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

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

  1. chogall

    chogall Senior member

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    Leather goes through curing, beamhouse/preparing, tanning, dressing, and the finishing.

    In the tanning process there's veg tan, chrome tan, combination, or chrome tan veg retan. Box/willow calf are traditionally chrome tanned and most thought after.

    A lot of those ugly wet blue trace of chrome tan is washed away during dressing, where chemicals are added for suppleness and color.
     
  2. chogall

    chogall Senior member

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    Color fading is contributed mostly from the finishing, not tanning method. Coated leathers such as box/willow calf or printed leathers don't lose color easily. And uncoated leathers such as those 'crust' calf loses color faster as they don't have top coat protection.

    Most bespoke maker offering 'crust' leathers shows faded color before finishing and rich and deep color after finishing. What you have described is the reverse of the finishing effect.
     
  3. traverscao

    traverscao Senior member

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    I forgot to add, it's not the color fading that is the important trait, but what kind of shade reveals underneath. If it's bluish, you know the drill. If it's white or light tan, it's vegetable tanned crust.

    I want leathers to fade like how the finish on crust calf lose over time. THAT is how leather should age.

    Box and willow calfskins are not simply coated. They are drum dyed. Otherwise, they'll reveal that ugly, sick looking blue shade.
     
  4. chogall

    chogall Senior member

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    Wet blue color is removed during the dressing stage of process.

    Those semi finished crust leather that you adore will just return to their unfinished colors over time, e.g., navy burnished going back to light blue crust.

    Your idea of how leather age is more dependent on the dressing and finishing of leather rather than tanning.
     
  5. traverscao

    traverscao Senior member

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    http://www.leather-eshop.com/Natural-Crust-Calfskin-Side.htm - now that's a veg tanned crust worth talking about.

    Wet blue color, if removed, then we are left with a bleached leather, which, in many ways, the natural surface will have to be artificially coated.

    And, no, chogall, the idea is that all vegetable tanned leather, if not drum dyed, will age a lot better than chromed leathers. I have been saying this for many times, and even said that was why I prefer veg tanned leathers. Dressing is more so for the preservation of the leather, and finishing, well, I do agree with Pat that self finishing is a lot cooler, although, in my personal preference, I only like surface dyed veg tan calfskins.
     
  6. chogall

    chogall Senior member

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    How do you determine that leather is 100% veg tanned or veg retain?

    And again, dressing and finishing has little to do with tanning method. Chrome tanned leathers can be surface dyed as well.
     
  7. vmss

    vmss Senior member

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    And what is the difference and expectations of surfaced dyed chrome tanned leathers and struck through dyed leather?
     
  8. vmss

    vmss Senior member

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    "Carmina has a leather they call "vegano" that they use a lot but this is actually chrome tanned"

    What type of chrome is vegano leather used by carmina?
    I noticed. It seems that they are surfaced dyed
     
  9. chogall

    chogall Senior member

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    d'Annonay tannery has Vagano leather. Not sure if it's the same one Carmkna is using.

    Struck through leather don't really lose their base color from my experience.

    G&G crust leather samples have colored underside thus they are most likely struck through as well.
     
  10. traverscao

    traverscao Senior member

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    Shooting them an email, just to be sure. That look is too convincing, however, because it's a white - tan ratio, not a bleached white.

    And AGAIN, do some reading comprehension, goddamn it. I said I prefer the tanning method - fully vegetable tanned, in specific coloring state of the leather - natural then surface dye, even specific weight/thickness. It doesn't have to be crust calf, goddamn it, it can simply be a nice, smooth, even piece of natural vegetable tanned calfskin that fits my preference.

    Chrome tanned leathers, when being faded over time, will look like hell, and that was why they were more so drum dyed than surface dyed. I have several pairs of combat boots from the 60s and the 80s where the toes would reveal the distinguish chrome bluish surface when they were worn.
     
  11. chogall

    chogall Senior member

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    Read what you wrote.

    You claimed chrome tanned faded looks like hell, which is not always true. There are low grade leather boots with wet blue color showing underneath. But there are also top grade chrome tanned leather that age very well. See: vintage box calf, museum calf. Even those vintage John Lobb SJ bespoke don't look remotely like hell as you've claimed. Here's a pair by Tuzcek dating around 1930s with most likely black box calf.

    [​IMG]

    You claimed chrome tanned doesn't age as well as veg tanned. You are more than welcomed to search for more vintage box and willow calf bespoke shoes to validate your own claim.

    You lumped all chrome tanned leather in the same category, which is ignorant as some chrome tanned leather goes through veg retan.

    I respect your preference. And there are makers who make shoes in that hand stained raw leather style, such as Bestetti or Meccariello. What I disagree on is you dessiminating misleading information.
     
  12. traverscao

    traverscao Senior member

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    I can at least appreciate your respect of my preference. Thank you.

    However, here's why I said what I said.

