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.