Hot Boots Logo - Click for Home PageBOOTBLACKING IN THE GARDEN OF EDEN
 
Directory:
Accessories for Boots
Bars-Cowboy/Leather
Bear Sites
Boot & Bootmen Pics
Boot Chat Room
Boot Chat Sites
Boot Clubs & Groups
Boots Galore! Gallery
Boot Information
Boot Manufacturers
Bootmen Profiles
Boot Merchants
Bootmen's Sites
Boots For Sale
Boots On Line
Boot Photo Galleries
Boot Swap Database
Boot Video Gallery
Calendar of Events
Chat Room
Clubs
Contributing Content
Cowboy/Leather Bars
Donating to Hot Boots
Events Calendar
Facebook Group
Fetish Gear
Gay Sites of Interest
General Sites
Hot Boots Constitution
Hot Boots Crew
Just Boots Gallery
Leather Community
Leather Merchants
Major Boot Sites
Meeting Bootmen
    Bear Sites
    Boot Chat Sites
    Boot Groups
    Clubs
    Cowboy/Lthr Bars
    Events
    Men In Boots
    Message Boards
    Personal Ads
Men In Boots Gallery
Merchants
    Boots
    Boot Accessories
    Leather
    Rubber
    Uniforms
    Used Boots
Message Boards
    Boots For Sale
    Boots On Line
Movies With Boots
Music, Audio, Radio
Other Interests
    Gay Sites
    General Sites
    Leather Community
    Music, Audio
Personal Ads
Photo Galleries
Profiles: Men In Boots
Publications
Rubber Merchants
Rubber/Latex Sites
Site Map
Site Overview
Support For Hot Boots
Uniform Stores
Used Boots
Video Gallery
You're A Bootman

 
 
Care Of Exotic Skins
By Bootblack Elegant of Archer & Elegant
FantasiesInLeather.com


Have you ever noticed that most of the exotic boot leathers are from creatures that are feared? Snakes, sharks, alligators, lizards and eels are among these creatures that are frequently portrayed as dangerous and destructive and often mysterious... often showing up in mythology and folklore. Even the Christian version of the beginning of mankind features an evil serpent that is the force behind man's fall from grace.

Ironically, the care of boots made from the skins of these exotic and often-evil animals can be dangerous and destructive. But there is also a lot of myth surrounding proper care of exotic leathers.

Don't let the care of exotic leathers be your 'fall from grace' in your bootblacking skills.


SNAKESKIN

Aftercare is a very important factor in upkeep of snakeskin boots. Using a soft dry cotton cloth, wipe with the direction of the scales to remove topical dirt and dust. Use a very soft brush (ie: sable paintbrush) to gently remove dirt and dust underneath scales. Do not lift scales.

General cleaning of snakeskin footwear is best done with a cotton cloth slightly dampened with plain water. Since snake scales are water resistant soap products and excessive water will run off the scales and down to the membrane causing drying and curling of the scales.

Use conditioners specifically made for snakeskin/reptiles. These conditioners are lighter in composition than most general leather conditioners. This does not refer to the viscosity but to the product ingredients. Imagine the difference between vegetable oil and Crisco. Both are the same ingredients but Crisco is hydrogenated giving it a different viscosity. Therefore, just because a leather conditioner is more liquid or in spray formula does not mean it contains lighter conditioner ingredients. Using products for smooth leather may leave a residue that will build up around the membranes that hold the scales and cause scales to crack or fall off.

Should you put wax on snakeskin for shine enhancement? If this is needed it's best to use a cream product as opposed to a hard wax. There is no need to use multiple coats of the cream polish. DO NOT use colored cream polish on natural colored snakeskin; it will react with the chemicals used in tanning and tinge the skin green. Use neutral cream polish instead.

White snakeskin (such as many Python skin boots) is actually bleached. Boots made from bleached snakeskin will eventually return to their natural golden color... that's just the way it is. Re-bleaching will shorten the life of the boot.

Most snakeskin boots are made with a layer of snakeskin laminated over cow skin. The cow leather will become dry over time. To rejuvenate the cow leather use a quality leather conditioner on the inside of the boot and let sit for a few days.

Some bootmakers recommend not using polish on rattlesnake but this is not the opinion of all rattlesnake bootmakers. It appears that in the past the salt method of tanning was used on snake (especially rattlesnake in the southwest) as it was also the method used on mammals. Unfortunately the salt method dries snakeskin out too much so an oil method (or glycerin) is now preferred. Todays more improved tanning methods make it okay to use light amount of cream polish on rattlesnake skin, as with other snake skins (excluding sea snake). Putting polish over a salt tanned (cured) skin will keep it from absorbing any moisture from the air, hence drying it out even more.


