Capital City Antique Mall

Who Patented Patent Leather?

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There are always a few questions when talking about Patent leather: Is it real leather? Was it ever patented?  And why is it sooooo shiny?? Antique and Vintage patent leathers ARE real leather with several layers of linseed oil and lacquer to give it that mirror like sheen that makes it easy to double as a mirror for your lipstick application ;)  The high gloss finish was waterproof, durable and popular with the upperclass.  It was brought to the US in 1818 by Seth Boyden - and ironically he NEVER patented his process.  Modern patent leathers usually have a plastic or synthetic coating and can often be made of other materials. So to recap, patent leather is not patented, and yes it originally it was real leather.

The glass-like finish that catches the light has been captivating trendsetters and fashionistas for decades and still rules as the most formal version of leather one can buy. It dominates men's footwear for formal occasions, such as weddings and formal balls, and it often accompanies dress military uniforms. Women can choose from footwear and accessories with the high flying sheen. Even royals like Kate Middleton turn to its everyday stunning elegance in a favorite pair of nude patent pumps. 

If you choose to buy a high gloss item - beware these pretties scratch and scuff easily - but not to worry a little clear lacquer or acrylic gloss gel will fix it perfectly. Add some patent leather to your wardrobe to glass or class it up a bit! Fifties pumps or a shiny black clutch and you will be set for high shine adventure!