About our Leathers and Materials

Our Raw Materials

Leather is the most important building block of each men’s shoe, and its production is a process that requires masterful skill. The following rule of thumb holds true for all quality men’s shoes: the more the leather has been processed, the higher it is in quality. And this comes, naturally, at a price. Roughly 47 percent of the production costs involved in making a men’s shoe are due to the costly raw material.

Our Leathers come from tanneries in Northwestern Spain, Germany and Italy

The types of leather below represent a full array of leather skins. They are all used in luxury shoe production and they differ from the “look” and “texture” point of view.

Painted Calf Leather

Crust calf leather (painted calf) enables artisans to hand paint the pieces with special creams and brushes. The look is very artisanal. Source is Conceria Tolio from Italy (same crust material used by Santoni, Berlutti, Andres Sendra, among many others). Learn more about Conceria Tolio on https://conceriatolio.com/storia/. Raw leathers are then hand painted by our artisans.

Besides the “plain” Painted Calf leather, we also offer it engraved with different textures, like full grain or pebble grain.

Box Calf Leather

The majority of quality men’s shoes are made from the hides of calves. Box calf is primarily distinguished by its fineness, pliability, and grain. Box Calf leathers are hand painted by our artisans.

Calf Suede

Also called “Suede” or “Luxe Suede”. This leather is created from the underside of the animal hide, as a result it is softer, and more supple and can have the appearance of a “furry nap”.

Kid Suede

Kid Suede is the most soft, velvety suede leather type which comes from small goat skins. The skins are pretty small which increases the price of leather (consumption per pair). It has a more refined finish with a smaller grain on the surface.

Polished Calf

Polished calf refers to rectified grain calf. This eliminates any skin imperfections. The look is not as natural as a regular, plain full grain, but the look is very good, luxurious. This type of leather is quite expensive because of the post-production processes that it needs at the tannery. Polished Calf Leathers are hand painted by our artisans.

Patent Leather

A type of leather finish whereby the surface is treated to create a highly glossy, shiny appearance.

Nubuck Leather

Lightweight, supple leather made up of the most outer layer of a hide, the surface is buffed to give the grain a light velvety finish called a “nap”.

Sartorial Materials

We offer a full array of sartorial fabrics, flannels and velvets. Sartorial patterns like Tweed, Plaid, Tartan, Herringbone, Leopard, etc.

The result of mixing these sartorial materials with classic hand painted leather in a shoe, can be truly astonishing.

Exotic Skins

We offer genuine exotic skins in our Made-to-Order program, including Alligator, Python and Ostrich skins, matching our painted calf base colors.

Genuine Alligator Skin

Alligator mississippiensis” skin renders a very attractive and fashionable leather. The leather is strong, supple, durable and very expensive. A bony layer within the skin adds a protective shield, while a dimple on each scale makes a very exotic look.

Hailing from the Southeast USA and frequently harvested from farm-bred gators as well as from wild animals, American alligator skin is a classic, durable and versatile leather. The American alligator’s hide is the soft and more pliable material. This is because the skin of this reptile is less bony than the skin of crocodiles. This softness makes the alligator’s skin easier to work with than the skin of other reptiles, making it easier to work with for cutting, stitching and folding.

Genuine Ostrich Skin

Ostrich leather is one of the finest and most durable leathers. It’s a luxurious leather well know for its softness, flexibility and durability. In spite of its softness, Ostrich leather is unsurpassed for its tactile strength. It is, in fact, one of the strongest leathers available. Naturally occurring oils in the leather contribute to its durability, preventing cracking, even under extreme temperatures and sun exposure.

The main distinguishing feature of ostrich leather is the quill or feather socket markings. The “full quill” area of the leather is the most sought after and therefore the most expensive type of ostrich leather. The quill pattern is the result of large follicles which each contained a feather.

Genuine Python Skin

Snakeskins are very desirable for shoes because of the unique grain, scales, and color patterns. Snakes are skinned in two ways, cut down the belly scales leaving the small scales in the center, “belly” or “front” cut python, and cut down the back leaving the wide belly scale in the center, called “back” cut python. We use the “front” cut python.

The scales were the snakes protection from the elements and are essentially like a callous, dead skin. The size of the scale will vary depending upon the area of the skin cut. The scales have a “lip” open toward the tail will grab and aid the snake in crawling. This lip is your assurance that the snake is genuine.

Robert August Apparel
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