Yuya Hasegawa's ardent shoeshine dojo Part 1

This is the "Yuya Hasegawa's Ardent Shoeshine Dojo" series. In the 11th installment, Yuya Hasegawa talks about the "9th and 10th steps" in the shoe polishing process. Yuya Hasegawa talks about it passionately.

Finally, we are entering the second half of the shoeshine process. In the last issue, we talked about how to thoroughly penetrate the cream using fingers and a pig-bristle brush. This time, we will talk in detail about the ninth step, "wiping dry," and the tenth step, "applying a base coat of wax," in a more maniacal way.

After the cream has been thoroughly applied to the leather, any remaining cream on the surface of the leather is wiped off. That is "wiping dry". Wrap a little rough cotton around your finger and wipe it off.

If you fail to wipe dry, the remaining cream may adhere to the hem of the pants and stain them, or in the case of oily cream, it may be a little sticky, making it easier for dust to get on them, which in turn makes them dirtier.

However, wiping until there is nothing left on the cloth is too much, so it is appropriate to wipe one leg around three times and change the cloth twice. The cloth will remove excess cream as shown in the photo.

Now comes the second half of the polishing process, mirror polishing. This is where the shoeshiner shows his/her skills and is the most important technique in the shoeshine competition that will be revived this year. The most important key to success in mirror polishing is how quickly the "first film" is created. What is the first film? Let me explain.

The leather surface is flattened and becomes a mirror surface by applying layers and layers of wax to the leather surface to make a thick film, but the leather surface has very small irregularities. However, the leather surface has very small irregularities that must be filled in before the wax layer can be applied.

I have always called it "the first layer" to fill the unevenness first so that a thick layer of wax can be applied. If this is not done, the wax will not shine no matter how many times it is applied. I call this the 10th step, "wax base coating.

Therefore, let's do "wax base coating" to make the first film with oil-based wax. This is where THE WAX is used. This wax is formulated with a high wax content to make it shine quickly, and is hard from the beginning. Recently, shoe polishing tools have evolved and various waxes for mirror polishing have appeared.

Until recently, only ordinary waxes were available, and since these waxes contained a lot of organic solvents, they were too loose to form a film at the beginning of use. Recently, however, there are many waxes that have a similar feel to dry wax.

At Brift H, we used to make dry wax for a long time, but now that we have THE WAX, we don't have to do that anymore, so it is very useful.

First, remove the wax with bare hands. You only need to take a small amount of wax at a time, just enough to get a little color on the surface of your fingers. Apply it over and over again. It is best to take the wax on your fingers as if you are warming it up and melting it a little by holding your fingers against it.

The best place to shine the shoe is on the hard core. The key is where it does not wrinkle. If mirror polish is applied to wrinkled areas, the wax film will crack when the leather surface bends.

So basically, it is "toe" and "heel". And to connect both ends of them and to make the luster uniform, we also shine "on the top of the kova".

Let's start with the heel. Apply the wax on your finger to the leather. Apply the wax with a little force because the finger will not glide if you don't apply it with a little force.

When the wax on your finger runs out after applying it once, take some wax again and apply it again. Let's continue to do that for about 10 times. At first, you should see a white blur, but little by little, streaks of light should appear under the blur.

What is also important is to apply evenly. If you apply it unevenly, the wax may become slightly bumpy when you polish it later, leaving the unevenness. Therefore, make sure to apply the wax evenly and evenly. The image is like applying whipped cream to a shortcake.

There is one more important point to make the mirror polish beautiful. It is gradation. If you can achieve a mirror polish with a natural gradation of luster that gradually fades from the shiny areas to a natural luster, you are almost a professional.

The secret is the movement of the waxing finger. If you apply with small, coin-sized strokes, you will end up with a partial sheen, so try applying with slightly wider, larger strokes. If you apply the base wax a little wider at this point, you will already have a mirror surface that allows for a good gradation when you use water later on to make it shine.

In the photo, it looks as if you are drawing a little line, but when you apply the wax on the top of the kova, the gradation should be made so that the wax becomes a little lighter from the bottom to the top.

If you just apply the wax, you will see a white haze, but don't worry, the first layer of wax is completed when you see a streak of light underneath. At shoe shine competitions, it is common to use this finger method to make the base wax, and then continue to apply two, three, or four layers of wax.

Of course, you can get used to this method, but you will get dust in the process, and you will need to have a knack for applying the wax with your fingers. The shine of the paint afterwards will differ greatly depending on how well you do this, so please do it carefully.

That's all for now. Next time, we will move on to the eleventh process, "Polishing with Nerf fabric. This process is also full of tips on how much water to use and how much force to use, so please read this article carefully. The rainy season is the time to take care of your shoes! When you are not wearing them, it is time to polish them! Let's make your shoes beautiful in the summer! Thank you for your cooperation!

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