This is the "Yuya Hasegawa's Ardent Shoeshine Dojo" series. In the 14th installment, Yuya Hasegawa talks about the "13th and 14th steps" in the shoe polishing process. Yuya Hasegawa talks passionately about it.
It is finally getting cooler and the historical heat wave seems to be over. It is finally the season when we can enjoy fashion, and since "fashion starts from the feet up," let's enjoy fashion by making our shoes shine beautifully!
Today, I will teach you about the 13th process, "Shine the vamp," and the 14th process, "Water polishing.
Generally, I think it is common sense to apply mirror polish only to the part of the toe and heel where the core is not bent, but if you shine only both ends, it will look like shoes made of different materials such as enamel.
My sensibility does not consider that beautiful, so I aim for a mirror polish with a gradation that makes the entire shoe shine as much as possible. To achieve this, the technique to shine the vamp is very important.
To achieve this, a goat hair brush is necessary. Only soft goat hair can produce a wet shine. The "wet sheen" is important for gradation.
To achieve this, wet the tip of the brush a little and brush the shoes. So, put a push of water on a hand wrap.
Then, spread the water with the palm of your hand so that the water is absorbed into the entire tip of the hair.
After the entire tip of the bristles are slightly damp, brush the vamp of the shoe "except for the toes and heels".
If you brush the mirror-polished "toes and heels," the brush bristles will leave lines. This is very important.
The trick is to brush a little more vigorously at first. Then, gradually loosen the force of brushing, and finally, brush gently.
Shoes with this wet shine, such as near the creases, are indescribably attractive. The leather looks like it is soaked in oil, and when you touch it, you may think it is wet, but rest assured, it is just an appearance and the surface of the leather is dry.
After completing the "Shine the Vamp" process, it is time for the "Water Polishing" process. This process is simple, but quite difficult and requires a lot of skill, so please read and practice it carefully.
For water polishing, rewind the cloth to use a new part. After wrapping the cloth tightly around your fingers so that it is not wrinkled, wet the cloth with 4 or 5 drops of water, just as you did at the beginning of the mirror polishing process.
Then, polish the "toes, heels, and heels of the shoes with mirror polish" in a strong vertical direction.
Sharpen the cloth with force as if you were sharpening a kitchen knife, compressing the film of wax in a vertical direction. At first, there will be a lot of water and a thin layer of water droplets will appear, but as you continue sharpening, the water will gradually disappear and the cloth will become dry. As you continue to sharpen, the water will gradually disappear and the cloth will dry out, and the sharpening force will decrease.
At the end, you should sharpen the cloth so gently that you can barely touch it. This is the most difficult part.
The top of the edge should be sharpened along the edge of the cloth. A beautiful mirror line will appear.
Sharpen the heel in the same way. The heel cup will be rounded and beautiful.
If you polish the entire surface with water, you will get a beautiful mirror polish without any cloudiness.
If the cloth continues to show a few wipe marks, it is likely that the mirror polish film is too thin and has not yet completely filled the unevenness of the leather surface, so it is a good idea to go back to the previous step and apply another layer of wax. If a firm film of wax has been applied, water polishing should result in a beautiful mirror surface.
All newcomers to Brift H have a hard time learning this process of water polishing. The final step of polishing is to put wax on, put wax on, put wax on, and then polish the wax with water! It's hard to get the desired luster.
It is not easy to learn how to sharpen with a delicate touch, relaxing the force of sharpening as the water dries. I would like to encourage all the Shoe Shine Lovers who are reading this to concentrate on their handwork so that they can master this water sharpening technique.
Next time, we will move on to the 15th and final step, which is "oiling the sole. It has been about a year since we started this series, and we are now close to the day when we will finally reach the final step of basic polishing.
The 2023 Shoeshine Championship is currently underway, and shoe polishers from all over Japan are showing the results of their daily devotion in a heated competition. We hope that the competition will help to spread the excellence of shoeshine more widely. We hope that you will also pay attention to the "Hankyu Men's Tokyo 1st Round" on October 7 and the "Ginza Mitsukoshi Final Round" on November 18.