Great Leather!

Got any great sources for leather? Tools? Machinery? Looking for sources?
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mnewberry
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Great Leather!

#1 Post by mnewberry » Thu Mar 14, 2002 8:33 am

I'd like to reiterate DW's previous post about kangaroo from Stevenson-Paxton Sales. I'm having pretty good luck with it, and they have some nice colors. Best of all to me is that it's a little heavier than most kangaroo I've used before. Here's the rub: I've heard that they haven't had the response they had hoped for, and they might not be able to stick with it. At under $5/foot, this is stuff I recommend trying. Additionally, if there is sufficient demand, I understand that fashion colors are a future possibility. They're at (800)648-1622.

Matt

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Re: Great Leather!

#2 Post by dw » Thu Mar 14, 2002 8:52 am

Matt...and all,

I second Matt's opinion about the Stevenson Paxton kangaroo. I like it better than almost anything else out there. And just the prospect of a beautiful red or even a sweet bone in kangaroo...where you can make the whole boot, vamp and all, out of it, makes me drool. ( Of course that could just be old age creeping up on me... Image )

But speaking of S-P's kangaroo--I haven't tried it yet, but I got even money that says it will crimp up beautifully on a full wellington, too.

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Tex Robin

Re: Great Leather!

#3 Post by Tex Robin » Thu Mar 14, 2002 3:54 pm

DW, Matt, all,

I just called SP for their swatch card of the Roo.
If we would all start buying it maybe they would keep it. No one else has any colors except the Italian and the color washes out of it when crimped. The Bilby, which is actually "Mitchell"
Kangaroo never washes out. And I mean *never*.I am anxiously awaiting the swatch card. Has anyone actually crimped any yet? TR

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Re: Great Leather!

#4 Post by mnewberry » Thu Mar 21, 2002 7:27 am

John Weinkauf told me yesterday that S-P has in yellow, a couple of reds, purple, light green, several blues, and more in their kangaroo. Check it out and post what you think of it.

Matt

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Re: Great Leather!

#5 Post by dw » Fri Mar 22, 2002 8:46 am

All,

I want to make a personal...and yes, admittedly selfish--appeal, to everyone who has occasion to make boots, and/or shoes, out of kangaroo, to give Stevenson-Paxton a call and at least look at their offerings.

Once upon a time, when boot and shoemaking was a common trade, there were literally hundreds of firms...grinderies, tanneries, etc....that jockeyed and jostled to get our attention and to cater to our needs. As the Trade has diminished, not only have the techniques and skills been lost but as the demand has diminished so has the infrastructure. We may not all agree precisely on every technique or tool, or even every philosophical approach to the Trade, but the one aspect that weighs us all down, in the end, is the rapidly shrinking choice of quality leathers, tools, etc.. There aren't as many of us as there once were and we simply don't have the influence--especially one at a time--to sway manufacturers minds or business decisions. But as the Crispin Colloquy Buyer's Consortium has demonstrated on a limited level, as a group, we *can* make an impact.

Stevenson-Paxton is one of the really good firms out there who try to listen and respond to their customers. This kangaroo that they are bringing in, is a gamble for them. I like the leather, some may not. But they have made an attempt to create a kangaroo with the temper of french calf. That sounds, and from what I have seen of the leather I have ordered from them, like it might be *the*, or at least *a* new standard of quality in kangaroo. But for any company to bring in leathers that are not "earth tones"...meaning bland, milly-vanilla, etc....is a risk. The risk is that without interest, those hides may sit on the floor for...well, for ever. S-P is bringing in several shades of red, a green, a navy, a purple, a cream, a yellow, a buttercup, even a hot pink!...as well as the standard blacks and browns. And the possibility is that, if well received, other colours may be available, as well--such as a royal blue and a bright green. For those of you that know and love kangaroo, the very thought of being able to make the whole boot, vamp and tops, out of purple, or yellow, or red, or cream, and have the peace of mind that it is a quality leather--not just some painted cow or some delicate kid--is, in a word, exciting!

So I urge you...give Stevenson-Paxton a call. Ask for swatches. Offer some input as to what colours or qualities you want to see. Let's use our aggregate strength to do something good for ourselves--let's encourage a company to work with us and not just for themselves.

We can make this happen, simply by being interested.


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Richard Castellar

Re: Great Leather!

