What is nubuck leather?
Nubuck is a type of leather with a soft, velvety surface and is some of the most expensive leather to purchase. Unlike the less expensive suede, this type of leather is far more durable and is excellent for use on items like furniture because it will last much longer than suede. It is subject to the same kind of easy staining that occurs with suede and often requires pre-treatment or stain resistant protection to extend its life.
It’s easy to get confused about whether a leather item is nubuck or suede since both look and feel similar. Both types of leather are sanded to produce the velvet soft feel that is so desirable. The main difference is that nubuck is sanded on the outer surface of the leather, essentially the part that would have been the exterior skin of the animal, while suede is sanded on the inner layer of the skin.
Since the outside layer of a skin is much tougher, nubuck lasts much longer and responds very well to this sanding process. It does show imperfections in the exterior layer of the skin much more easily, and is often treated with dyes, sometimes simply clear ones, to disguise any significant flaws. The sanding process can create further imperfections when not done correctly, so nubuck may be colour-treated to hide these too.
What is top grain leather?
In general, leather is sold in four forms:
Full-grain leather refers to hides that have not been sanded, buffed, or snuffed (as opposed to top-grain or corrected leather) to remove imperfections (or natural marks) on the surface of the hide. The grain remains allowing the fibre strength and durability. The grain also has breathability, resulting in less moisture from prolonged contact. Rather than wearing out, it will develop a patina over time. High quality leather furniture and footwear are often made from full-grain leather. Full-grain leathers are typically available in two finish types: aniline and semi-aniline.
Top-grain leather (the most common type used in high-end leather products) is the second-highest quality. It has had the "split" layer separated away, making it thinner and more pliable than full-grain. Its surface has been sanded and a finish coat added to the surface which results in a colder, plastic feel with less breathability, and it will not develop a natural patina. It has greater resistance to stains than full-grain leather, so long as the finish remains unbroken. The finish can be maintained by regular conditioning and polishing with a quality leather care product.
Corrected-grain leather is any leather that has had an artificial grain applied to its surface. The hides used to create corrected leather do not meet the standards for use in creating vegetable-tanned or aniline leather. The imperfections are corrected or sanded off, and an artificial grain impressed into the surface and dressed with stain or dyes. Most corrected-grain leather is used to make pigmented leather as the solid pigment helps hide the corrections or imperfections. Corrected grain leathers can mainly be bought as two finish types: semi-aniline and pigmented.
Split leather is leather created from the fibrous part of the hide left once the top-grain of the rawhide has been separated from the hide. During the splitting operation, the top-grain and drop split are separated. The drop split can be further split (thickness allowing) into a middle split and a flesh split. In very thick hides, the middle split can be separated into multiple layers until the thickness prevents further splitting. Split leather then has an artificial layer applied to the surface of the split and is embossed with a leather grain (bycast leather). Splits are also used to create suede. The strongest suedes are usually made from grain splits (that have the grain completely removed) or from the flesh split that has been shaved to the correct thickness. Suede is "fuzzy" on both sides. Manufacturers use a variety of techniques to make suede from full-grain. A reversed suede is a grained leather that has been designed into the leather article with the grain facing away from the visible surface. It is not considered to be a true form of suede.
What is Aniline leather?
- Aniline leather is a type of leather dyed exclusively with soluble dyes without covering the surface with a topcoat paint or insoluble pigments. The resulting product retains the hide's natural surface with the 'grain', i.e. visible pores, scars etc. of the complete original animal's skin structure.
- Originally, the dyes used for this process were synthesized from aniline through chemical reactions. These dyes used to be called 'aniline dyes' or 'tar dyes'. In modern times, the dyes used are subject to laws and regulations in many countries, and the use of certain azo compounds is prohibited as there are reasons to believe health risks may be associated with the process.
- Typically, leather is dyed both for aesthetic reasons and to conceal blemishes. The dye colours the leather without producing the uniform surface of pigmented leather. Any visible variations on the surface of the undyed leather such as natural blemishes will remain visible.
- There are different kinds of aniline leather, but the same kinds of dyes are used in the process. The dyes used are clear and transparent chemicals that allow the grain structure of the leather to be seen. These dyes show the natural texture, but do not protect the leather from damage.
- Aniline leather may be referred to as full aniline or full sauvage leather to differentiate between this dye treatment and variants. Semi-aniline leather is produced through a very similar process to full-aniline, but has a thin protective top coat added to protect it from wear and staining. Pull up aniline leather has additional oil or wax applied to the leather to give it a distressed look
How do I clean my suede or nubuck shoes or boots?
Wipe the entire surface of your item with a suede / nubuck cloth or a cleaning sponge (also called an eraser). Do this regularly to remove light soiling and shiny spots and keep the surface looking good.
Wrap a nubuck cloth around a nubuck sponge. Roll it over the item in several directions to make sure you clean all sides of the nap. Try this if the suede / nubuck is too soiled to be cleaned by wiping with the nubuck cloth and you need to apply more force.
Lift the nap by brushing gently with the napping brush. Use a circular motion, taking care not to spend more than a few seconds on any area. You should do this on a regular basis to keep nap in good condition.
Clean a large soiled area by coating it with a spray-on suede & nubuck cleaning solution, then wiping the area with a nubuck cloth. After the soil is removed and the surface has dried, use the nubuck cloth or napping brush to lift the nap.
