The Art of Handmade Patina
You might have seen the word “patina” before or come across some amazing pictures on our social media.
The technique used to achieve this artwork is known as ‘Anti Catura,’ the Italian word for antique finishing. It is a specialty of French maestro shoemakers.
Patina is an art crafted and designed for shoes by Olga Berluti, a member of the famous French brand Berluti which took the world by storm in the 80s. Then, the hand coloring of shoes was a relatively new thing in the world of luxury shoes and leather products.
The patina art craft method is a hand-dyeing procedure of leather, which creates a unique patina with an aged effect. The process begins with unfinished crust leather, tanned and handled but still needs to be dyed.
The artist applies the dyes manually to the uncut hide and the fully assembled shoe, using white cloths, brushes, and sometimes sponges to create a unique look on every pair of shoes. Then, with attentive care and superior savoir-faire, a dedicated craftsman perfects the personality of each pair of shoes, helping forge their unique "soul."
The Patina art craft is still considered to be very young. There are many patina techniques still to be discovered. Very few artists lead this new art, and we are proud to work with the best patina artist in the world.
Discovering new coloring techniques and using secret recipes and materials makes the patina artist's job very skilled and unique. A good patina artist can reproduce a color precisely on demand and uses it effectively on shoes, belts, bags, or other luxury leather goods.
The patina artist initially tries to impart a look on the shoes that make them appear older and aged. Then, colors are faded to create a lovely old-world charm to the shoe, which is attractive to the eye and comfortable to the fit. What can be more seducing than leading an old-world appeal to a modern-day marvel?!
The new shoes bought and manufactured in a modern-day setup are jaded and impersonal. This art craft and the colorist's work cater to the product's personalization. These art pieces will likely be seen as collection pieces 40 years later!
Alexander Noel offers Handmade Patina finishing in most of our shoes and accessories (more styles coming soon!).
Three handmade patina finishings are available to design and create through the Alex Noel Design tool: Regular, Marble, and Papiro. The image below shows an example of Regular, Marble, and Papiro patina finishings and how they look.
Additionally, we have the Patina Intensity Selector feature on our Tool. You can choose the “intensity” of the patina and the amount of shadow or aging effect applied. Two intensity levels are available: the Standard Patina Intensity and the new Dark Patina Intensity, with darker shadows and dimmer tones.