#6 Post by Richard Castellar » Fri Mar 22, 2002 9:12 am

Dw

I don't have any orders for kangroo right now but when I do I'll look at SP.

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Re: Great Leather!

#7 Post by dw » Fri Mar 22, 2002 12:06 pm

Richard,

Hey, I'm not suggesting that you buy any leather. All I'm saying is that you call and ask for swatches. Let Dave Foster at S-P know that his efforts to cater to bootmakers is at least noticed and appreciated. That doesn't cost you anything. I know that every maker will have to decide for him or herself whether or not the S-P 'roo is for them. But if you're like me and a little despondent over what's out there--the bleeding, and loss of colour and finish with the Italian stuff; the stretchiness of some of the other; the thinness of yet others--you may very well like what you see. As I said, we may very well have a new "gold" standard.


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fjones

Re: Great Leather!

#8 Post by fjones » Fri Mar 22, 2002 12:28 pm

I would like to wholeheartedly support DW’s so called “selfish” appeal.

Making footwear on a small scale is a tough business to be in. Not only is it hard to get all the skills and know-how together and then develop a customer base which will pay sensible prices, you have to obtain the supplies of high quality materials, lasts and tools you need, but in relatively small quantities.

As the manufacturing and repair industries have declined in the developed countries, more and more of the supply chain has also disappeared or followed the move to cheaper labour locations. Those that are left are often small businesses, like the hand makers who are increasingly their main customers. Without them our craft would be even more difficult, if not impossible. It is in our interest to nurture them in any way we can.

So in practical terms, what if anything can be done? Like any small businesses, these supply companies have a big problem reaching customers in a cost effective way. When you have a factory buying thousands of square feet every week the sales, administration, and shipping costs per square foot are tiny. Supplying the self-employed hand maker with one skin of a particular shade of green calf is a different matter. I don’t think any of us wants the Colloquy to get involved directly in commerce (and I very pleased it cannot) but it can help in developing collective relationships.

This has already been happening. Not just the buying groups but also the tips and suggestions which people freely pass on about suppliers. If suppliers can “see” there really is a customer base out there, they are more likely to feel there is a future for them.

As DW said “Ask for swatches. Offer some input” - etc. etc. Can I suggest that when you do find a good machinery service man, leather merchant who is interested and listens, finder who tries to get what you need, etc. etc. post the name on the Colloquy. Then email or write to them and send a copy of the posting, explaining this is from that highly influential forum called the CRISPIN COLLOQUY.

Frank Jones
frank.jones@shoemaking.com

Lisa Sorrell

Re: Great Leather!

#9 Post by Lisa Sorrell » Fri Mar 22, 2002 1:22 pm

I did call Stevenson-Paxton and ask for kangaroo samples. I haven't received them yet, but they should be in the mail. Dave was very pleasant on the phone. I hadn't realized that my dream of kangaroo in COLORS was perhaps coming true until I spoke to him. I'm afraid he thinks I'm a little strange now, because I was practically incoherent with delight. Image

I'm very much looking forward to dealing with them and trying their kangaroo.

Lisa

Lisa Sorrell

Re: Great Leather!

#10 Post by Lisa Sorrell » Mon Mar 25, 2002 1:28 pm

I have kangaroo samples! I am sitting at my desk right now looking at samples of kangaroo in...grape/purple, hot pink, red, orange, peachy beige, bright yellow and bone. They're all probably about 2 1/2 oz and the finish is nice. I'll definitely be ordering full skins.

I also have larger samples of "regular" colors...black, chocolate, navy, burgundy, tan (medium brown), fawn ( pale beige), forest green, red, light gray, benedictine and bone. The larger samples in the darker colors seem to be a teeny bit heavier weight. They don't have quite the finish that the Italian tanned I've been using has. However, I've noticed a significant loss of finish with the Italian tanned, especially in certain colors. I'm eager to see how this holds up to crimping and lasting.

In the darker colors, I especially like the forest green and navy. Both are clear, true colors, and aren't so dark that at first glance you think they're black.

Lisa

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Re: Great Leather!

#11 Post by dw » Mon Mar 25, 2002 2:22 pm

The Italian stuff is simply a chrome tanned, aniline dye job with a glossy acrylic finish on it. I know it looks different than what you get with most of Prime's finish systems but if you ask someone at Prime for an acrylic system that mimics a hand waxed finish, they can provide it. And what you get will, if applied to an aniline dyed leather, look much like the Italian stuff that's available.

