Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Mr. Moo, Feb 28, 2011.
Looks like corrected grain calf to me.
Did you find that less is better when applying the wax each time - in order to achieve the 3-4 layers of coats?
On one pair of my AE dress shoes this week - I started with Saphir Renovateur, then progressed to the Saphir Polish Creme, and then started with the Saphir Wax, by lightly apply the wax so as not to create a surface that may lead to flaking. After the first layer of wax, I shined the shoes, then returned to apply the second layer . . . and so forth.
When I got to the last layer - the instructions said I could start with the water application and wax to develop the mirror shine - or, I could just remain with the satin shine that is the original Allen Edmonds look out of the box.
Wow.....I don't come around very often anymore, but got an email to check this thread out. Lot's of passionate replies going on here. Great to see....also some misinformation and questionable uses/techniques from my side, but to each his own. There really is no exact science to any of this, unfortunately. Just too many complicated factory finishes, tannages, etc., to ever offer 100% accurate advise. I will chime in with a couple of replies though:
Previous comment is correct.....most manufacturers will not give out the entire formula of a product. Us included. However, happy to post the msds and the product itself contains no harmful ingredients, no chemicals, no solvents and does, in fact, use real Mink Oil - we source it from farms in Finland.
[ATTACHMENT=6214]FDS-1124-RENOVATEUR HUILE DE VISON MEDAILLE D'OR-GR-V01-20050603.pdf (39k. pdf file)[/ATTACHMENT]
In our warehouse here, we distribute 7 different 'balms' (for those that don't know, in addition to all of our shoe and boot work, we are the agents and stock house for Tarrago, Saphir, MDO and La Cordonnerie Anglaise for the US....all the sellers come thru us) and the MDO Renovateur is regarded as the highest quality # we have, although it should be pointed out that is also the most greasy. Many repair shops actually consider (and buy....both for the backroom and the shelf) the regular Saphir Crème Universelle the commercially viable product mainly due to the fact that you don't have to be as concerned about applying too much (can become gummy on the upper if not used sparingly) and it dries much more quickly. This product is basically the same formula, but without mink oil and includes Jajoba Oil. That being said, the MDO Renovateur is the same product that some French museums use to condition antique leather items, bookbindings, etc......I'm pretty sure there is no connection between Renovateur and 'leather cracking' on shoes.
Regarding the everyday use of cleaner/conditioners, you can go back to my post way back in 2005 where I recommend this usage, and nothing since then has changed my opinion - and we've seen an awful lot of shoes and clients come thru my 20+ years doing this. The first person that shows me that a non-toxic, natural, gentle balm caused a finish to crack...will actually be the first person to show me this.
Finally, it should be noted that I went out of my way to suggest Lexol, as well as Renovateur, back then. Not a thing wrong with Lexol. The only thing I would point out is that, I assume since it is a synthetic, it has a tendency to not penetrate well on some finishes. Lexol is a wonderful product for both the equestrian and car interior industries - which is why they concentrate their efforts there.....working with leathers that have very light top coats/finishes. As a matter of fact, I don't even bring in the equestrian products under the Avel name here for this reason - I don't see a whole in the market to compete.
NOTE: a point that seems to constantly be missed on what I've read of this thread, is that most here think they are treating the LEATHER with products.....this is not correct - you are treating the FINISH on the leather with products in most cases.
I'm glad he seems to be an enthusiastic customer, but nobody works for Saphir here in the US except for my wife and I - and we don't have any need to ask people to float around message boards talking about our products. Our retailers....I would have no idea.
Something tells me someone has been pushing RenoMat a little hard - it is a stripper! Like, a use sparingly, only when needed, stripper.
Now, as strippers go it's hardly the strongest out there (no repair shop would use it - it's too lightweight.....they use much more caustic stuff then RenoMat) but it is ideal for the DIY consumer market. Still, it should be used only as needed, and correctly. If you have a shoe with a spray booth finish (the vast majority are finished this way - even those who promote with clips and images of people working away earnestly with brushes and rags in their promo shoots) and you are hitting it for the first time, RenoMat will probably take that spray finish right off.
Hi VegTan - are you in the business? Do we know eachother? Anyway, that's not how you read a GHS MSDS, but the point is well taken. This is not stuff to mess around with haphazardly. The chart you show concerns soling bends, and is available to factories so they can determine how to store it long term. The Leather Slime we hear is very good (the seller you got the info from is our seller in Japan)....for baseball gloves, to which it is marketed. We also heard they had trouble with the FDA here so it's not available from Mizuno USA, but I know nothing for sure...only small talk. It's a useful point to make in regards to using the right products for the right purpose though.
