An atelier classic: Waterstaining Tod’s loafers

Loafers are a basic in any man’s wardrobe. Tod’s loafers in particular are well crafted, comfortable and so versatile that they can be worn casually or more refined, professional settings.  

Tod’s shoes are made with high-quality leathers, loafers and moccasins are expertly crafted in super-soft materials in a range of rich muted hues. 

Based on a driving shoe, the first Tod’s product was a hand-made casual loafer in the softest Italian leather and indeed made with the finest Italian craftsmanship. Chairman Diego Della Valle says of loafers “Before, shoes were very stiff, without any comfort, and we tried to change that completely. We tried to consider shoes like a pair of gloves. We think all the time about light, soft, comfortable, useful – something you can wear all day.” So it’s no surprise they are so popular.


Our creative team regularly receive loafers from a variety of brands that are often well worn. This particular pair of brown loafers had several scratches and signs of discolouration, especially at the front of the shoes.   

Before restoration
Before restoration


Firstly, the shoes went through a cleaning process which involved a special leather foam to remove all the dirt so the team could see the damage in full on the surface of the shoe. 

To get the perfect colour match and to keep the natural tones in the leather, the team decided to use a special technique with wax and dye. When applied to the leather, this combination of mixtures regenerates the fibres, revives the colour and darkens the parts with discolouration.  As always, the colour is hand mixed in our atelier and the team always consult with the original colour of the shoes.

Cleaned pre colour restoration

Before applying the mixture on the shoes, the colour was tested on a small part of the shoe to ensure that we achieved the perfect colour match. The colour was then applied to the shoes with sponges that are gentle on the leather and they also help to create a uniform finish. 

Once the colour had been applied to one of the shoes, it took around 15 minutes for the leather to absorb all the colour. To check the result, the shoes are buffed with a fine cotton cloth to confirm that the shoes have properly absorbed the colour.

Mid process

This process was repeated three times until the colour was uniform and vibrant again. 

The final step consisted of applying a protective wax to the shoes and they went through one last polish to really bring them back to life.

Restoration complete
Restoration complete
Restoration complete

We have a number of techniques to colour restore your leather items so please get in touch if you have anything that is in need of any kind of repair or restoration. If you can’t see the service you need on the website the team are more than happy to advise and guide you on possibilities to restore, rather than throw away, your items.