What I liked about the black leather that I bought from Dave was that it had a bit softer finish. I'm OK with glazed finishes--which are really only "paint jobs"--up to a point. But the softer finish and the aniline dye allows the leather itself to "speak." I like that. I think it makes for a much more elegant boot in some respects. At the same time, I am encouraged by your post. Because I know I can put a hard, bright, acrylic wax on the finished boot, if I want. So I actually get two different looks for the price of one. How sweet is that? Image

And your remarks about the navy and the green are interesting too, because you're spot on about being so dark they look black. I'm looking forward to getting my swatches. What's the burgundy like? Is it dark or bluish? Or is more towards a wine?

Thanks for the comments, BTW, it helps to have other people's insights.

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Lisa Sorrell

Re: Great Leather!

#12 Post by Lisa Sorrell » Mon Mar 25, 2002 2:36 pm

D.W.,
The burgundy is a dark, brownish burgundy, and the chocolate seems to me to have a hint of burgundy to it. It's difficult to tell the two apart without picking them up and holding them in the light. However, from the back, the burgundy has a very purple wine color to it. I wonder if it will crimp and last out to a truer burgundy color.

The burgundy didn't just reach out and grab me like the navy and green did. I will give it a try though.

Lisa

shoestring

Re: Great Leather!

#13 Post by shoestring » Mon Mar 25, 2002 4:34 pm

I just read a late message concerning swatches of leather,well I asked for samples of 3 different leathers and they sent me some of everything folks and a price list.I have from Glazed Buffalo to Stingray and in lots of different colors.Here is the outfit Garlin Neumann Leather Co.,Inc located in Hudson,N.H./e-mail [url=garlinleather@worldnet.att.net.I]garlinleather@worldnet.att.net.I[/url] hope this helps.

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Re: Great Leather!

#14 Post by dw » Mon Apr 29, 2002 3:13 pm

All,

Some news...maybe...

Garlin Leather has switched tanneries on their glazed water buffalo to address the finish problems that had plagued their otherwise fine leather in the last couple of years. I got some burgundy from them and while I have not put it into a pair of boots yet (start tomorrow) I cut a piece off and wet it thoroughly and then I mangled and rubbed it and stomped on it and even *spindled* it. I didn't notice any problem with the finish at all...which gives me great hope. I've been using water buffalo calf for many years and like it almost as well as any leather out there...given it's relatively low price, the fact that it is struck through, and the way it has held up over the years on boots I have made for myself. I'm even experimenting with making full wellingtons from it.

On a more tragic note, the tanner who did Garlin's burnishable buffalo has decided to change the formula and go to pure veg, instead of the mostly chrome-with-a-little-veg formula of the last...what is it? fifteen-twenty years? What I saw of this new tannage was very dry and, if I remember correctly, a little thin. I am in mourning...this was a fine, fine leather that was extremely versatile and long wearing. It always looked like leather, rather than the synthetics look that some of the more highly finished leathers can sometimes take on. Sad. The whole industry seems to be in decline and sometimes even with the best of intentions the suppliers find themselves just as squeezed as we do.

Finally, this may not be new for a good many of you but ti is for me. I recently ran across a web site that led me to Kelly Leather in Bedford Texas. I called and talked to the head honcho. Of particular interest to me is the fact that they carry elephant, ostrich, and Nile crocodile. Mr. Kelly is sending me swatches...so I have not seen anything nor been able to assess the quality of their products, so I can't really give recommend just yet. But when talking to the owner I was impressed by his willingness to work with us and to offer highest quality. anyone who has had dealings with Kelly Leather and who can comment first hand on the leather or the service, please feel free to jump in.

Anyway, that's all I have...what's new with you?

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Richard Gjelsten

Re: Great Leather!

#15 Post by Richard Gjelsten » Mon Apr 29, 2002 9:58 pm

You will find Jay Kelley of high integrity, if he tells you the leather is of highest quality it will be. If he has what you want there is no delay in shipping. The man knows what he is doing and has treated me right.

Richard Gjelsten

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Re: Great Leather!

#16 Post by dw » Tue Apr 30, 2002 6:45 am

Richard,

Thank you, that's very reassuring.

BTW, were you the Richard that recently asked the questions about full wellingtons?

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T. J. Hall, III

Re: Great Leather!

