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Thread: Steve Madden Boots – Color Darkened - How to lighten it!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012

    Default Steve Madden Boots – Color Darkened - How to lighten it!

    Here are the pics:

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    Darkened from Leather Therapy Wash cleaner and Fieblings saddle soap, one application.

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    Original color.
    Pictures taken off Internet
    This is the Northside boot in the middle color cognac.
    It is true to color on this website, others have it too dark.

    Please tell me the steps to get it back to the light honey color.
    These are virtually new, only worn 6 times but NM is dry so thought to condition, as they seemed a little dry.
    Please also tell me what to use to clean and condition and keep the light blonde color once I get it restored.
    Boot 1: Want to lighten the color and restore it to the honey color with a subtle sheen finish.
    How do I routinely care for Boot # 1?
    Thank you. T.. S……

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Greater Vancouver, Canada.


    Leather of this boots is aniline dye through.
    The lighter coloring at this stage would be the result of diminishing original fatliquor, fashion oil or wax effect and fading.
    Probably tannery originally would be much darker in a distress or cloudy effect or a contrast of a monotone effect.
    Fashion effect could be either by wax with WaxEffect-8.6 or by oil with OilEffect-2.8.
    It is recommend that WaxEffect-8.6 may be used in an oil effect leather, but an OilEffect-2.8 when used on a wax effect may dissolve the original wax effect.
    The oil effect is a much heavy version and is also know as ‘crazy horse’ normally for outdoors water proofing usage and the wax version for indoor fashion.
    However, the fashion effect is more for fashion appeal and when not maintain to replenished will diminish through ageing, returning the leather to a mono look.
    Which could be the case for this pair of boots.

    Wax pull-up leathers derive its color from dyestuff and effect wax that gives the leather a lively distressed look. When this leather is pulled, stretched or scratched, the waxes dissipate characteristically and become lighter in those areas. Sunlight and stretching through high wear areas are two main indications that the infused wax needs replenishing. As this, effect wax behaves just like the primary fatliquor they do diminish through ageing and will need periodic replenishing. Besides contributing to the color intensity, it improves in water shedding effect. Effect wax when applied to the leather penetrates while some transforms into fine cloudy crystal and remains on the surface. The dried surface white powdery deposits are then heat activated and when they melt, they coat the surface with a glossy sheen. In a restorative care cycle urethane gloss topcoats is applied to restore its original appearance.

    Care and Restoration is based on this Aniline ( Wax Pull-up – Leather Problem Solving Guide.
    (Replace WaxEffect-8.6 with OilEffect-2.8 for oil pull-up fashion).
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    >>> Darkened from Leather Therapy Wash cleaner and Fieblings saddle soap, one application.

    Saddle soap was original used in tannery not for cleaning but as a process for softening leather with tanning oil with its unusually high pH value. When used alone causes darkening of the leather in most cases and shift the amphoteric leather protein fiber ionic negative (-ve). These shifting of the leather protein fibers from ionic positive (+ve) to ionic negative (-ve) weakens the hydrogen bond between the leather protein fiber and its leather constituents like the tanning agents, dyestuff and fatliquor. Tackiness is a sign of reverting the leather to rawhide or denatures the leather. Bleeding or discoloration is a sign of dyestuff breaking away and stiffness is a sign of fatliquor leaching out and when flexed leads to cracks.
    Correction or rectification will require a low pH value of 2.0 to pH balance the high pH 10 of most saddle soap, bringing the leather pH value back to between 3 and 5.
    Besides the high pH value of the saddle soap that denatures the leather, soap will leave scum and will attract soiling like magnets, commonly seen on our washbasin and tubs.

    To remove the scum and pH balance the denaturing leather is to used a combination of Degreaser-2.2 > Acidifier-2.0 system. Stretching it when dry will lessen the darkening effect from shrinkage.

    >>> It is true to color on this website, others have it too dark.

    Picture #2 may be the true color at this age of the leather.
    Original color fresh from the tannery may be much darker if there is either a wax or oil effect to it.
    As the leather ages the original fatliquor diminishes and the color appears lighter.
    UV light fading both indoor and outdoor also affects the color.

    >>> Please tell me the steps to get it back to the light honey color.

    Stripping off the soap scum and letting it alone will probably get back to a lighter color.

    >>> This is the Northside boot in the middle color cognac.

    This may be the color in transition due to ageing.

    >>> These are virtually new,

    Yes it could be new from the showroom, but could be very old from the tannery!

