Fantasies in Leather – Leather & Toys for Bad Girls & Boys


Bootblacking 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.

© Elegant 2006


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