The Italian company Kenda Farben illustrates the Advantages and the qualitatively high results that can be obtained directly on the manufacturing Line, through the use of creams and waxes on crust leathers.

Italian shoe factories are a reference point for leather footwear finish and garment dyeing; processings that give the models a quality so high that it justifies the average sales price for export that is 70% more than that of the leather footwear made in the rest of Europe and almost 4 times higher than the Asian average price. Kenda Farben – an Italian company from Garlasco with a leading position in the supply of chemicals used in footwear manufacturing and post-tanning leather goods – helps us to pay attention to crust leather processing in order to understand what results can be obtained on the manufacturing line, using creams and waxes at their best.

The possibilities and situations of use are many. It is possible to obtain footwear of any colour (starting from dyed leathers, or a crust with a neutral colour) whose uppers or leather will be garment dyed before stitching. These techniques are used by high-end range footwear groups in most of their manufacturing, assisted by Kenda Farben’s technicians who help customers find the best solutions to industrially make the typically “made in Italy” fine footwear. «We noticed – says the company – that proposing good products isn’t everything and that our advising service is greatly appreciated. Therefore we decided to lean a lot on training and our sessions about garment dyeing, that we make at our premises (also for the students of ARSUTORIA School) and during international fairs, had a lot of success». During the past editions of Lineapelle, in fact, Kenda Farben showed to visitors the finishing systems for semi-worked full-grain leather, both natural and pre-colored. The “historical” TOLEDO SUPER has been flanked by a new colorant product, KALEIDOS, for the unfinished full-grain leather that has not been pre-colored.

This garment dyeing system, now famous among industry professionals, enables the manufacturing of classy bicolor or multicolor footwear. «Both products are available in different color variations and KALEIDOS has the advantage of being very easy to apply. It enables even the less experienced professionals to create shadings, to darken parts of the upper and enrich the parts that are short of colour».

And for those who don’t aim at making top-level shoes? «For all those manufacturers that are not so audacious or that have customers with a more traditional taste, now there is an innovative intermediate solution which presents an advantage both of cost, while ensuring the quality, that of reduction of raw materials (leathers) in stock. Starting from a semi-colored crust with two or more black or gray tones, it’s possible to obtain many brown shades when the cream is applied during manufacturing by replacing the usual colored covering product with the new ANTIQUA SUPERDYE, a dyeing cream available in different brown and gray tones, and a color kit for customized nuancing».

But was a new family of brown shoe creams really necessary? «If we were to make a list of the best-selling leather shoes according to color, we would discover that the first two places are occupied by black shoes or by shoes made in different shades of brown. The other colors follow at distance. The black shoes are manufactured starting from a black-dyed leather prefinished and finished with black creams, to use in two stages, staggered by brushings with dedicated preparatory waxes and finished with polish wax brushing. The variables to check are the intensity of black and the desired sheen. When we move to colored shoes, the level of freedom increases. Brown shoes are manufactured starting from black pre-finished leathers or from crust leathers with a brown or a less dark color. During finishing, the prefinished brown leathers can be only partially corrected in order to obtain the desired degree of brown while the crust leathers can undergo further processings that can modify their aspect a lot».

How do the various finishing stages take place exactly? «Starting leather: semi-worked full-grain to which the tannery gives only a first basic coloration, light or dark brown. Then, starting from that leather, the uppers are built and the soles assembled. When the shoe is finished a brown cream called Antiqua Superdye is applied in one of the 6 browns/grays available or in the same colors mixed with a nuancing kit made up of other 6 basic colors. It’s applied with a normal sponge, natural or synthetic, making a circular movement, like any other shoe cream. After drying, the shoe is lightly brushed with a preparatory wax (Abralux), then a final neutral cream with the desired brightness is spread (Luxor, which is more natural, or Nova, which is brighter) and then the final brushings are carried out (see the process described in table 1).

Which are the benefits of this system? «Starting from two or three brown leathers you can obtain all the brown shades you desire (for example 50, if you are a cinephile). The advantages are many: a great leather stock management, even when footwear is restocked during the season; it’s applied as a normal cream when the shoe is finished; it enables to obtain a highly transparent leather with a very uniform color without covering it with pigments; it keeps the leather soft and nurtured».

Is it possible to start from the same leathers and apply the polish by spraying the shoe? «Sure, but using different colors. If you color the semi-finished leather with a waxy cream, the polish sprayed afterwards won’t adhere to the upper, but it will partly slide. So, as an alternative to Antiqua Superdye, a new product called Fondocolor is used. It’s a dyeing and color equalizing cream, preparatory for polish spraying. Between the spreading of Fondocolor and the polish spraying, the usual brushings are carried out without using any wax, which would make the surface unreceptive for polish».

The information and solutions that Kenda Farben can supply are many more… see you, then, at one of their seminars and workshops.