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TLB Mallorca - Made in Spain Footwear

weissmenswear

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How does TLB (Main line and Artista) compare to Carmina in terms leather quality and construction?
In my experience, Artista line and Carmina are neck and neck when it comes to leather quality (both excellent). construction-wise both are also excellent but Artista will deliver a tighter waist and semi fiddleback, which is something you won’t find with Carmina. This is purely an aesthetic thing, though.

what it really should come down to between these excellent brands is the last and how it fits your feet, in all honesty. You’ll find some very similar upper styles from both brands. Oh, and Carmina has a much wider selection when it comes to shell cordovan, so that’s something to consider.

I don’t have direct experience with TLB’s mainline, but from what I understand, the quality remains very good and the lower price point is achieved through lesser finishing, not cutting any corners when it comes to construction.
 

j ingevaldsson

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How does TLB (Main line and Artista) compare to Carmina in terms leather quality and construction?
In my experience, Artista line and Carmina are neck and neck when it comes to leather quality (both excellent). construction-wise both are also excellent but Artista will deliver a tighter waist and semi fiddleback, which is something you won’t find with Carmina. This is purely an aesthetic thing, though.

what it really should come down to between these excellent brands is the last and how it fits your feet, in all honesty. You’ll find some very similar upper styles from both brands. Oh, and Carmina has a much wider selection when it comes to shell cordovan, so that’s something to consider.

I don’t have direct experience with TLB’s mainline, but from what I understand, the quality remains very good and the lower price point is achieved through lesser finishing, not cutting any corners when it comes to construction.
I'm obviously biased, but if you just look at plain facts on construction (leaving out material since it's more complicated to compare, while think Weissenmenswear summarises it well above), comparing Carmina, TLB main line and TLB Artista, it would look something like this:

Heel stiffener material:
Carmina - Plastic
TLB - Leather board
TLB Artista - Real leather

Waist:
Carmina - Relatively narrow, slightly bevelled
TLB - Relatively narrow, slightly bevelled
TLB Artista - Very narrow, bevelled

Waist edges:
Carmina - Rounded inside, square outside, rubber soles not rounded
TLB - Rounded inside and outside, rubber soles rounded inside and outside
TLB Artista - Rounded inside and outside, rubber soles rounded inside and outside

Sanding sole and heel edges:
Carmina - Normal moderate, by machine
TLB - Normal moderate, by machine
TLB Artista - Fine, by machine and finished by hand

Heel cut towards upper:
Carmina - Normal
TLB - Normal
TLB Artista - Tight

Sole stitching:
Carmina - 6 spi (stitches per inch)
TLB - 6 spi
TLB Artista - 8 spi (6 spi for rubber)

RRP price (incl. VAT):
Carmina - €395
TLB - €365
TLB Artista - €425
 

patliean1

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Thanks everyone!
 

LThomsen

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I believe tlb artista range is superior to Carmina.
Also, when you buy from tlb you buy from Toni who answers your emails. Carmina's customer service is fair at best.
 

georgeka

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Sole stitching:
Carmina - 6 spi (stitches per inch)
TLB - 6 spi
TLB Artista - 8 spi (6 spi for rubber)
I own TLB mainline and Carmina both with a rubber sole, Carmina has a bit more stitches per inch. But probably it could vary, because my pair of TLB is storm welted. Apart from that Carmina feels and looks superior, has no experience with artista line tho.
 
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gld edmond

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I believe tlb artista range is superior to Carmina.
Also, when you buy from tlb you buy from Toni who answers your emails. Carmina's customer service is fair at best.
I believe tlb artista range is superior to Carmina.
Also, when you buy from tlb you buy from Toni who answers your emails. Carmina's customer service is fair at best.
I bought some great shoes from the mainline, and Toni emailed me the same day I ordered, I had the shoes in just a few days from Spain to the U.S. I love Carmina's shoes, but as you said fair at best as far as customer service!
 

unprocessed

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Can attest to the quick customer service response. My made to order Artisas we made and then shipped to me in about a week. I tried to make a change to my customization and Toni quickly responded it was too late (along with sending me photos of the shoes!).
 

othertravel

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Might take the artista plunge. Are Kirby’s offerings exclusive to his site?
 

DrewMill

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I'm biased of course, but if you just look at the specifications it's evident that you get quite a lot for the money with Artista (which has been the aim all along). But if you like the look and fit of Carmina it might of course still be a better choice for you.

View attachment 1214221
I love seeing this kind of comparison! Do you happen to know if this exists for any other brands?
 

hrv123

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Can someone comment on the instep of the Artista line? I have a lowish instep. For reference Edward Green fits my foot the best and of Carmina lasts, Simpson is best. Would Artista work for me?
 

weissmenswear

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Might take the artista plunge. Are Kirby’s offerings exclusive to his site?
Can someone comment on the instep of the Artista line? I have a lowish instep. For reference Edward Green fits my foot the best and of Carmina lasts, Simpson is best. Would Artista work for me?
Goya is a nice medium instep for me, not too high or low. I also am a fan of carmina Simpson (I just take a half size bigger than Rain, and I always have a little trouble with how high Rain’s instep can be).
 

hrv123

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Thanks for this. Rain has too high of an instep for me and too much width in the heel. Will consider the Goya last.
 

vmss

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Goya is a nice medium instep for me, not too high or low. I also am a fan of carmina Simpson (I just take a half size bigger than Rain, and I always have a little trouble with how high Rain’s instep can be).
I am simpson 8.5 what size do you recommend with Goya?
 

weissmenswear

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I am simpson 8.5 what size do you recommend with Goya?
I wear:
Carmina rain 9.5 UK
Carmina uetam 9.5 UK
Carmina Simpson 10 UK
TLB Mallorca 9.5 UK
Allen Edmonds (most lasts) 10.5D US
Alden Aberdeen 10.5D US
Edward Green 82 last 10 E UK

The TLBs fit quite nicely for me. I wear a thinner dress sock with them and it’s just the right level of hug. As with any sizing, YMMV and comfort can be subjective.
 

gld edmond

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Can someone comment on the instep of the Artista line? I have a lowish instep. For reference Edward Green fits my foot the best and of Carmina lasts, Simpson is best. Would Artista work for me?
I have a pair of Newmans from the mainline, and was told all the lasts fit the same except the toe area. I too have a low instep and buy Carmina Simpson as well. The TLB fit really well right out of the box, the Carmina took a long time to break in. The only issue I had with the TLB is I had to put a tongue pad in, but the fit is perfect.
 

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