Just How Different Are The Different Kinds Of Waterproofing Protector Sprays?

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Much comparison has been made between different kinds of waterproofing protector sprays, but what should be the main function of a protector spray? There are 3 main characteristics. The durability, the strength and the drying speed of the imperviousness without affecting permeability. Let’s start with a spray that we are familiar with. For reasons that you will know, we will not name the brands, instead let’s just start to the acronyms. For many years, the protector spray of a certain German brand starting with a letter ‘W’ has been one of the most popular options. It was and still deemed as the canon of the protector sprays as it is effective against, dirt, mud, water and oil. It is quite durable, strength is solid after 3 consecutive sprays and the drying speed of 20-30 minutes is considered normal by industry standards. Some sprays actually require you to leave the sprayed item overnight or 12 hours to dry! “W” was also one of the first to switch to a PFOA & PFOS free formula which was required in the European Union for environmental issues, without affecting the performance of its imperviousness. However, there will always be weaknesses with the new formula of “W” and it has also taken the consumers quite some time to get used to it. But the fact is, people forgot that the spray was actually more effective in the past! In Japan, the feedback from consumers were that the spray was too wet and it left visible marks on the surface of the leather, especially smooth leather. In Taiwan, the feedback was that the spray pressure was too weak and it took ages to spray a whole shoe. In Portugal, the customers complained that the spray took a long time to dry. So are all these feedbacks true? Yes, very much to a certain extent and the reasons are all related. It’s true that the spray has become slightly wetter because the propellant inside the aerosol has been reduced, therefore more consistent strength of the finger is required when using the spray to ensure even spray pressure as the droplets are discharge in a downward projectile and a longer distance in between is required. In more humid countries like Portugal and New Zealand, the distance of spray becomes even more important. This is because humidity in the air merges with the spray droplets causing it to be wetter and a longer time to dry. So how does Wren’s Total Protector compare itself to this King of Protector Sprays, “W”? We base our sprays on the same characteristics. The durability is in fact quite comparable to “W”. Strength is slightly stronger as 2 thorough sprays are usually enough to achieve strong imperviousness. The most obvious strength would be that it dries exceptionally fast even in humid countries. However, Wren’s Total Protector is not without it’s rules to follow. Due to the high pressure required to even out the spray pressure, the spray droplets is sprayed in a more direct path and therefore, the distance of 20 centimetres in between the leather surface and the spray must be strictly adhered. Otherwise, there is a possibility that spray patches may appear if the spray can is held too close to the leather surface. Drying should be allowed to take place normally after which a polish or a cream can be applied to ensure a more lasting imperviousness effect. “W” versus Wren’s is just like comparing cars. Different cars give difference performances and requires different handling. All it takes is a little getting used to. Hope this article clarifies all doubts and questions that resellers and consumers will have! If there are any more questions, feel free to contact us at the email addresses found on the website. Thank you! P/S: Do not use any kind of protector sprays on synthetic or patent leather, unless there are specific instructions. This rule is applicable for most brands.
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Let’s talk about shoe trees