    >>> only worn 6 times but NM is dry so thought to condition,

    There are two levels of conditioning, one to the leather structure and the products have to be saturated to take effect example would be with Hydrator-3.3, Fatliquor-5.0 to rejuvenate the leather structure from shrinkage with suppleness; with WaxEffect-8.6 or OilEffect-2.8 to match the original fashion effect, when these pull-up leathers when pull or stretch lightens up and rubs reverts back with a distress effect.
    The other is surface conditioning with a choice of buttery-feel, draggy-feel, waxy-feel or silky-feel. However buttery-feel is more commonly used for aniline and oil pull-up leathers and draggy is a heavier version of waxy for wax pull-up leathers to match and complement the finishes.

    >>> as they seemed a little dry.

    A little dry is usually referred to the leather structure, where one wish for more suppleness with softness and strength to conform to the shape of our feet. Hydrator-3.3 is used first to get or stretch the boots in shape prior to replenished them with Fatliquor-5.0.
    Note: It may not be possible to retain the ‘ageing appearance’ from the showroom condition as this appearance is in transition from the tannery darker appearance and diminishes through ageing.
    Leather rejuvenating will bring back to almost near original tannery color depending how detail it is done.
    Hydrator-3.3 will reactivate the dormant dyestuff to resurface and thus have a deeper saturation of color again, just like pouring hot water onto a cup of tea leaves will change the appearance of the water in color intensity taking the color from the tea leaves.
    Fatliquor-5.0 contributes to the intensity of the color as well and magnifies or intensifies the color further.
    If you intent to keep the color light, there is no way you would want to proceed with leather rejuvenating it.

    >>> Please also tell me what to use to clean

    1 - Initial restoration cleaning is done with Degreaser-2.2 > Acidifier-2.0 system using tools like Eraser-4 to remove the saddle soap scum and horsehair Brush-1 for the grooves and other recess areas.
    2 – Subsequent maintenance cleaning is done with Clean-3.8 > Rinse-3.0 system.

    >>> and condition and keep the light blonde color once I get it restored.

    Conditioning will affect the blonde appearance of the leather both from below surface leather rejuvenating with Hydrator-3.3 > Fatliquor-5.0 and either OilEffect-2.8 or WaxEffect-8.6; and above surface Protector-B+/D+/W+.
    Conditioning will not affect appearance much if original leather is ‘Full Aniline’ or monotone aniline leathers.

    >>> Want to lighten the color and restore it to the honey color

    Lighten the mesh-up appearance is to strip the residue of the saddle soap as mentioned above with Degreaser-2.2 > Acidifier-2.0 system. The leather is further stretch to lighten up shrinkages.

    >>> with a subtle sheen finish.

    When stretching of the boots to the desired appearance urethane topcoat is applied to lock in the appearance of the boots with AnilineTop-21G for gloss or S for satin luster.

    >>> How do I routinely care for Boot # 1?

    If the boots finishes is converted from the original locking in the middle age appearance with AnilineTop-21 the surface may be less absorbent making routine cleaning of soiling much easier with Clean-3.8 > Rinse-3.0 and when dry Protector-B+.

    Depending which direct you wish to proceed, products mentioned are found in this kit.

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    Leather Doctorฎ, aniline wax pull-up leather topcoat refinishing kit is designed for after degreasing in a holistic approach. Most penetrated stains from the head and hands that show a darkening effect have its topcoat probably deteriorated by the oil, grease and sweat. Deteriorated topcoat removed during the degreasing process is refinished with AnilineTop-21G after wax effect rejuvenated. Removing penetrated soiling contamination starts with Degreaser-2.2, a waterbased (pH 2.2) multifunctional degreaser that emulsifies the greasy contamination, controls dye bleeding and charging the protein fiber ionic positive for strengthening the attraction between the ionic negative tanning agent, dyestuff and fatliquor. Deflocculated and suspended soiling is towel extracted, thereafter rinse and pH balanced with Acidifier-2.0 to prevent the leather from reverting to rawhide. When leather feels sticky or slimy it is a sign of leather denaturing, a squeaky feel when wet is a sign of healthy leather. Hydrator-3.3 relaxes stiff leathers and removes surface tension free from surface blotchiness prior to fat and oil replenishing. Fat and oil is replenished with Fatliquor-5.0 to rejuvenate the leather for the desired suppleness when dry. Wax Effect-8.6 rejuvenates the structural wax pull-up effect and coagulates a cloudy waxy coating on the surface to be heat activated into the characteristic glossy sheen. Protector-D+ enhances a non-stick draggy-feel to shield against sticky soiling, besides healing and concealing lightening scuff and abrasion marks. Note that the mentioned product suffix number denotes its pH value in this holistic leather-safe aniline wax pull-up leathers topcoat refinishing system.

    Roger Koh
    Leather Care Consultant / Practitioner / Instructor / Coach

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