This is the "Yuya Hasegawa's Ardent Shoeshine Dojo" series. In the 13th installment, Yuya Hasegawa talks about the "12th process" of shoe polishing. Yuya Hasegawa talks passionately about it.
Shoeshine Championship 2023 will finally start next month, and the 1st round will be held on September 9 at Umeda Hall in Osaka and October 7 at Hankyu Men's Tokyo. The 12 strong winners from East and West will compete in the final at Ginza Mitsukoshi in Tokyo on November 18.
This is a competition to determine who is the best shoe polisher in Japan. As the promoter of the competition, I will do my best to make the shoeshine competition, which will be revived for the first time in three years, the most exciting yet, so please join us in cheering for the winners!
Today, we are going to teach you the 12th process, "Mirror polish with water". Previously, we made the wax base with our bare hands and completely wrapped the nerf fabric around our fingers. This is the most fascinating and flowery part of the shoe polishing process.
The first thing you want to have with you for this process is a hand wrap. In the past, most people used to put water in the lid of a wax can and wet the lid a little bit to polish the mirror surface, but that method often causes too much water to be put on the wax, which leads to failure. I recommend using a hand wrap to replenish the water to prevent over-watering.
Now, let's wet the flannel fabric. The most important thing to remember is the amount of wetting, so take a drop of water on the other finger and wet it 4.5 times (4.5 drops). Remember to keep this amount of wetting in mind.
I just like to have about 5 drops more wet, but it is safer for beginners to start with 4 drops.
Why do you need to wet the cloth in the first place? That is because wetting the cloth allows the moisture to lubricate the wax and make it into a film. On the other hand, if the cloth is not wet, the wax will peel off because the cloth will not glide and will be wiped dry.
So always keep it moderately wet (about the first 4 or 5 drops) while applying the wax.
Once moderately wet, take off a little wax. If you apply too much, the wax will dissolve the base film, so just a small amount, about the amount shown in the photo, will be enough to get some color on your fingertips.
After putting a little bit of wax on the wet cloth, polish the area where the base was made first. You will be surprised at how it shines all at once.
The cloudy base becomes a film and shines at once. At this time, polish gently. Do not use a lot of force, but apply pressure as gently as you would press a button on an ATM machine or stroke a cat's forehead.
Then the base wax will shine and a "first film" will be formed.
Use your fingers to touch every corner of the leather, even in areas that are difficult to polish, such as the sole area.
It is difficult to describe in words, but you should be conscious of polishing every corner of the leather.
Also, polish the toes gently from corner to corner. This is the part that makes the shoe shine the most as the face of the shoe, so polish it all the way around.
If too much is applied to the crease area, it will cause cracking, so apply a thin coat to create a gradation while avoiding the crease area. This is a very maniacal part, so I will tell you about it in the Extra Edition after I have finished the whole process.
As the cloth dries out, add a drop or two of water at the right moment to bring it back to the initial wet level. The image is to rehydrate it once every minute.
If you wet the cloth too much, the leather will gradually become wet, so do not wet it too much. On the other hand, if the leather dries out, the wax will dry out and the gloss will disappear.
If you only shine the toes and heels, the light will be broken up, so you should also shine the top of the heel in a thin line to connect the luster. In this way, the entire shoe shines and gives a sense of unity. It is this shining on the top of the heel that gives the shoes a three-dimensional effect, as if they were illuminated from below.
When the toes, heels, and tops of the heels are shined to some extent and the entire shoe is shining strongly, wax is applied to the wrinkles on the vamp and other parts. After applying a generous amount of wax to the cloth, apply wax to the entire surface two or three times. This is where Hasegawa's style really comes into its own, I think, as he applies wax to the entire surface at the end to give it a wet, oily sheen.
By doing so, a heavy luster will gradually appear outside of the mirror-polished areas, giving the entire shoe a bewitching atmosphere.
However, some of you reading this may be wondering, "Isn't it wrong to wax the creases? or "Won't it crack if I apply wax to the crease? The answer is "Don't worry, it won't crack.
The answer is, "Don't worry, it won't crack. Hasegawa confidently says, "Don't worry, it won't crack. We will teach you the secret technique at the next dojo.
So this time, I instructed the shining part of mirror polishing.
Oops, I shouldn't have! I forgot to tell you the important part in this part. How many times should I repeat this process of wax and water? It would be better to repeat it about 10 to 50 times.
If the leather is fine-grained, it will be shiny after about 10 times of wax application. If the leather is rough, it may require about 50 times. Depending on the condition of the wax and your technique, you may not need that many coats, but I think it is safe to assume that you will need that many coats to get the best shine. Let's try our best until your face shows.
Next time, we will look at the 13th process, "Shine the vamp. In midsummer, wax tends to melt and lose its luster easily, so let's make your feet shine stronger than usual so that they won't be defeated by the glistening sun! See you next time!