1. And... we're back. You'll notice that all of your images are back as well, as are our beloved emoticons, including the infamous :foo: We have also worked with our server folks and developers to fix the issues that were slowing down the site.

    There is still work to be done - the images in existing sigs are not yet linked, for example, and we are working on a way to get the images to load faster - which will improve the performance of the site, especially on the pages with a ton of images, and we will continue to work diligently on that and keep you updated.

    Cheers,

    Fok on behalf of the entire Styleforum team
    Dismiss Notice

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

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

  1. OzWino

    OzWino Senior member

    Messages:
    224
    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2014
    Location:
    Adelaide, SA
    Thanks gents for an informative and constructive discussion. Much obliged.
     
  2. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    33,333
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2006
    Location:
    New York City
    

    Funny you should bring this up as I have always wondered about the non cracking of leather wallets.
     
  3. gettoasty

    gettoasty Senior member

    Messages:
    12,284
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2010
    Location:
    Home
    I wonder if people who wear their leather footwear sockless experience cracking.
     
  4. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    8,238
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    Location:
    The Highlands of Central Oregon
    

    I've seen linings crack and rot out when perspiration levels are high...socks or no socks. But I am convinced, it is the salt and/or the bacteria.
     
  5. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    33,333
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2006
    Location:
    New York City
    I've had cracked linings.
     
  6. sleepyinsanfran

    sleepyinsanfran Senior member

    Messages:
    1,054
    Joined:
    May 31, 2014
    deleted.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2014
  7. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    8,238
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    Location:
    The Highlands of Central Oregon
    

    Maybe on the outside but not in the folds inside. And FWIW, because of my work, I wash my hands only slightly less often than a surgeon.
     
  8. sleepyinsanfran

    sleepyinsanfran Senior member

    Messages:
    1,054
    Joined:
    May 31, 2014
    ^ yeah - realized that flaw immediately after posting :) lack of exposure to particulate matter (silica dust, metal particulates in dust) is probably a big factor for wallets.
    The suede issue is more complicated - might have something to do with the top grain being stiffer (in terms of low compressive strength, even with high tensile strength) than the roughout side. Another possibility is that of observability-bias: every hairline split on the surface of crust leather becomes prominently visible (even if the under the surface the leather is still alright/intact), while such minor cracks on the roughout side become blended with the nap. It might be a mix of both possibilities
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2014
  9. emptym

    emptym Senior member Moderator

    Messages:
    7,321
    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2007
    DW, my guess is that the oils in your hand have helped preserve the leather. It gets handled a lot more than shoe leather.
    Of course, it probably gets exposed to a lot less grit than your shoes. Some, but a lot less.
     
  10. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    33,333
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2006
    Location:
    New York City
    Empty, sebum that dries and oxidizes turns leather fibers very basic, which breaks hydrogen bonding of fatliquors applied at the tannery. Accumulated sweat and sebum isn't a good thing.
     
    1 person likes this.
  11. emptym

    emptym Senior member Moderator

    Messages:
    7,321
    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2007
    Interesting. You're the resident expert on such secretions, so I defer to you entirely.
     
  12. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    8,238
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    Location:
    The Highlands of Central Oregon
    


    Well, the grain is very short fibered and as you say not as resilient and compressible as the flesh. But on the face of it, the fleshside of the leather would seem to be more vulnerable to grit accumulating....except that in the absence of a grease or a wax there's little to hold that grit in place.

    And I suspect it is that fact alone which makes the difference--carborundum grit sitting loose on paper is nowhere near as effective as when it is glued to the paper. The waxes and greases hold the grit in the creases and the "loaded" creases rub against each other.
     
  13. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    8,238
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    Location:
    The Highlands of Central Oregon
    

    Also as I mentioned to sleepy, any oils from my hands would be on the outside of my wallet. It's a trifold, and it folds up pretty close--tightly, as who should say. But I never touch the leather where the resulting creases are located.
     
    1 person likes this.
  14. dbhdnhdbh

    dbhdnhdbh Senior member

    Messages:
    330
    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2012
    DW,
    Are wallets made from thinner, softer, more flexible leather than shoes? Come to think of it, what about gloves? I have some gloves and mitts that are decades old, treated with Snoseal to protect from water, and no cracking. Never polished or stripped, of course.