    Look at the pair of boots you posted for reference. Do you see any particular worthwhile cosmetic aging value? Do you see any sign of it being "naturally aged" apart from the creasing and wrinkling from wearing? No! This is what happens to chrome tanned leather. They don't age at all. They just get worn, worn and worn, and only then to await for cosmetic renewal. It's the same case for museum calf. I've seen many cases of museum calf bleeding its color, or age in an awful way, because the chromed blue does not play well with the tan-esque brown. They may have value as a fine pair of shoes, but no thanks, because with a value that low, one should rather invest in cheap Walmart sneakers.

    Look at the way how the tannage reflects upon the leather itself. If a piece of hardware is made out of chrome, the only thing necessary to do is to keep it polished with a polish, and keep it free from fingerprints at best.

    Chromed leather undergoing vegetable retan rarely exhibit fine characteristics. There's water buffalo calf, as DW pointed out, which serves just fine, as he noted. However, if you care to look deeper, veg retanned is actually one of the worst failure in the history of leather making. Since it's tanning, elements can be combined to make a compound. However, a chemical compound is a different story, whereas leather's behavior will reflect a lot on their original tannage. I have yet, in my entire life time, to see anything like a hybrid of metal and wood being combined. It does not make sense, since these two elements clash against each other a lot. I cannot exactly approve CXL's worn-in appearance as true-meaning "aging".

    Here is what I got back from Simone of Cuoio & Pellami e.Shop, whom website I used earlier as a preference for full veg. tanned crust calf:

    "Dear Travers,
    Our crust calfskins are full veg. tanned.
    Usually we sell them for shoes, but you can try.
    (Don't know why Simone said such thing. I asked them for shoemaking. LOL!)
    Thank you very much, we are looking forward to hearing from you soon.
    Regards,

    Simone."

    While I do not have a sample to certify, if you need the email address to contact, you are more than welcome to ask for. If you need to certify this message, I would welcome some your contact through PM as well.
     
  13. chogall

    chogall Senior member

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    Google is your friend. John Lobb SJ [​IMG] John Lobb Paris. [​IMG] If you want a short cut to fast fading, go with hand stained/colored. Or crust which fades slightly slower. Otherwise all leather fade just like all men die. p.s., that pair of struck through dyed black leather didnt fade well but that is also a function of wear and storage over the past 80 years.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2015
  14. traverscao

    traverscao Senior member

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    I would praise your philosophy.

    However, those two samples looks very much unattractive. Lobb's boots can use truck load of polishing, and I'd send that pair to Pat for spit-shining. The second pair looks too cosmetic - it's all too fake, if anything.

    Fast fading isn't the key, but sufficiently faded over a reasonable amount of time and use. The color revealed beneath is also another important factor. Chrome will fade, but whatever underneath is not very desirable.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2015
  15. chogall

    chogall Senior member

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    According to @traverscao, Chrone tanned leathers either dont age, age into its wet blue state, or age unattractively. In addition, country shooting boots need a shitload of wax and somehow display case lighting makes waxed shoes look cosmetic and fake. Like these:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2015
  16. traverscao

    traverscao Senior member

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    Drum dyed then antique? Or hand dyed?
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2015
  17. chogall

    chogall Senior member

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    Time and sun light.
     
  18. chogall

    chogall Senior member

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    BTW, we should take it to the leather thread.

    Oh, and I am not an expert but I have heard veg retanned leather behave similar to veg tanned.

    And the leather you looking for or adore is undyed veg tanned leather, not just any simple veg tanned.
     
  19. jsofia

    jsofia Member

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    I have a couple of questions about my Carmina Semi-Brogues.

    The finish that came with the shoes was great:
    - They had great depth of colour and lustre.
    - The leather was almost a touch greasy. (If i got a small scuff, I could get rid of it by rubbing the area with my finger)
    - Water would bead on the leather (never wore in the rain, just dabbed with my finger to test).

    After wearing them 4-5 times I applied Saphir Renovateur for the first time, allowed it to soak in and then buffed.

    After which, the overall finish seemed to be a bit different (not the same depth and lustre). But much worse the black burnishing on the broguing above the vamp bled, leaving around 5 black streaks that were obviously from the holes in the brogueing. I then applied more Renovateur to that area hoping to get rid of the streaks, but all it did was smear the streaks as shown in the attached photos. During this 2nd application of Renovateur I noticed that the leather was not reacting the same way to moisture (the leather was now turning black in spots as if saturated with water. During the first application the leather basically remained its normal color everywhere).

    So I have a couple of questions:
    1. How can I get rid of the streaks?
    2. Where did I go wrong?
    3. How should I maintain these shoes to keep them like their original state?

    Your help would be greatly appreciated,

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  20. jsofia

    jsofia Member

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    And yes I searched the threads - all I found was someone asking about a colour run but there were no responses. That being said I might have missed something because these are pretty huge threads!
     

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