NPS leather explained ...

We are often asked the difference between the various types of leather used to manufacture NPS footwear. We have presented a brief summary of our finishes and basic care tips suited for each leather type to help you find your ideal shoe or boot.

All NPS leather footwear is made from bovine leather, specifically cowhide. This is most abundant leather type that is used by premium leather goods brands. All our leathers are sourced from European tanneries and cattle. Bovine leather offers maximum value for money in terms of durability, elegance and texture. It is also water and abrasion resistant; but is not ‘waterproof’.

Use the below links to read about a particular leather finish. 

CALF LEATHER

Leather from a calf is a category of cowhide which has a unique character. Calfskin is particularly valuable due to its softness and fine grain, as well as durability. The younger animal also has less natural imperfections or marks due to its age. However, due to the raw material being smaller in size, calfskin is more expensive than a full-grain equivalent.

Calf leather is used in our highest-quality shoes and boots because the material is strong, soft and comfortable. Additionally, calf leather permits a patina sheen which evokes the effect of age, wear and polishing.

To nourish calf leather, we recommend our Waterstop Care Kit, which has all the necessary essentials for your footwear. The kit contains one 75ml natural polish, one 75ml coloured polish of your choice, a medium horsehair brush and a lint-free cloth for buffing.

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SCOTCH-GRAINED LEATHER

Scotch-grain leather is calfskin which has been embossed under heat and pressure to give an irregular shaped or pebbled surface. Three-dimensional in appearance, the embossing is applied to the grain-side of the hide. This finish is purely aesthetic and permits our footwear to have texture variation in comparison to our more casual footwear styles. Scotch-grain is strong, soft, comfortable and also has a patina sheen evoking the effect of age, wear and polishing.

For general maintenance, apply a good quality shoe polish or cream using a dry cloth or soft brush for buffing. Leather nourishment can be obtained from using a Waterstop Polish available in an array of colours.

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HI-SHINE LEATHER

Hi-Shine is corrected leather which is created by splitting full-grain leather, buffing or sanding the grain surface to remove marks or imperfections, and then applying a man-made coating to create a shiny 'smooth' finish. This leather type is practical for those desiring easy clean and easy care footwear. 

To clean smooth leather, we recommend using a damp cloth to remove dust and dirt. For general maintenance, apply a good quality shoe polish or cream using a dry cloth or soft brush for buffing. Explore our Accessories Collection to find all your shoe care essentials.

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PATENT LEATHER

Patent leather is created using the same method as Hi-Shine leather, the difference being that the final coating is a patent. Although glossy in finish, patent leather is not waterproof and should not be worn in extremely wet conditions. It is also important to protect the surface of patent leather from being deeply scratched or broken as the nature of patent finish means any damage cannot be restored.

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SUEDE

NPS suede footwear is made from the underside of a calf leather hide as opposed to cheaper and inferior thinner and weaker split leather alternatives. NPS suede-based products therefore have exactly the same positive characteristics as calf leather in that they are strong and durable.

The grain of our suede products is also very fine / tight, which allows for easier maintenance and will stay true to its original colour and properties for longer after use. We still however, recommend applying a suede protectant before wearing your footwear for the first time. A suede brush can be used to remove dust and restore the nap after each use. Suede finishes should be kept away from large amounts of water due to its porous quality. 

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