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

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

  1. glenjay

    glenjay Senior member

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    That's a good question fritzl. I was going to phrase my statement in the context of conditioning in regard to adding oil to leather shoe uppers, but I thought that might be getting too specific, as that seemed to already be the context of the statement I was addressing.

    The term conditioning can be applied as a pretty broad term. Certainly applying leather grease to a sole edge would be a type of conditioning, but not one I have any real experence with. I would love to learn more however, if you cared to share the details.
     
  2. Northampton Novice

    Northampton Novice Senior member

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    personally, i do not see the need to condition a brand new pair of shoes...
    i treat them with wax(from the tin can) and alternating with cream(tube).
    as lear said. you've to find out what suits your situation best. it's more about the quality of the leather and tlc, less for the products, imo.
    [/quote]

    Agree about the quality of leather being a determinant of what sort of care it will need, including frequency.

    Disagree about your comment regarding conditioning - particularly if you are still unclear as to the meaning of the term.
     
  3. fritzl

    fritzl Senior member

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    sure. get back to you. too lazy for now. watch this space... :)
     
  4. fritzl

    fritzl Senior member

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    well, english is not my mother tongue. i try to improve my ability, though.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2011
  5. Northampton Novice

    Northampton Novice Senior member

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    Fritzl - you are conditioning your shoes already, it's just that you don't know it!
     
  6. Northampton Novice

    Northampton Novice Senior member

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    That makes two of us...
     
  7. Kevlarsoul

    Kevlarsoul Member

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    Hi,

    What color of Saphir Medaille d'Or Créme 1925 do you recommend to C&J "chestnut burnished calf '?
     
  8. razl

    razl Senior member

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    It looks to be between a light brown and a medium brown. The light should maintain the color, the dark (if it's actually darker) will impart a little antiquing/burnishing.

    The Hangar Project has images of the color cards here: http://www.hangerproject.com/closet/saphir-pommadier-cream-shoe-polish.html
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2011
  9. chogall

    chogall Senior member

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    Not sure if this has been posted or not, but here's Olga Berluti doing polishing herself.

    http://www.berluti.com/#/creation/polish

    Very interestingly, she uses 3 polishes - colorless, brown and black. No creams no renovators, etc.

    She first uses the colorless polish to nourish the wax threads.

    Then uses the colorless polish to 'remove' old polishs.

    Then waterproof w/ polish? (looks like dubbing instead of wax polish to me?)

    Finally doing a bit of spit/high shine with colored polish.

    Thoughts?
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2011
  10. fritzl

    fritzl Senior member

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    you're a clever bloke. my question was directed into the direction what to understand by conditioning.

    i take care for my own shoes more than thirty years and my inventory has the number four in front. i'm open to learn every day, though.
     
  11. fritzl

    fritzl Senior member

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    i have to get me some colorless polish again. thank you for pointing me into this direction.

    i share my love for renovateur with mrs. berluti, quasi.
     
  12. Northampton Novice

    Northampton Novice Senior member

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    Thanks for posting the vid Chogall - a nice watch.

    The video shows when polishing shoes, use polish - it doesn't say don't use renovateur or that conditioning shoes is not necessary.

    I know a lot of SF members use renovateur in their polishing regimes and often too good effect. Personally as I have already mentioned in this thread I don't use renovateur as part of my routine polishing. My routine polish consists of using Saphir creme in jars followed by wax out of a tin. I like Olga B use wax all over the shoe - but only ever use neutral as a very mild solvent, to clean the shoes, perhaps twice a year. I only use renovateur after using products like renomat which is part of a big cleanse.
     
  13. Northampton Novice

    Northampton Novice Senior member

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    That makes two of us...(again):D
     
  14. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Ok, I have been wondering this for years now and I can't find any information on it. Maybe DFW could help? I bought this pair of C&J shoes on discount as seconds because they have what is apparently called "chattering". I will show you what I mean in this picture. If you look closely at the shiny parts on this heel counter you will see faint lines that run from the shoe opening down to the heel. What causes this? Is it a defect in the leather, or is it due to the machine lasting?

    [​IMG]
     
  15. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    It's hard to say...could be any number of things. But while not a fan of machine lasting, I don't think that's the problem.

    The striations appear to be too regular to be stretch marks. I'd be more inclined to suspect that the leather was "dry split" and that there was a nick in the splitter blade, or improper feeding into the blade.

    It might be the result of some sort from an automatic gluing machine...although that seems a bit far-fetched of all the possibilities.

    It might be an artifact of some sort of finishing process, which more than likely occurred before the leather was shipped to the maker or cut.

    If it is any of the above, it is not a defect in the leather per se. Nor is it particularly worrisome...functionally or aesthetically. But I suspect it could have been avoided.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2011
  16. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Thanks for this. It is very regular and it parts of the shoe it looks as if the dyes did not penetrate these parts as well as other parts. It can't be polished out. These seem to be little micro-impressions or something.

    What is dry split?
     
  17. patrick_b

    patrick_b Senior member

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    Well said. Most of my dress shoes for work are worn once a week, sometimes twice. When traveling, OTOH, I may wear the same pair 2-3 days in a row and use shoe trees overnight. I refuse to check a bag and shoes take up so much room. I still only condition these once a month or so. I just don't think they need more than that. I brush after each wear and remove any salt or visible dirt with a damp cloth when necessary.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2011
  18. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    You're welcome although I'm not so sure it was all that helpful.

    When a hide comes off an animal...depending on the age and size...it can be very thick. After tanning, it may be even thicker. Making shoe uppers out of leather that is a cm thick would be borderline silly.

    The upshot is that hides are often split--a layer (or layers) is taken off the underside (the flesh side) of the hide. In fact, these remnant layers are called "splits" While splits do not have the strength that might otherwise be associated with full grain leather of the same substance, they are most often used as, or substituted for, "suede" in contemporary shoe manufacturing culture.

    In any case, when leather has a certain moisture content it is always easier to remove surplus substance cleanly. And any irregularities may subsequently be burnished or leveled out quite easily.

    As I understand the process (last explained to me by Skip Horween) "dry splitting", simply takes a fully tanned hide and reduces the thickness. A machine, called a "band-splitter" maybe used on small pieces such as vamps quarters and the like. Band splitters are nearly as common as lasting machines in shoe factories. The good news is that an otherwise too thick piece of leather can be made in to a much more refined shoe; the bad news is that dry splitting not only significantly reduces the tensile strength of the remaining full grain, it can leave striations and irregularities that may not be noticed or easily eliminated.
     
  19. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Very interesting. Could it possibly be the reason why this is the only shoe in ages that I have that has begun to crack despite my generous care of my footware?
     
  20. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    I don't see a direct correlation although if the leather is thinner in some places than others it might tend to flex in those thin area more readily than in the thick areas.

    I tend to think that cracking is more a function of some process in the curing, tanning and/or finishing. Perhaps the grain surface was "salt burned." Or the tanning left the grain too stiff. Or buffing took off too much of the grain. Or the top finish is too brittle.

    I can't put my finger on any for-certain reason for cracking. One piece of leather will crack and another (even from the same hide) will not.

    On the other hand, Victorian shoemakers seemed to have thought that cracking was due to floor level urinals.:confused:
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2011

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