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The Art of Hand Patina Finishing

The Art of Hand Patina Finishing

You might have seen the word “patina” before, or maybe you have come across some amazing pictures on our Instagram account and wondered what is behind the scenes.

The technique used to achieve this artwork is known as ‘Anticatura’, which is the Italian word for antique finishing. It has been known as a specialty of French
maestro shoemakers.

Custom Made Men's Monk Slippers in Italian Calf Leather with a Fire Hand Patina

Patina is an art crafted and designed for shoes by Olga Berluti, a member of the famous French brand Berluti which took the world by storm in the 1980’s. Hand coloring of shoes was then a fairly new thing in the world of luxury shoes and leather products.

An Antique Finishing Technique for Leathers

The patina art craft method is a hand-dyeing procedure of leather, which creates a completely unique patina with an aged effect. The procedure begins with unfinished crust leather, which has been tanned and handled, but not dyed yet. The artist applies the dyes manually to the uncut hide and the fully assembled shoe, with the usage of white cloths, brushes, and sometimes sponges, to create a unique look on each and every pair of shoes. With attentive care and superior savoir-faire, a dedicated craftsman perfects the personality of each pair of shoes, helping forge their special “soul”.

The Patina Artist, a Very Skilled Job

The Patina art craft is still considered to be very young. There are many patina techniques still to be discovered. Very few artists lead this new art,
and we are proud to work with the best patina artist in the world.

Discovering new coloring techniques and using secret recipes and materials makes the patina artist’s job a very skilled and unique one. A good patina artist is able to reproduce a color precisely on demand and uses it effectively on shoes as also on belts, bags, or any other luxury leather goods.

The patina artist initially tries to impart a look on the shoes that make them appear older and aged. Colors are faded to create a nice old-world charm to the shoe, which is attractive to the eye and comfortable to the fit. What can be more seducing than leading an old-world charm to a modern-day marvel?!

The new shoes bought and manufactured in a modern-day setup are jaded and impersonal. This art craft and the colorist’s work on it cater to the personalization of the product. These art pieces formed will probably be looked upon as collection pieces 40 years down the road!

The materials used in the process are of utmost importance and quality. The leather, polishes, creams, and other materials make all the difference in this.  For a true connoisseur, it’s very important to know which the best product is.

Our patina artist uses primary colors and recreates the magic by mixing different colors per the customer’s demands. Also, he is aware and knowledgeable regarding the leather’s reaction to various materials in the process. Only a truly fine patina artist has mastered the art of raising the end product to the level of a Patina.

Made-to-Order Handcrafted Patina Shoes

As you might know,  we offer Handcrafted Patina finishing in most of our shoes and accessories (more styles coming soon!).

Three different handcrafted patina finishing are available to order through our catalog or custom design studio. Regular, Marble and Papiro.
The image below shows an example of Regular, Marble, and Papiro patina finishings and how they look.

Additionally, we have the Patina Intensity Selector feature on our  3D Design Studio. You can choose the “intensity” of the patina, that is, the amount of shadow or aging effect applied.

Two intensity levels are available: the Standard Patina Intensity and the new Dark Patina Intensity, with darker shadows and dimmer tones. Learn more about the patina intensity.

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