Suede calves have always had a place of choice in our collection for their sophisticated look and their naturally water repellent properties. In this article, we will focus on one of these very special leathers that we are presenting for the first time this season, the Waxy Commander.
This is one of the so-called rough-out suedes. It’s sometimes abusively named "reverse suede". Indeed, the flesh side (rough) is presented towards the outside (out).
Specialty of the Stead Tannery, whose know-how in the field of suede calves is no longer in evidence (see our dedicated article), it is interesting to take a few moments to look at the way it’s made (I), which gives it such a unique appearance (II), requiring little care (III).
Stead's tanning method produces a distinctive, textured and extremely durable velvet calf. As the name suggests, a particularly rich and thick mixture of oils and waxes is used. The fibrous structure of the hide will tighten as it absorbs this mixture, causing the leather to shrink by up to 25%.
The skin is thus deeply nourished, making it greasy and especially waterproof. It’s therefore waxed both on the surface and during its tanning, which provides a double barrier of protection against the elements.
Stead's drying technique therefore results in a fairly substantial reduction in the skin. This may not seem very profitable to some, and it’s not a solution traditionally adopted by other tanneries. They prefer to dry with infrared lamps to avoid heating the hide and thus shrinking it.
Here, Stead chooses to lay the leather on wooden racks using a more traditional technique. If a part of the hide is "sacrificed" because it is reduced, the hide thus obtained is more resistant and makes the reputation and quality that Stead is known for. The result is a product that is not only waterproof but also has great depth of character.
Indeed, the Waxy Commander has a raw and unique look. It is even common for two feet of the same pair of shoes to have different irregularities, which is what gives it its charm.
The top layer of this leather takes on a thatch texture and has, due to its oily nature, a depth of texture revealing the folds and other arrangements of the leather. It presents a more casual look than a classic suede calf.
It is also one of those leathers that embellish with time. It allows for the creation of unique pairs of shoes whose rich hue combines with the waxes and develops a nice patina of character.
The greasy velvet offers amazing specificities of robustness, requiring little maintenance. The famous scratch test allows you to realize this quickly: make a small scratch with your fingernail on the leather and rub the marked area with your finger or a damp cloth to make it disappear.
Its maintenance is therefore quite simple, only two products are needed: a classic brush and a protective oil.
For weekly or daily maintenance, the brush is more than enough. Brush the leather to remove all dirt. You can also use a crepe brush for stubborn stains (to be used locally on them).
For a highly maintenance, rather monthly but depending above all on your use, intense or not of the shoes, the use of an oil is recommended. We prefer the aerosol format in order to avoid that the hairs of the leather come to stick between them, but a special cream greasy leather can be very well used too.
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