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

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

  1. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    When a leather...particularly a light coloured leather...turns dark in a small area there is only a very limited number of reasons why:

    1) the leather is relatively unfinished and oils or heavy conditioners have been spilled / accumulated under the grain surface,

    2) the leather is finished and the finish has been removed by abrasion or by chemicals that strip wax and finish. Any product that strips wax, has the potential to strip finish as well....any product. It depends on the nature of the finish. On some high end leathers such as crust, the entire finish is wax...think about it.

    3) the grain surface has been broken through abrasion (scuffing, over zealous rubbing,)

    The leather under the finish absorbs oil and conditioners and dirt far more readily than the leather that still has its finish. That's one of the reasons a finish is applied in the first place--to protect the leather.

    And the leather below the grain surface absorbs oils and conditioners and dirt even more quickly.

    It is unlikely that the dark spot will ever go away or return to the original colour.

    --
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2014


  2. Munky

    Munky Senior member

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    I know that I can appear facile but I am genuinely interested in how a mixture of lanolin, beeswax and coconut oil can - apparently - make corrected grain leather more supple. I always understood that cg was pretty much impenetrable.
     


  3. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    Presumably you're referring to the shoes you applied Doc Martin to.

    In the first place, corrected grain leather isn't necessarily waterproof or impervious to the atmosphere. It's not (usually) a lacquer. So some of the Doc Martins is getting through the finish.

    Second, not all cg's are created equal...some are more opaque to conditioners than others. Technically speaking, scotch grain and hatch grain and many "painted"-finish leathers are cg. The point of CG is almost entirely cosmetic--to change the appearance or to cover up superficial flaws in the grain surface. And there are a variety of ways to do this. Try the doc martin on patent--which is an extreme cg. I doubt you'll see any change in the leather aside from a lot of grease on the surface.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2014


  4. Munky

    Munky Senior member

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    Thank you, DWF, for your usual, very helpful response. I appreciate it.
     


  5. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    :cheers:
     


  6. pwhinson

    pwhinson Well-Known Member

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    Re the discussion involving Renomat, I used it very successfully to strip a four year old pair of AE Strands of wax buildup (I use Saphir creme as a polish rather than using the Saphir wax but remember there is wax in the creme product and it certainly did buildup over time). I was very happy with the result. This is also on a light colored shoe (Walnut). Its important to note that renomat does the work on its own and there's no need to "rub", rather the finish just comes off very nicely (or wax or whatever). The color lightened ever so slightly but almost unrecognizably so. I them applied an Renovateur very evenly on the shoe and let it dry thoroughly and buffed and the renovateur alone pretty much restored the shoes to their original color and even the finish looked pretty good without further creme or polish. One very thin coat of saphir cognac creme and they looked really quite nice, except for a few places of what I would call, for lack of a better word, "wrinkles," which were there before. I had thought the wrinkles might be cracked wax buildup. Trees go into every shoe I have immediately after wearing them. I guess the wrinkles are probably just the result of the cheap leather AE used.
     


  7. pwhinson

    pwhinson Well-Known Member

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    Another quick thought about renomat. I followed up renomat with all Saphir products to restore the finish and perhaps that has something to do with the results, i.e., perhaps they're intended to work together. I'm not sure what stripping the "original finish" looks like but I wonder if that's an overblown concern here. After the renomat the shoes did look dry with a very matte finish and an every so slightly lighter color but the renovateur worked its usual magic.
     


  8. pwhinson

    pwhinson Well-Known Member

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    Sorry to ramble on about this but I have yet another thought about this process. I think it could be key to apply the renovateur and creme very very evenly, making small circles as you apply it all over the shoe. I wonder if you put more conditioner on a stripped shoe in a particular spot you might end up with a darker spot on that particular place on the shoe. So application might also be important.
     


  9. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    Now I have a question for Glenjay or pB...or anyone else who regularly bulls their shoes.

    I read somewhere here on this forum, IIRC, that some professional shoe shine guy was using a genuine chamois to do the bulling.

    I learned to spitshine in the service using an old T-shirt. and that's all I've ever used...along with flannel in recent years.

    So, I was interested in the results using the chamois. I had a piece of nice sheepskin chamois that i use to clean my glasses on occasion and cut a piece of to spitshine with.

    But the results--the feeling--was not encouraging. The chamois would not slide over the leather smoothly. With wax on it, it seemed to stick, immediately, and didn't want to move easily. Went back to the flannel with the same wax, same shoe, etc., and no problem.

    So...is it really possible to use a chamois to spitshine?

    If so, what am I doing wrong?
     


  10. chogall

    chogall Senior member

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    Leather shoes will crease.

    Renomat is not for everyday shoe cleaning. Nor every quarter. Nor every year.

    And shoe cream conditions better than renovateur. At the very least creams do not dissolve finish.
     


  11. Brattman

    Brattman Senior member

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    I have a pair of cordovan oxfords by the Japanese brand MOTO Leather and Silver.

    [​IMG]
    The shell used for these shoes is hand dyed by the artisans who make them, so they have a much different finish than typical cordovan footwear. Unlike their glossy and consistent counterparts, these shoes have a matte finish with undertones of brown that show through in various spots. Because I'm not concerned with creating a mirror gloss with these shoes, would Renovateur be the only suggested care product for use on them? Would that still allow for the intended finish to show through?
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2014


  12. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I have only ever used old t shirts. I always thought chamois was kind of a gimmick to sell products, but I would think it serves better as a quick buffing rag than a tool for working up a good spit shine.
     


  13. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I would also not recommend vsc as a conditioner. Has petroleum distillates in it.
     


  14. cbfn

    cbfn Senior member

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    I have used chamois as buller after the polishing to better the mirror or/and remove the spirals from my flannel clothes. However, I have found microfiber clothes far superior for this task.
     


  15. Munky

    Munky Senior member

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    I can only repeat what I have posted, above, that A Fine Pair of Shoes sells large pieces of chamois leather for buffing shoes. Presumably they have some sort of reason for selling them.
     


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