousclay Senior member

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    I took a spill on my keister this winter and my shell cordovans took a nice scuff on the side. i've heard the same comments about how the scuffs will buff right out with a deer bone or conditioner. the conditioner method clearly didn't work which leaves me with having to buy a $30+ deer bone. don't know if I want to waste my money on a deer bone to test a theory. others have also recommended using a spoon to smooth out the scuffs
     
  3. MoneyWellSpent

    MoneyWellSpent Senior member

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    Yeah, many theories float around out there about getting flaws out of cordovan. The deer bone seems to work quite well, and seems to be worth the money. I've heard the spoon trick as well. The point as it pertains to my response above is that shell can and does respond to therapy in ways that calf doesn't, thus making it potentially more durable. I don't know how your scuff looks, but it may be worth trying the deer bone on if you can spare the money.
     
  4. Numbernine

    Numbernine Senior member

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    I have on several occasions , for restoration purposes, scrubbed shell cordovan with a very stiff nylon brush under running water until it resembles. wet suede . after it dried it buffed to a high gloss(think uncle macs shoes ) in @ 10 -15 min
    [​IMG]
    I don't recommend my Dr Frankenstein methods but simply wish to point out the durability of shell also reading member cranes thread on the wolverine shell boot should remove any fear of the delicacy of this leather
     
  5. hanskl

    hanskl Senior member

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    It seems that Cordovan has far greater abrasion resistance than calf, however it also seems Cordovan is severely lacking tensile strength. This is evidenced by the difficulty of lasting Cordovan (as seen in a previous posted video).

    The explanation for these characteristics seems to be that Cordovan is much denser (good abrasion resistance), but at the same time the fibers are also shorter (poor tensile strength) than calf.
     
  6. MoneyWellSpent

    MoneyWellSpent Senior member

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    This is absolutely true. However, the amount of pulling force subjected to the leather during forepart lasting is far greater than any force that will be subjected to the shoe during wear. So, if the leather isn't damaged during the making process, it should be perfectly fine after that.
     
  7. Numbernine

    Numbernine Senior member

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    i
    i quite agree I understand a percentage of shoes are lost in the original lasting . it also seems to cause problems in older shoes that have been left sitting as the shell dries and stiffens
     
  8. MoneyWellSpent

    MoneyWellSpent Senior member

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    Hmm... now that I haven't heard. But then again, I could care less what happens to a product that is neglected. Entropy will set in on anything that isn't cared for and used properly. "Use it or lose it" as they say. If this does occur, it must be the exception to the rule, and it must take several decades. There are far too many stories out there of people who find a pair of old dusty shell shoes in their dad's or granddad's closet that they then shine up and show to be completely wearable.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2013
  9. Numbernine

    Numbernine Senior member

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    As a buyer and user of vintage shell I obviously agree with the idea but many is the tale of nos florshiems cracking on their maiden voyage .a sad scene considering proper conditioning could prevent this in most cases
     
  10. bucksfan

    bucksfan Senior member

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    Great write-up, and great article links - a couple I've never run across. Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2013
  11. RogerP

    RogerP Senior member

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    Ditto that. The Horween video on the tanning process for shell was most informative as well.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2013
  12. glenjay

    glenjay Senior member

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    Perhaps I wasn’t clear about how shoe polish works in relation to colored pigment. I will try to explain in more detail.

    First, you are really underestimating the percent amount of solvent in shoe polish. Most shoe polish, paste or cream, is comprised of mostly solvent; then wax, then oil, then pigment. I didn’t include solvent in my math because it is not germane to the amount of pigment in the polish.

    I haven’t just read what goes into polish, I have worked with the formulas, and even have my own shoe polish line that has received very good reviews from members of this forum.

    Each ingredient in shoe polish serves a different purpose. The purpose of the solvent is to keep the wax in the polish soft enough to be able to spread it onto a shoe (a candle made of shoe polish would be a pretty soft candle, even made out of paste polish). Once shoe polish has been applied to the shoe, the majority of the solvent evaporates.

    The solvents in shoe polish (like turpentine) are considered volatile oils which evaporate rather quickly. Pigment does not evaporate.

    The oil in shoe polish (both in paste and cream) is there to help condition the shoe leather, and is therefore absorbed into the leather fiber. But, the molecular structure of pigment does not allow it to be absorbed into the leather fiber like oil.

    It is important to note at this point that one of the main distinctions between pigment and dye is that pigment is insoluble and dye is soluble. This is the main reason that wax is the medium that the pigment resides in, because the pigment is not soluble by the oil or the solvent in shoe polish. The pigment is simply suspended in the wax.

    Because of this my math is valid for the ratio of pigment in the two polish types (paste and cream).

    It is a common assumption that dye and pigment are the same thing, but they are not. Most shoe polish, that I am aware of (Saphir, Meltonian, GlenKaren,…), uses pigment for coloring, not dye.
     
  13. OzzyJones

    OzzyJones Senior member

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  14. benhour

    benhour Senior member

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    probably my english is not as good as to say the same thing i think in my language to say it in english!! first of all the example i gave was imaginary and not true numbers!! i thought that was obvious but probably it wasnt! btw i really know how the solvents work and why they are there!

    if you talk about ratio of wax and pigment yes you are right but if you speak about ratio of final product and pigment you are rong!!

    i hope i ll say it correctly now!! :) when the paste polish says that it has 2% pigment and the wax polish say it has 2% pigment , at the same amount of both we ll have the same amount of pigment !!! ofcourse different amount of wax!!!

    i know that pigment stays in the wax thats why i said about the sticky nature of wax!! probably we say the same thing and maybe i misunderstand something!!
     
  15. EnsitMike

    EnsitMike Active Member

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    I was given a full set of Allen Edmonds Carnauba shoe polish as a gift the other day. Does anyone have any opinions or experience with it?
    [​IMG]
     

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