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A note from the writer: I cannot consider myself as an expert of shoe care but after conducting shoe care lessons to just slightly above a thousand people and cleaning about five hundred pairs of shoes, I can safely claim that I am experienced enough to have the most unfortunate profession of being a shoeshine boy. I am not here to bore you with long essays on how, what, who, when, why constructs their shoes and all that rubbish when you can already find six thousand and eight pages on that. Oh yes, you are allowed to argue and contest my opinions but who cares about what you say? I forgot to mention, I have thirty pairs of shoe trees. Three hundred and twenty-seven if you include those sitting in my company’s warehouse. Shoe trees are important for maintaining your shoes because they;
  1. preserving the shape of your shoes by stretching the creases
  2. absorbing the sweat and moisture from your feet and preventing mould or bacteria
One of the most common question that consumers, shoe retailers and cobblers like to ask: ‘Why is it that your size 41/42 shoe tree cannot fit my size 42 shoe? First of all, we have to understand that different shoes are constructed in different shapes and shoe trees come in different designs as well. Let’s talk about the shoes first. Italian and French shoes tends to be slightly narrow and tapered at the front for a very sleek and dapper look. The Italians and French do not really care if you feel like chopping off your aching legs after wearing their shoes for a full day, they just want to make you look like Don Juan DeMarco, one feet above ground. English and German shoes tend to concentrate more on fitting and comfort which is why some English shoe maker makes four fittings, from narrow to extra wide, so even if you have Ronald McDonald’s feet, I am sure you can find a pair of English shoes that fit. I am not too sure about American shoes, as my knowledge is just limited to Allen Edmonds and a very old pair of normal fitting (You see, I told you I am experienced but not an expert.) So in short, the cutting and the construction of the shoe may affect the fitting of the shoe tree as well. So, shoe trees usually come in three forms; made of plastic/foam, made of wood but without the full heel (good for traveling, but most people dun bother) and lastly, made of wood with a full contoured heel and either with adjustable front side pieces or the split toe (I personally prefer this because its versatile). So the one with the full contoured heel happens to be the best among the three and the most expensive. Let’s just cut the crap and talk about the most expensive kind. They are usually made of lotus wood (usually painted black or lacquered to hide their ugliness and make it look expensive, manufacturers who do this and consumers who buy them are total idiots in my opinion, because shoe trees are supposed to absorb moisture and odours so painting shoe trees closes all the pores on them), beech wood (I like those but very uncommon and does not smell so fresh) and the wood that everyone pretends to know, cedar wood. To do justice to the wood, I will digress and explain them. There are ten over kinds of cedar wood from all over the world and they can be distinguished by its slight red tinge and a woody musky fragrance, although some species may tend to be white in colour. Period. Back to shoe trees. So a size 41/42 shoe tree may fit a wide fitting size 40 shoe but yet have difficulty fitting a narrow fitting size 41. This may be down to two reasons. The front part which is called the crown, is expandable at the side. So if the shoe tree is too wide at the front, all you have to do is actually tighten the side screw abit to make it narrower at the front and if the shoe is too wide, you can release the screw to make the shoe tree wider as well. Of course some times, the top part of the crown maybe quite tight, especially for a pair of Oxfords but usually not so bad. The second issue is abit tricky. The contoured heel may differ from manufacturer to manufacturer. Some contoured heels are very narrow while some are very voluptuous in shape. The voluptuous ones are the trouble makers but they can be corrected. If you have such a problem, just take a piece of not so abrasive sandpaper and sand the heel moderately until it fits your shoes. Of course, the best solution will be to wear the particular pair of shoes you are buying the shoe trees for and fit them with the shoe trees you wanna buy. Do not buy from those retailers who do not allow you to try the shoe trees. Do not be restricted by the sizes. If size 41/42 fits your size 43 shoes, go for it. After all, it’s really just a number.
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Interesting Facts About Wrens, Wrens and Wrens…

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  1. Sir Christopher Wren (1632-1723) is acclaimed as England’s greatest architect and was accredited for rebuilding 52 churches, including the St Paul’s Cathedral after the Great Fire of London in 1666. There’s even a hotel named after him in London, the Sir Christopher Wren Hotel and Spa along River Thames.
  2. There are 80 species of the true wren in the world, two other species of wrens exists, but are unrelated to the true wren. They are mainly the Australian and the New Zealand variance
  3. The Eurasian wren, the only true Wren found in Europe is known as the ‘King of Birds’ in this Old World continent.
  4. It’s considered bad luck to kill a wren or disturbing it’s nest or resting place.
  5. 26th December is celebrate as Wren Day in certain parts of Ireland
  6. There are 6 places in the world known as Wrens, all found in the United States of America but are more common in Canada
  7. There are two bands known as The Wrens. One band is still active and is renowned for their intense live performances and as one of the best live bands in the world according to the UK tabloid, The Guardian in 2006.
  8. Women’s Royal Canadian Naval Service (WRCNS) were given the nickname, WRENS because of the similarity in the acronym given.
  9. British Women’s Royal Naval Service (WRNS) were also know as the WRENS. The WRENS, who were working as code breakers together with Alan Turing’s team made up almost two-thirds of the staff working at Bletchley Park and were crucial in decoding the German Enigma codes and winning World War Two.  The WRENS were given very little recognition until recently.
  10. The WRENS (WRNS) were mentioned  frequently in the critically acclaimed movie, ‘The Imitation Game’. Starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing and Keira Knightley as Joan Clarke, the movie won just the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay, despite having 8 nominations. Joan Clarke in particular, lived together with the Wrens during her stint in Bletchley Park.
  11. Wrens was also the nickname given to camp women and prostitutes servicing the British Army in the Curragh Camp located in Co. Kildare, Ireland in the 19th century.
  12. The Carolina Wren as the state bird of South Carolina, is featured on the state quarter since year 2000, the start of the new millennium.
  13. The Wren was also featured on the British Farthing from 1937 onwards during the reign of King George VI and the current monarch, Queen Elizabeth II. It ceased to be legal tender in 1960, when the value became too small.
  14. There were two ships of the Royal Navy named HMS Wrens. The first ship was sunk in World War One but the second ship was more successful during World War Two as it sank 5 U-boats and won 4 battle honours.
  15. There is a Wren Secret Society in the College of William & Mary in Virginia located in Virginia, United States.
  16. Paul McCartney wrote a song named ‘Jenny Wren’ probably because the wren was reported to be supposedly his favourite bird.
  17. In 1864 Charles Dickens completed his last novel, Our Mutual Friend and there was a major character with the alias, Jenny Wren.
* Sources of all information mainly from Wikipedia and www.techrepublic.com. * Picture credit is given to the source of picture, Ms Ruth Bourne and www.techrepublic.com. The picture featuring Miss Ruth Bourne, a Wren during World War Two.
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The Story of Wren’s

