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Many of us have worn patent leather shoes as children, from baptism to first communion, weddings and more.
The truth is that they are a classic that never goes out of fashion, new trends are being born and patent leather shoes are being reinvented more and more. We can find them in moccasins, boots, belts, handbags and many more accessories.
Do we really know their history, where do they come from, how are they made, what are patent leather shoes, what is it that makes this shoe so classic and timeless, how to clean patent leather, is it difficult to maintain, etc.?
Lots of questions to be answered, so we better get started now and as a bonus we will see how to combine this mythical shoe with different looks.
Patent leather is leather coated with shiny varnish, this formula can be applied to many things, not only shoes, you can also see it on jackets, handbags, belts, etc.
The patent leather shoe has been manufactured since 1819 and was invented by Seth Boyden in New Jersey.
Did you know that the first ones were made of a lacquer with linseed oil, not anymore, technology has allowed them to be made from a plastic coating.
The American inventor, who perfected the process to produce patent leather, also built a machine to produce nails and his own steamboat.
The word patent leather comes from the Portuguese "charão" and this from the Chinese "chat-liu", which means "matter that varnishes".
Thanks to this new leather, a new branch of shoe cleaning was born, the person who made patent leather was called "charolista" and this shoe design was so successful that even a verb was created, "charolar", just to refer to things that had this finish.
How incredible to be able to invent something that not only completely changed part of the culture but also coined a whole new form of expression around it, something like TikTok today.
Good patent leather shoes are made from the leather, where it is covered with various types of wax, shellac, dyes and other types of pigments and then brushed. Their shine comes from several layers of greasy varnish which, once dry, gives it its characteristic shine.
To keep patent leather clean and shiny, the product that works best is Saphir BdC Varnish Rife, available in colorless and black.
It removes all kinds of dirt and also eliminates the typical scratches that come out with rubbing.
Keeping any type of leather with good hydration is very important. This will keep the leather, whatever type it is, in perfect condition, avoiding cracks and wear.
In the case of patent leather, hydration also promotes the preservation of its spectacular shine.
For this purspose, the best product is Saphir BdC Reptan. It includes a chamois so that you can start taking care of your shoes asap.
As we have seen, it is a very complete material and really has a very easy maintenance to follow.
If you have doubts about how to combine patent leather, sorry we can't help you but if you want to ask us more questions about the products to make them look their best, we encourage you to contact us.
See you next week