One of my favorite leathers, that sees relatively little production, is an article that we call Huntsman – or Waxed Flesh or French Waxed Calf. I would define it as high performance suede, but it’s not suede at all. This leather is made almost exactly the same way as our Chromexcel, instead we finish it on the flesh (or suede side). This colors, waxes, seals, and lays the nap of the flesh flat.
In the side-by-side photo included below, you can see the back and the front of the same piece of leather. The dark brown side is actually the side that’s typically left unfinished (or sueded) and the natural brown color is the grain, or traditionally finished side, of the hide.
This creates a textured look that’s great for casual applications, and striking in more formal uses. The Yuketen Maine Guide Boots shown in this post are an example of an unlined shoe, which is a particularly good use of this leather. I mean, the inside of the boot is usually the surface used for the outside.
In the past we made Chromexcel for use in military boots that the Marines wore. The soldiers would then themselves heavily wax the outside of the shoes which would darken them and make them more water resistant – we point here for the inspiration for this tannage.
24 responses to “The Leather that has 3 Names”
Really cool, I’d love to learn more about Chromexcel too.
Will do – always looking for new ideas for posts!
I love it. I’ve always really liked the look of waxed suede a la vintage military boots. I imagine this leather would break and wear in beautifully. I think it helps that your example was the Yuketen Maine Guide Boot because I’m obsessed with those. The notion of using it in an unlined shoe is particularly interesting to me. Seems like it would be mighty comfy.
Great looking leather and boots – always interested in seeing these different projects you guys are working on and the brands that have sought you out. Great work as usual.
By the way, I don’t recall ever seeing this particular Maine Guide boot ever. Are you able to spill some info on when/where/if it will see retail? It’s definitely my favorite color/finish I’ve seen of it.
It’s the “W Brown” version that’s up on their site now. Ryan and Yuki updated the site and it’s 600 times better – and it includes their stockists. Their email is on the site also. That’s where I’d start.
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Really love the blog. Many brands and stores have started affiliated blogs (as I’m sure you know) and yours is really one of the best (as you probably also know).
Anywho: I’m a freelance writer and I’m developing a couple stories about this heritage boom in men’s fashion. I really hope I might be able to interview you or another Horween rep for some factual info and commentary. Even just a little Q&A via email would be a boon and a half.
Thanks & Keep up the good work,
Thanks for the kind words! Shoot me an email and I’ll help however I can.
I really like this leather alot. How can one accomplish this look with a smoother nap roughout leather? I have been trying to find some sort of wax that could closely approximate this look.
Great blog and company, keep up the good work!
Thanks! This link might help – I haven’t tried it myself though: http://www.90thidpg.us/Equipment/Projects/Dubbing/index.html
Thank you, I will try this technique with some Obenauf’s LP.
Hi, I was searching the net and I came across your web site. Keep up the good work.
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Thanks for taking the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love learning more on this topic. If possible, as you gain expertise, would you mind updating your blog with extra information? It is extremely helpful for me.
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This is a very helpful write-up. Do you mind if i translate it into french for my own visitors?
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great article. thank you for sharing!
Love this leather. What’s the preferred method for caring for it? I have a pair and it’s starting to get wear marks that look a bit dry and lighter in color than the rest of the shoe.