Soak up oil stains using a clean, dry cloth. Clean the oil remaining on the item with a leather degreaser and leather cleaner.
Care Tips for Suede and Nubuck footwear:
- The best way to keep suede & nubuck clean is to apply a spray protectant at least every 6 months. Spray the item, then allow time for the suede or nubuck to thoroughly dry before using or wearing it. If the item is soiled, first clean the suede or nubuck and lift the nap before you apply protectant.
- Regular wiping with a nubuck cloth will prevent you from having to resort to leather degreaser and leather cleaner.
- Consider buying a brush that has wire bristles in the centre and nylon bristles surrounding them. Use the nylon bristles for gentle brushing on soft suede / nubuck and the wire bristles when you need more vigorous brushing to clean hard areas on hiking boots etc.
How do I work out the correct size to choose?
The majority of shoes sold in Australia will be labelled with either the US shoe size or UK size or both. More recently we have also seen more footwear from Europe and so the EU shoe size is now often used also. All of this information can cause confusion when it comes to knowing what size to order. If you have purchased a brand before then you will no doubt know what size has fitted in the past but when choosing for the first time you consult our “Work out your Size” section or contact us for more assistance.
Where are The Expert Bootmakers and Repairers located?
The Expert Bootmakers and Repairers are located at Shop 2, 912 Albany Hwy, East Victoria Park, Western Australia, 6101. We are just over the causeway about 5km along Albany Highway from Perth CBD.
What are the operating hours of The Expert Bootmakers and Repairers shop?
Our bricks and mortar shop is open 9:00am – 5.00pm Mon to Friday
9.00am – 1pm on Saturdays
We observe Western Australian public holidays.
Outside of these hours, we recommend you check out our online shop and if an appointment is required please call and speak to one of our friendly staff.
What brands of shoes do you sell?
We stock; the Dr Comfort Range of ladies and men's footwear and Footlogics, thongs and sandals.
Do you cater for odd or split sizes?
Yes. The Dr Comfort range are available in split sizing where one foot is a different size to the other. There is an extra charge for this type of order and the shoes would have to be ordered from the USA warehouse. Delivery of theses split sizing takes from 21-30days. To ensure the correct size we would need you to come into store to be measured as we cannot return split size orders if they do not fit.
Can I fit my orthotics into the shoes you sell?
Yes we stock a range of orthotic friendly shoes specifically designed to take an Orthotic. Many stores will call a shoe with a removable foot-bed orthotic friendly but we believe the shoe must also be deep enough to accommodate the orthotic device and not lift your foot too high so as to make them uncomfortable. The shoe should also have a stable well balanced sole type to ensure the balance of the orthotic and the sides of the shoe should be firm enough to support the orthotic and not allow it to push away under load.
The ultimate in control for any orthotic is a full lace up shoe where the foot is in total contact with the orthotic through the full range of motion in normal walking but you will also find orthotic friendly sandals and thongs in our range. These may not offer as much support to your orthotic and are not recommended for prolonged wear. You may wish to consult with your podiatrist before purchasing them.
What types of payment do you accept?
Here at The Expert Bootmakers and Repairers we accept payments in cash or EFTPOS and all major credit cards in store.
Online payments are processed by Paypal and so again you can use a variety of methods to pay for your purchase online.
Can I return shoes if they don’t fit?
For full details on our how we deal with returns please visit our Returns Policy here:
Can I exchange online purchase instore?
No refunds can be given in store. However, we will allow exchanges to occur. You must have your proof of purchase receipt with you.
Returned shoes must be in undamaged original packaging, not worn or marked and within 30 days of initial purchase.
What do I do if the item I want is out of stock?
As The Expert Bootmakers and Repairers is a retail shop as well as an online shop we endeavour to keep our website up-to-date with stock availability. However, if you order an item and it has been sold in-store at the same time, a member of our staff will contact you within 48 hours of your order to discuss what can be done.
How soon will I receive my order purchased on The Expert Bootmakers and Repairers website
We endeavour to process and dispatch your order to you within 3 working days of receiving the product, if not in store. We use Australia post as our carrier and you can expect your order in 4-6 working days via standard delivery and in 1 - 3 days via Express Delivery. All orders sent out via Express Delivery have a tracking number attached which can assist you if your package becomes lost.
WE UNDERSTAND THAT SOME ORDERS ARE TAKING LONGER THAN EXPECTED DUE TO AUSTRALIAN FLOODS, FIRES and COVID 19.
How much will it cost me to have my order delivered?
We offer free standard Australia Post shipping to anywhere in Australia for all orders over $99.00. Orders under $99.00 carry a flat rate of $15.00.
International shipping carries a flat rate of $50.00 for any purchase.
Do you deliver anywhere in Australia?
Yes. We do deliver anywhere in Australia including Post office boxes.
Do you deliver internationally?
Yes we do deliver internationally. All International shipping carriers a flat rate of $50.00
International orders may incur an import duty. For information, please contact your local customs office. Duty is not paid by us and is the responsibility of each individual customer.
I am having some trouble placing my order, what shall I do?
Our customer service team are happy to assist you with your order if you are experiencing difficulty, just give us a call on 0432 915 301 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org