    How does leather in other applications hold up? Bookbindings live their lives indoors, no exposure to the elements, indoor dust, gentle handling, etc. But eventually they crack.

    Could much of the difference in one person's experience to another be things like how often and how deeply exposed to sun, heavy wetting, road salt, humidity where stored, and size of rotation? Occasional conditioning, done lightly, might matter, but we don'even know what in the conditioner may be helpful. Is it fat? Water? Humectants? pH control? Something else, but no e of the above?

    As I said, the only data I can find are from conservators and they are not encouraging.
     
  15. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    8,238
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    Location:
    The Highlands of Central Oregon
    

    Not necessarily. It's kind of counter-intuitive however to make wallets out of anything approaching or exceeding 4 ounce.
    Has to do with age more than anything, IMO. That and the way the leathers were tanned. Every book I've ever seen that was cracked, the leather was "dead." In extreme cases, you'll get red rot... which is acid-deterioration caused by exposure to sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide.

    Also most bookbinding leathers are super thin (sometimes at or less than one ounce) and often mounted with wheat starch pastes...whether the latter would make a difference or not, I dunno. But I don't think it is a good idea, nor, I suspect is it done very often, to "condition" the leather on books, simply because it would tend to loosen the paste, if nothing else. Waxes--Renaissance Wax in particular--are used. (My wife does some bookbinding so we have lots of literature on the subject and all the basic paraphernalia.)

    Even my 30 year old wallet will eventually dry out and crack, for many of the same reasons...probably when it hits 60 and long past the time when I will no longer need it. :tinfoil:

    I'm not an expert on all of this...I'm just going on decades of experience with leather and shoes.

    But that said, aren't the quarters and facings of a shoe exposed to "sun, heavy wetting, road salt, humidity and size of rotation"? Yet shoes don't crack on the quarters or facings. They don't even crack between the creases.

    Bottom line the discussion arises because the question was asked whether grit was the main culprit in cracking or not. I think it has to be--in any situation where exposure to grit is limited...esp. when conditioners and waxes are avoided...cracking seems to be significantly reduced.

    --
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  16. dbhdnhdbh

    dbhdnhdbh Senior member

    Messages:
    330
    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2012
    If it is largely due to grit, then gently removing it should cut the risk.

    Still puzzled why cracking seems so rare in things like gloves, some of which live fairly hard lives.

    DW, from your experience with working cowboy boots, did you see a difference in longevity based on how carefully a client maintained his footwear?
     
  17. Munky

    Munky Senior member

    Messages:
    1,600
    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2013
    Location:
    Wales, UK
    Just to close the loop; in a previous life as a bookbinder, I used a bone 'spatula' exactly similar to the one your bench, DW. It was used for making razor sharp edges and to ensure that the (very thin) leather fitted close to the boards, below. It was also used to sharpen the edges of paper. I suspect, but I may be wrong, that such use of a bone is not that different to using it with shoes. The spatula was certainly used to smooth out creases and this seems to be one of its main uses in treating shoe. I have an awful feeling that I have posted about this before. If so, my apologies and best wishes for Christmas. Munky.
     
  18. PCK1

    PCK1 Senior member

    Messages:
    3,064
    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2014
    Location:
    NY
    Never apologize for useful contributions.

    Also...Christmas isn't for some time...but I'm glad you started early...
     
    1 person likes this.
  19. OzzyJones

    OzzyJones Senior member

    Messages:
    3,006
    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2012
    Location:
    Here
    AFPOS still sell those bone paper creasers for shoe care
     
  20. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    8,238
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    Location:
    The Highlands of Central Oregon
    

    Munky,

    I'm not willing to think about Christmas yet...it's too damn early and I hate the way Christmas season starts according to when the retail industry tells us it ought to start.

    That said, I appreciate the sentiments.

    Now to the point, I am sure that there are many skills and tools that are similar. It was almost a natural extension of what we already do for my wife to get into bookbinding.

    But why is it that bookbinders don't use spoons instead of bones...in your opinion?
     

Share This Page

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by