If there is another type of shoe we see as often as Chanel ballet flats at our atelier, it is Christian Louboutin pumps. So when we got a request from a customer to turn back the clock on her beloved snakeskins, we pulled out all the stops to make them look just like new.
In this case, the delicate snakeskin leather of the pumps had turned yellow over time, making the shoes look dirty. This happens to certain leathers over time, due to the aging glue, dirt and pollution and a host of other outside factors. Moreover, the leather on the heels was completely worn down and needed replacing.
First, we cleaned the shoes thoroughly with a specialised product for exotic leathers. By doing so we were able to make a distinction between what was dirt - and what was damage to the surface of the shoe. Unfortunately, even after the cleaning process, the yellow cast on the snakeskin still hadn’t budged. We decided the best approach was to hand-paint the aged scales to refresh the look of the snakeskin and replace the leather on the heels.
As the exact match for the snakeskin was unavailable, we decided to use a cream snakeskin leather, that matched the original lighter tone of the snakeskin, to recover the heels and hand paint the scales to recreate the same look as the rest of the shoe.
Three tones of brown had to be hand mixed to match the different colours of the scales. After mixing the colours and reapplying all the darker shades on the heels, we hand painted each scale on both shoes with a thin brush to achieve a fluid pattern and a perfect finish. We painted the scales individually to maintain the distinct characteristic and texture of each scale. Such intricate work requires time and patience and the process of painting the beige part of the shoe alone took 3 hours to complete.
The pictures below show the incredible difference between the before and after, where the left shoe has been restored to its original colour. Once all the yellow scales were re-coloured, we used a high gloss finish to enhance the shine of the snakeskin. The result of applying this technique was completely transformative. The yellow was now nowhere to be seen..
At The Restory, we have spent years developing and innovating the most advanced techniques to address the most complex problems. Given the way these Christian Louboutin heels turned out, we think it’s safe to say, mission accomplished!
For more info about our exotic leather services, please contact email@example.com or book your collection today.