#17 Post by T. J. Hall, III » Tue Apr 30, 2002 8:15 am

DW

I have purchased ostrich from Jay Kelly twice. The last time, I waited almost a year before pulling the piece out to use. I found that it had been shaved too thin and there were alot of holes in the leather at the feather bumps. I called Jay and he had me send it back for replacement - no questions, no problems.

Joe

Richard Gjelsten

Re: Great Leather!

#18 Post by Richard Gjelsten » Tue Apr 30, 2002 8:43 am

Mr. Frommer,

First post ever, must have been someone other than myself.

Richard Gjelsten

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Re: Great Leather!

#19 Post by admin » Sun May 05, 2002 11:19 am

On 06 May 2002, 100 plus posts (everything prior to 25 February 2002) were moved to the CD archive.

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MichaelAnthony

Re: Great Leather!

#20 Post by MichaelAnthony » Fri Aug 23, 2002 9:32 pm

To All,

Today, I received shipment of German pit-tanned leather from Rendenbach tannery. The freight arrived with shipment, duty, and brokerage fees paid by Rendenbach. This will bring our overall cost down from the last buyer's consortium that we made, even though the price of the leather has increased. The tannery will compensate me for my time and effort, which is considerable, with their fine quality leather.

The following inventory is available for immediate delivery:

10 dozen pair outsoles
Substance 5.5 - 6.0 mm
Tannery stamp on the flesh side
$14.00 per pair + shipment from my shop to yours
Minimum order = 1 dozen pair

10 shoulders - flexible
Substance 4.0 mm +
Excellent for insoles
$13.50 per pound
Average 9.25 #'s per shoulder
Minimum order = 1 shoulder

5 shoulders - flexible
Substance 2.0 - 2.4 mm
Excellent for toe boxes and shoe counters
$14.00 per pound
Average 4.25 #'s per shoulder
Minimum order = 1 shoulder

Rendenbach and I entered into an agreement to test the market with the custom makers to see if some of their other products will be acceptable for use in our trade. I agreed to this as an offer to help to the tannery and the bespoke makers amoung us that demand the finest quality leather for their client's. If I am able to package, address, travel to the post office, and deliver all 10 dozen pair of outsoles, I recive one dozen pair as compensation. As you can see, I am not in this for profit.

If you are interested in taking delivery of any of the above listed leather, please post here and I will contact you directly to make arrangements for shipment.

If we can generate enough interest in this business venture, the leather will be shipped in via sea freight on a regular basis, and available here in the States on short notice.

Thank you...

Michael Anthony Carnacchi

D.A. Saguto--HCC

Re: Great Leather!

#21 Post by D.A. Saguto--HCC » Sat Aug 24, 2002 4:10 am

Michael,

Sign me up for 1 doz. outsoles, 5.5-6.0 mm.

Al Saguto

Michael Anthony

Re: Great Leather!

#22 Post by Michael Anthony » Sat Aug 24, 2002 9:32 am

Al,

No problem, you are good for 1 dozen pair. I tried to get your e-mail though the forum, but you are N/A. Give me a telephone call at my shop and I'll promptly prepare them for shipment to you. Talk to you soon....

Michael

D.A. Saguto--HCC

Re: Great Leather!

#23 Post by D.A. Saguto--HCC » Mon Aug 26, 2002 8:08 am

Mike,

I had the same trouble finding your e-mail, so I'll just call you tomorrow Tuesday, okay?

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Re: Great Leather!

#24 Post by crary » Mon Aug 26, 2002 12:23 pm

Michael,

Please put me down for a dozen pair outsoles and 2 each of the bends.

Good leather is hard to find in this country .
Thanks for your hard work and commitment to quality.

My dad {Bill Danner} always used the highest quality leather and it always paid off in the long run. I still see some thirty year old Danner Boots that are in good shape because the leather
held up.

Bill

davidw

Re: Great Leather!

#25 Post by davidw » Mon Aug 26, 2002 5:30 pm

Bill,

Speaking of old Danner boots, I'm wondering if I'm remembering something correctly. It seems to me that I read in an old Danner catalog that they used chrome tanned, as opposed to veg tan, insoles. I think there was a statement about chrome tans being able to absorb something like two to three times as much moisture as a veg tan. Do you remember or know anything about this? It seems contary to what I would expect, but I could swear I remember reading it that way. Just curious.

David

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