LIZARD

Because of its distinct markings most of the finest quality lizard boots and deck shoes are made with Teju lizard from Argentina, specifically the belly of the lizard. Boots with belly scales will have a larger and more distinct skin. An "Egg white" protein and glaze at the factory give these boots their shine and rich color.

As with snakeskin, aftercare is a very important factor in upkeep of lizard boots. Using a soft dry cotton cloth, wipe with the direction of the scales to remove topical dirt and dust. Use a very soft brush (ie: sable paintbrush) to gently remove dirt and dust underneath scales if they are not hardened down in the tanning process. Do not lift scales.

General cleaning of lizard footwear is best done with a cotton cloth slightly dampened with plain water. Since lizard scales are water resistant, soap products and excessive water will run off the scales and down to the membrane causing drying and curling of the scales. This is especially dangerous if the boot is made of many sections of lizard as the adhesives can be damaged.

Use conditioners specifically made for reptiles. These conditioners are lighter in composition than most general leather conditioners. This does not refer to the viscosity but to the product ingredients. Imagine the difference between vegetable oil and Crisco. Both are the same ingredients but Crisco is hydrogenated giving it a different viscosity. Therefore, just because a leather conditioner is more liquid or in spray formula does not mean it contains lighter conditioner ingredients. Using products for smooth leather may leave a residue that will build up around the membranes that hold the scales and cause scales to crack or fall off.

Finishing lizard skin boots with a wax or cream polish is not recommended. These products will often cover up the slight iridescent quality that makes lizard skin unique.

Most lizard skin boots are made with a layer of snakeskin laminated over cow skin. The cow leather will become dry over time. To rejuvenate the cow leather use a quality leather conditioner on the inside of the boot and let sit for a few days.

Teju Lizard dries out more easily than cowhide and cannot absorb conditioner as readily due to its irregular surface. Condition more often and in thinner coats to prevent cracking.


ALLIGATOR AND CAIMEN

Boots with distinct patterns are created from the backside of farm-raised alligator. Softer boots are from the belly skin. Caiman, a cousin of the alligator) are also farm raised for skin use and treated the same as for alligator leather.

Aftercare is similar to that of cow leather boots. Using a soft barely damp cotton cloth, wipe topical dirt and dust. Pay special attention to alcohol spills on the boot as this will dry out the leather quickly and could eat into the skin fibers.

General cleaning of alligator boots can be done with saddle soap but be sure to remove the soap residue before it dries.

Use conditioners specifically made for reptiles. These conditioners are lighter in composition than most general leather conditioners. This does not refer to the viscosity but to the product ingredients. Imagine the difference between vegetable oil and Crisco. Both are the same ingredients but Crisco is hydrogenated giving it a different viscosity. Therefore, just because a leather conditioner is more liquid or in spray formula does not mean it contains lighter conditioner ingredients.

Alligator hide is similar to cow leather in that it can be shined, although not to the extent of a glossy mirror spit shine. Use a neutral wax for boots that have any color variations otherwise match wax color with the boot color. There is no need to use multiple coats of wax.


SHARK

Shark leather boots can be of two types: Smooth or with denticles. A shark has microscopic scales called denticles made of hard dentin. Basically these are tiny teeth that point all in one direction. Sharkskin with the denticles removed leaves smooth leather. An easy way to identify the difference is to pull a stocking back and forth across the boot. Sharkskin with denticles will cause a slight tug on the stocking.

Shark is very tough, durable and lighter in weight than cow leather. It can be tanned in a variety of rich colors. While sharkskin is water resistant it is not waterproof and excess moisture will dry out the leather very quickly.

Aftercare is similar to that of cow leather boots. Using a soft barely damp cotton cloth, wipe topical dirt and dust. Pay special attention to alcohol spills on the boot as this will dry out the leather quickly and could destroy the finish.

General cleaning of sharkskin boots can be done with saddle soap but be sure to remove the soap residue before it dries.

Although a reptile conditioner can be used a quality cow leather conditioner works just as well. The key is to condition often, as sharkskin needs the extra oils and conditioners to maintain softness and flexibility. Apply extra conditioner around the edges where the sole is sewn to the foot so that the stitched area does not split.

Sharkskin boots usually come with a factory applied glaze that imparts a low gloss shine. Additional shine and color enhancement can be created with a hard wax polish. Since tanning methods for sharkskin are similar to that of cow leather the procedure is also similar.


