Here's how to make your shoes last longer with a few quick and easy steps.
BEFORE WEARING Have a cobbler put sole guards on leather-soled shoes. The thin pieces of rubber protect soles and prevent water from penetrating the leather. Be sure to waterproof leather and suede shoes. Silicone sprays provide superior waterproofing, making them ideal for use on heavy boots that must withstand the elements. They do tend to darken light to midtone leathers and leave an oily residue, so for more delicate leather, suede or even fabric shoes, use a nonsilicone spray. Remove any dirt or dust from shoes before you spray them, and let them dry overnight.
MAINTENANCE Clean and protect your shoes, no matter the material. Leather: Polish leather shoes every third or fourth time you wear them. Apply shoe polish with a horsehair applicator. Let polish set, and then buff shoes with a soft cotton cloth. Over time, the wax polish will dull the sheen of the shoes and block the pores of the leather. To remove buildup, use a cleaning solvent designed to dissolve oil-based stains. Apply according to the manufacturer's instructions. Follow the cleaning with another application of waterproofing spray. After the shoes have dried, polish them once more to restore the oils. Suede: Carefully remove dust from the shoes' surfaces using a nylon brush. With a soft cotton cloth, apply a liquid cleanser made specifically for suede. Cover the shoes' surfaces completely. Once the shoes are dry, use the brush to restore the nap. Suede erasers can be used to clean scuff marks. Patent leather: To keep it clean and supple, polish with spray-on furniture polish. For an occasional quick fix, you can restore the shine to patent-leather shoes with an ammonia-based glass cleaner and a soft cotton cloth. (It may also be worth investing in a special patent-leather cleaner, which won't dry out shoes.)
MORE MAINTENANCE TIPS Don't wear your shoes on consecutive days. Moisture from your feet can damage leather and distort the shape. Leave shoes out for a day in a well-ventilated place before returning them to storage or wearing them again. Keep shoes free of dust, which can damage leather by drying it out or by trapping moisture. Give your closet a once-over every four months or so. Clean muddy or worn footwear. Use a gentle leather cleaner, such as Lexol-pH (oily leather cleaners, such as saddle soap, leave a sticky residue). You may be able to treat some stains on your own, depending on the type of stain and the severity. Baby wipes are terrific for removing dark scuffs from leather shoes. For water-based stains on suede or nubuck, use a suede eraser, or go over the affected area very lightly with an emery board, being careful not to disturb the grain of the suede.
STORAGE Keep shoes in a dry area, free from dust and direct sunlight. Use flannel shoe bags. Avoid plastic containers. They don't let air circulate around the shoes, which can lead to mold or dryness. Cardboard shoe boxes are not up to the job either. They can trap moisture and allow mold to grow. Some shoes come with flannel bags, but you can also buy them from a shoe-repair shop. Use shoe trees and toe shapers to maintain the shape of your shoes and control odors and moisture. For sturdy leather styles such as men's dress shoes, use cedar shoe trees - the cedar naturally absorbs dampness and unpleasant odors. For more delicate women's shoes, use toe shapers. They are particularly handy for pointy footwear and other styles that can lose their shape. Use boot shapers to keep your leather and suede boots from slouching.
PROFESSIONAL CARE Replace soles. To determine whether a shoe needs a new sole, press its center with your thumb; if it feels springy, it's time to visit a cobbler. When considering professional repairs, note the value of your shoes. It may not be worth investing $70 to resole a $40 pair of shoes. Replace heels. If you break a heel or decide you'd like to change the look of your shoes, your cobbler can increase or decrease the height of your shoes up to a half-inch when reheeling. A cobbler can also add a different style of heel. Adjust the size. If your shoes are snug, they can be stretched up to half a size; some cobblers can take in the calves on a loose pair of boots. Dye the leather. This is a great way to give new life to old shoes. In general, you should dye shoes to a darker shade; some suede and fragile or worn leathers may not be suitable for dyeing.
Movie poster collecting has become popular in recent years. Before your start your collection, there are a few things you should be aware of.
In recent years, the hobby of movie poster collecting has become a worldwide passion. Posters that could have been purchased ten years ago for $15 are now going for about $160. Classic posters have become more appreciated as they are becoming harder to find. Over the next few years, they will become even more valuable. As with all collectibles, movie posters are collected for a variety of reasons. Some collectors love the artwork and images on the posters. Others collect for nostalgic reasons. Different categories are collected. One person may collect only classic posters such as Gone With The Wind, while another will add only classic Disney such as Bambi or Mickey Mouse.
Before you think of starting a movie poster collection, there are a few things you should be aware of. Before 1980, posters were made in a variety of sizes. A one-sheet poster measures 27" x 41" - the size of a regular movie poster. An insert is 14" x 36". The artwork depicted on these is usually the same as on the one-sheet poster. Three sheet posters are 41" x 81". This is approximately three times the size of a one-sheet. A half-sheet is printed with credits and artwork that run horizontally. This poster is longer than it is wide.
As with all collections, condition is a great factor when placing a value on posters. A mint poster is one that looks like it just came off the printing press. There should not be tears, stains, holes or bleed through on a mint poster. These posters are rare and the most valuable.
Near-Mint is a poster that is in excellent condition. It may have edge wear or a slight wrinkle. If a poster was made before 1990, you will see fold marks. This does not decrease the value. These posters were folded when delivered to theatres. The artwork of pre-1990 posters should not have any defects.
Very Good condition is a poster that may have slight stains, fading, small tears or minor bleed through. Though these defects may affect the outside area of the poster, the artwork must be in tip-top shape.
Posters in fair to poor condition may have tears, paper loss, fading and defects in the artwork. The rarity of the poster determines the value. Rare posters in poor condition can be restored.
Choose a category for your poster collection and research it extensively. This will give you self-confidence when you buy, sell, or trade items. Vintage posters must be handled with much care. Paper can tear easily if handed excessively. You should also wear white cotton or silk gloves. Skin oil will leave blemishes on the poster as it ages.
Posters should always be stored flat, never rolled or folded. Keep them in a cool, dry place out of reach of sunlight. UV rays will fade the color and images on the poster.
If you wish to display your poster collection, use a plastic sleeve that is acid-free. These cost between $9 and $15, buying the more expensive is well worth the preservation of your posters. Use care when you insert the poster. If possible, recruit an extra pair of hands to ensure the poster does not catch on the sleeve and tear. Be sure to insert an acid-free backboard into the sleeve with each poster. Backboards can be purchased at picture framing stores. This prevents the poster from sticking to the plastic sleeve.
Restoration of a poster is very expensive. Never attempt to do this yourself. If the poster is worth it, hire a professional restorer. Both market and sentimental value should be taken into account when deciding whether or not to have a poster restored.
If you wish to have a poster framed, take it to a professional framer who will recognize its worth. Framed posters should always be matted to prevent them from touching the glass. Backboard should always be acid-free. If your poster is worth more than $200 have it backed with linen and double mounted.
A linen backing makes posters more durable and helps to protect them. Professional restorers use this method to return posters to their original condition. Posters that are linen backed bring higher prices.
Now that you know the basics that apply to movie poster collecting, all you have to do is choose a category, research it and set out to find your first poster. Don't buy the first one you see. Take your time and make a good choice. Buy something that you especially like. Our first poster will always be dear to your heart and will have great sentimental value. It probably will remain in your collection forever.
Movie poster collecting can bring much pleasure to both the collector and those around him though don't expect friends and family to be as excited about your most recent addition as you are. After all, it is your collection.
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