I actually don't read it as an anti-Saphir commentary.....I think PB has a legitimate concern and identified what he thinks is the culprit. Seems reasonable to me, even if I have a feeling the cause was something else.
Actually, it's not so much many layers of wax as much as it is a combination of wax/water/heat. And it does require far more maintenance. For all the years I did refinishing work, I stayed away from the glow in the dark finishing requests - just aren't good for the long term. I usually suggested they contact someone else. Just an opinion.
Somewhere in this thread are some comments concerning the use of Dubbin on uppers....can't find it right now. However, I am not sure where this comes from - never heard of anyone using Dubbin on a dress calfskin upper. Not sure if it would do any harm, but also not sure what good it would do. Dubbin is for waxy calf, hot stuffed leathers, pull-ups, chromexcels, etc. Not finished calf, IMO. I have had people ask me about using it on soles, and I would be scared to death to suggest that, honestly. I know there are shops that do, but I always picture someone using too much of it and sliding down the subway steps and breaking their ass in NYC on a wet day.
sidenote - it's always been interesting to me to hear how little bespoke makers actually value the finishing aspect of their work. They concentrate far more on the actual pattern work and construction work/effort to define their results (does DWIII still rail against pvc holdfasts on here ) while factories, who use more or less the same machines and processes, value the finishing room as the most expensive aspect of the production. As a stereotype.
We actually no longer make their branded products.
Ehhh....don't be so hard on Kirby.....he is doing a good job taking care of customers, trying to give the best advise he can, offering different solutions. He has asked numerous times to come to my warehouse to learn more by working with his hands, and to this point I haven't found the time to host him, so I am more at fault than he is. He is working hard to build a nice site, and I think he is doing a good job. Besides, I know plenty of other people in the business who pretend to know twice as much as they actually do - and half again what they should - but are not so reserved with their comments and misguided opinions and advise to consumers.
Thanks for the valuable input Ron. Enjoyed reading it!
Ron, thank you for your comments!!
My issue with the new venders is their usage guides/manuals, generally going the process of using RenoMat, Dubbin, Renovator, and then cream and waxes.
This has mislead quite a few individuals and made them use RenoMat on brand news shoes stripping parts of the finish. Or have them use dubbins on shoes and cant raise a shine. Or have them used Renovator all over their brand new crust leather antique painted finishes and blurred the finish.
I like the products, but the education/usage guides found online are doing more harm than benefits.
What do you recommend for the crust leather shoes from Edward Green? I do not care about the mirror shine or changing the color of the leather. I would like to nourish and maintain the existent color whatever came from the factory.
Thank you in advance.
I concur. Bad stuff. There's not much you can do with it.
RenoMat on brand new shoes? What the hell would anyone need to do that for? I've heard the Dubbin on finished calfskins before, and don't know where that comes from......I need to look over some of their sites I suppose.
You don't need to use Renovateur on new shoes either......no benefit there.
I guess that's the danger of the internet - when I was young we had the downtown shop with a separate repair shop in the basement and a very busy shine stand on the street - was easy to show people who were interested how to care for their shoes. Now........
You were asking about colors - and if you're going to invest anything in the Saphir Products - the most helpful and recommended official full-color item is the following:
The official "Saphir Nuancier Color Chart"
There are some that use Renomat on brand new shell cordovan shoes to remove any factory cream or polish before adding renovateur. They claim it allows for a much better shine on shell cordovan shoes. Any harm in using it on shell?
Great post Ron, thanks! Any chance of anything popping up on your Steals and Deals site soon?
Not need on a new pair, no.....only when they get to this point:
Well, some read either Kirby's website or SidMashburn about the "complete" shoe shine and wanted ton"start caring" for their new shoes "right". The result is frequently accidental stripping or blurring of finishes.
Glad you took the time to clear things up here!!! Loved your and Sysdoc's good old patina threads!
If I can.....with the obvious self interest of promoting our own Balms, I would suggest:
either Saphir Crème Universelle or Renovatuer
---------------so this is fair, I also think highly of the balms/conditioners put out by Ettinger, Belvoir & Effax
the matching, or one shade lighter Saphir cream (be it MDO or Blue Label)
That's really all you need.
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