EEL

Eel is very thin but very durable material. Eel is proven to be 1.5 times stronger than cowhide of the same thickness. Even so, most eel skin boots are made with a layer of eel laminated over cow skin. The cow leather will become dry over time. To rejuvenate the cow leather use a quality leather conditioner on the inside of the boot and let sit for a few days.

Aftercare is similar to that of cow leather boots. Using a soft barely damp cotton cloth, wipe topical dirt and dust. Pay special attention to alcohol spills on the boot as this will dry out the leather quickly and could destroy the finish.

Eel skin boots are usually made with sections of eel skin sewn together. General cleaning of eel skin footwear is best done with a cotton cloth slightly dampened with plain water so that cleaning products do not seep through the joins of the skins.

Use a reptile conditioner for eel skin. These conditioners are lighter in composition than most general leather conditioners. This does not refer to the viscosity but to the product ingredients. Imagine the difference between vegetable oil and Crisco. Both are the same ingredients but Crisco is hydrogenated giving it a different viscosity. Therefore, just because a leather conditioner is more liquid or in spray formula does not mean it contains lighter conditioner ingredients. Using products for smooth leather may leave a heavy residue on this thin leather and will settle under the stitched seams of the skin, causing thread deterioration.

Eel skin can be shined although multiple coats of hard wax will leave the thin skin less flexible. A cream polish is a better choice. Use a neutral tint as eel skin has subtle but lovely color variations.


STINGRAY

Stingray is commonly known as the most durable leather in the world, being only rivaled by Elephant hide. The hides used are from a species of stingray, which is neither endangered nor threatened, and the meat is used in many restaurants. The tanning process causes the scales to fall away without damaging the skin, leaving an extremely strong pearly hide.

Aftercare is always important for any boots. Using a soft damp cotton cloth, wipe to remove topical dirt and dust. Use a soft brush to gently remove any mud and dirt, especially at the edge of the sole.

General cleaning of stingray footwear is best done with a cotton cloth slightly dampened with plain water to maintain it’s natural radiance. Since stingray is water resistant soap products and excessive water will run off the skin and down to the edge causing drying and rotting of the stitching.

Conditioning the exterior is not suggested, as these products will affect the natural radiance of the stingray. Interior conditioning is needed infrequently and very lightly using a quality leather conditioner.

Wax or other finish is not suggested unless the boot has been scraped and the pearly skin is scarred. A spot of wax polish might add shine to the blemish and make it less noticeable.


OSTRICH

Ostrich boots have a unique grain, especially full quill hide. Smooth ostrich leather has fewer indentations and thus is suppler to the touch. Both forms are very strong and versatile.

Using a soft barely damp cotton cloth, wipe topical dirt and dust every time they are worn. Pay special attention to alcohol spills on the boot as this will dry out the leather quickly and could eat into the skin fibers.

General cleaning of ostrich can be done with saddle soap and a very, very soft brush but be sure to remove the soap residue before it dries and use a damp cloth after to remove remaining soap residue.

Use conditioners specifically made for reptiles for ostrich (or reptile conditioner) if possible. These conditioners are lighter in composition than most general leather conditioners. This does not refer to the viscosity but to the product ingredients. Imagine the difference between vegetable oil and Crisco. Both are the same ingredients but Crisco is hydrogenated giving it a different viscosity. Therefore, just because a leather conditioner is more liquid or in spray formula does not mean it contains lighter conditioner ingredients.

Ostrich hide is similar to cow leather in that it can be shined, although not to the extent of a glossy mirror spit shine. Use a neutral wax for boots that have any color variations otherwise match wax color with the boot color. Polish gently so as not to knock off any quill indentations. There is no need to use multiple coats of wax on ostrich.


DRAGON

The hide of dragons is one of the most useful items a wizard can possess. Tougher than the toughest Muggle leather and tannable only through extensive potions and magic, dragon hide is the best protection against hostile environments available. Whether you're hunting treasure for goblins or going for a stroll through the bubotuber patch, dragon hide is your best friend. And with proper care and cleaning, you can own an article for a lifetime, however long.

A gentle detergere spell should be used every time boots are removed. If extremely dirty, a purgare spell must be used. Take care, though, as the purgare has been known to make holes appear in the hide. Once the boots are clean apply a solution of oil of ferret mixed with mineral grease to the boot, sole and all. Set the boots aside to allow them to absorb the solution well.


Written By Elegant
For comments and questions, please email Elegant at Elegant@FantasiesInLeather.com.
Fantasies in Leather - Leather & Toys For Bad Girls & Boys



Boot Information Page


 
HOT BOOTS !! Home Page   Site map   About HOT BOOTS!!