What is Patina - The leather is a natural product - and it ages. Just like all-natural products, for leather, exposure to the elements of life is the purest way to thrive. The natural body oils that your body produces, water, moisture, dust, sunlight, heat - the leather absorbs it all. Over time, it develops a sheen in some places - while some spots may see a relative darkening, or, Patina, as we call it. How we do it at TLC - Leather connoisseurs value the Patina to an extent that leather producers, makers of leather products, and the owners go to great lengths to speed up the Patina development process. Consequently, our artisans at TLC, have mastered the art of developing a Patina on new leather. Taking it a step further, our artisans use the leather as canvas, hand-painting the leather, creating intricate designs and textures. As a result, we can provide our customers, an endless variety of colors, textures and the extent of Patina.

In the workshop

At TLC, we believe that producing Patinas that gleam like a mirror requires suitable base leather. The thumb rule is - the less the leather is processed, the better and more pronounced the Patina and textures will be. So for us, leather with an uncoated surface, processed in a pure and natural way without using harmful chemicals, is the best candidate to develop a nice Patina. Using our handpicked leathers, the shoe is meticulously crafted with only one major difference than a normal shoe. It is a blank canvas! ready to be hand-dyed and hand-finished. After preparation, the shoe is moved to our Patina Studio.

In the Patina Studio

Once in the studio, the shoe goes in the hand of the leather colorist. Just as an artist does for a painting, the leather colorist juggles with his dyes and pigments and applies multiple coats of color to the shoe, until the desired depth of color is achieved. Then he uses an array of tools brushes of every size, sponges, cloth rags to create the Patina effect. Taking it a step further, the Patina can then be enriched with colour gradation, “Anticatura” processed (Italian word for Antique effect, being a specialty of Italian and French maestro shoemakers), “Streaked” (with light streaks of contrasting colors), “Clouded” (with smoke-like effects), “Marbled” (marble-like texture) or “Checkered” (square pattern). After coloring, the shoe is treated with natural creams, oils, and waxes in order to develop natural shine and luster. All these techniques can, of course, be applied to the entire shoe, or only to specific areas, that’s why no two pairs are exactly the same, each one becomes a work of art.

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