Oh man, another pun! Headlines are too much fun.
Lets move on from the political rants that have filled our pages lately and get back to what matters… Shoes! Craft! Fashion!
In what may turn out to be an “every cloud has a silver lining” moment, I recently spoke to the staff at both Lefflers and NSW Leather about the possibility of choosing my own coloured leathers, rather than just having to pick through the ‘misc’ selections that they have in their shoemaking sections. Both places gave me the old “it’ll cost you too much, we just order in bits and pieces” answer, as they – probably rightly – think that the shoemaking industry is pretty much dead around here. Dead, but not Buried (cue pre-recorded laughter)…
Not being one to EVER take no for an answer when it comes to a technical challenge, I drove home rethinking my plans – no use designing shoes in full colour if I can only get brown, brown and light brown in reliable quantities – and decided I’d get proper crafty and research dyeing techniques.
Seeing as leather is pretty hardy, a natural fibre and available in white, I was sure it could be coloured with minimal stress.
After some obligatory screw ups (ie. cooking a batch by overheating it and turning it all into something resembling bacon, dyeing my fingers pink) I have started to get some success!
The suede takes a looooong time to get any decent saturation, early tests were still white in the middle (see above), but eventually it becomes an awesome rich colour all the way through.
white suede + dye | beige lining + dye | white sheep hide + dye
beige lining + turquoise dye
I only have a few hides in white or beige, so the other pieces are all non-glossy, but definitely came back to their original shine with a quick post-colouring buff.
Next up is to look in to either dyeing some nice glossy kid skins and see how they react, and also to test some lacquer / wax / coatings to see how glossy I can get them.
I’m still planning on using off the shelf hides for plenty of shoes, but the designer in me isn’t satisfied with being limited to what I can get when i’ll be competing with all the colours available to even the cheapest non-bespoke brands.
So, I’m not going to divulge much more about what i’m using, and how i’m doing it, but if you’re really keen to find out send me an email when I’m done experimenting and we can talk.
On a more business-y note, Dani and I went to the Buffet Streetwear forums on the weekend and filled pages with info on how to start a shop, how to start a brand and how not to go broke in the process.
Next up is the Refinery fashion forecasting forum and then we get to work on a proper plan (and talk to the bank.. eek).
… and finally, congratulations to Tom and Jess, the best looking newlyweds in the whole damn town!
Their wedding was the most low key, relaxed and best-food-having wedding I’ve ever been to.
The fact that the waiting staff thought I was part of the (non existent) bridal party and treated me like a king didn’t hurt either.
Off to play some drums now, gotta fit as much in to each day as I can… carpe dium I think it is?
Listening to : Wiley – Wot do you call it? …make it in a studio, not in a garage. haha. classic beats.
Special Tom + Jess honeymoon tribute : Blackout Crew – Put A Donk On It