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Aficianado
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Why do we use patent leather with evening wear?Why do we use patent leather at all?After all,it is just leather with a coating of plastic.My evening shoes are patent,but only for the sake of tradition,of course,I now question why shoes coated with plastic are traditional.Wouldn't it be wonderful if companies made PL the old fashioned way?

Just a random thought.
 

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Why do we use patent leather with evening wear?Why do we use patent leather at all?After all,it is just leather with a coating of plastic.My evening shoes are patent,but only for the sake of tradition,of course,I now question why shoes coated with plastic are traditional.Wouldn't it be wonderful if companies made PL the old fashioned way?

Just a random thought.
Could we effectively create patent leather by coating our black leather shoes with linseed oil? How likely will our shoes spontaneously combust?
 

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Uneducated guess: I think you answered your own question: previously (before plastic?), it may have been a mark of distinction, exclusive, expensive, and "cleaner" looking.

If it is as you suggest, and all new patent is simply plastic-coated, then I agree that it does not seem like a mark of distinction.

How was patent made in the "olden days"? I always thought it was leather that had been finished smooth (grain removed), and highly polished.
 

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\How was patent made in the "olden days"? I always thought it was leather that had been finished smooth (grain removed), and highly polished.
What you describe is corrected grain leather. According to wikipedia, coats on linseed oil were placed on the shoe. But this only worked on good quality leather. The way patent leather is made now, corrected grain patent won't appear much different from full grain patent.

Read here for more: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patent_leather
 

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Using a formula that was based on a series of treatments using layers of linseed oil-based coats, the new shiny leather began commercial production on 20 September 1819. Boyden's efforts resulted in the production of glossy leather that quickly caught on as a complement for formal dress.
1819, gentlemen. Worthy of being called a tradition.

Why? Because it is shiny and looks good reflecting the light of chandeliers.
 

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Patent leather coated with plastic?! The gleam on patent is traditionally achieved with lacquer and kept up with a thin coat of Vaseline applied with a square of old cotton undershirt, then wiped away.

If patent isn't to your liking, have a pair of evening lace-ups made in black waxed calf and tell your bootmaker you want them brought up on parade, ie, mirror bright.
 

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^
Another reason to buy your own tux and accessories.
I have my own, but they wanted all of the groomsmen in matching tuxedos for obvious reasons. Truuuuuust me, I would have worn my own if it had been an option. I threw a fit in Men's Warehouse because the tux fit me so poorly after being measured for it. The jacket looked like it was made for someone that weighed a hundred pounds more than me, and the pants were literally four inches too short when I showed up! They were able to fix the pants, but the jacket was hopeless. I took 8 inches out of it with a safety pin before taking the wedding pictures. I made sure they knew that I would never step foot in another one of their stores.
 

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Why do we use patent leather with evening wear?Why do we use patent leather at all?After all,it is just leather with a coating of plastic.
I've wondered the same thing many times. Of course, I have an aversion to patent leather, so that may be the root cause of my thoughts. Personally, I think a parade pair of oxfords looks just as nice; after all, there's little need to reflect candle light anymore.
 

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Aficianado
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Could we effectively create patent leather by coating our black leather shoes with linseed oil? How likely will our shoes spontaneously combust?
Well,as to the spontaneous cobmbustion,you're better off asking a scientist,but it would be nice to be able to achieve the shine of PL minus the plastic.Perhaps someone in the shoemaking field will read this and be able to enlighten us.
 
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