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Our Story

Wren’s is the name of a  historical brand of shoe polish. It was established, produced and sold in England since 1889. It is one of the few remaining shoe polish brands to exist through three centuries. The founder is an English gentleman by the name of William Edward Wren.

Early History (Late 19th Century)

In the very early years, the company’s name was reflected as William Wren & Co but was most certainly changed to Wm. Wren & Co Ltd in 1918. In a list compiled under the name “NORTHAMPTON BOOT & SHOE TRADE 1928” by Ms Elaine Allen, the company’s name was listed as Wren, William & Co. Ltd. in three different addresses in Northamptonshire. Business was brisk from the start as Northamptonshire till this very day, is still home to many fine shoe and boot makers like Edward Green, Loake Shoemakers, Church’s and Tricker’s, Wren’s would become a brand that was known for its quality and prestige and Wren’s won its first award from the Leather Trades Exhibition three years later in 1892. In those days, the Leather Trades Exhibition held in the centre of Britain’s boot making industry Northampton was a very prestigious event and was of significant importance to the trade. William Wren & Co Ltd soon branched into other products like Floor & Furniture Polish, Metal Polish, Saddle & Harness Paste, Puwite Shoe Whitener as well as the reputed Lavendo Furniture Polish in the early years.

The Golden Years (1908-1964)

Since the beginning of the 20th century, Wren’s became almost synonymous with the Royal Family in England. During the reign of King Edward VII, a Wren’s advertisement advertising its Boot & Shoe Polish in 1908 appeared with the declaration “As used by all branches of His Majesty’s Service”.  The words “Made In England Since 1889” also became synonymous with the brand. Wren’s reputation reached it’s peak when His Majesty, King George VI in following his grandfather’s footsteps, awarded the Royal Warrant to Wren’s despite the acquisition by Chiswick Polish Co., Ltd in 1938. All shoe and boot polish would have “By appointment to H. M. King George VI” on the lids. The product became known as Wren’s Super Wax Shoe Polish. Wren’s Shoe Polish was very likely used by the British Army during World War II that took place from 1939 to 1945 but this was never confirmed. Unfortunately, King George VI passed away in 1952 due to ill health and the throne was ascended by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. There was even a version of the shoe polish with the Royal Warrant “By appointment to the late H. M. King George VI”, very likely as a gesture of mourning for a great King in the most turbulent of times.

The Declining Years (1965-1990s)

This Royal Warrant would continue until around 1964 which was during the reign of of the current monarch, Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. At this point of time, Wren’s merged with Meltonian to form Meltonian Wren Limited. The company name even appeared on the lid of the transparent shoe polish “By appointment to H. M. The Queen, Mfrs. of shoe polish Meltonian Wren Ltd”. The discontinuation of the Royal Warrant was most likely due to the uncertainties caused by the acquisitions taking place one after another in such a short period. After further acquisition by Reckitt & Colman Ltd, the brand went on a downward spiral well into the 21st century.

Legacy And Revival

So now, you know the story. Our revival starts now.
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