Thursday, 2 February 2017
Russian Intelligence - Radnor 4 Derby Boot from Crockett & Jones
Russian Grain Leather
The Radnor 4 Goodyear-welted derby boot, with a Dainite Ridgeway rubber sole, by Crockett & Jones, is made from Russian grain leather produced exclusively for C&J by an English tannery. The leather is made from 'young English ox hides' that undergo an ancient vegetable tanning process.
What is Russian grain leather? In production in Russia up to the time of the Bolshevik Revolution — from which point in time the practice virtually disappeared as Russian civilisation was upended by ideology — Russian grain leather is extremely hard-wearing and weather-resistant. The English tannery — and if they're reading this, please step forward and I'll give you a plug — brought in a Russian translator to help research the production of Russian grain leather. The process took over two years and they finally produced a leather that closely matched archive samples of Russian grain leather.
The leather is tanned for four months using willow and oak bark 'liquor'. The leather is then dressed with birch oil, dyed and embossed with a grain that matches the original Russian leather from the time of the Tsars.
What a wonderful story. And what a wonderful boot, to boot!