This decorative aged copper (brownish colour) shoe Buckle is cast from a South African Zinc alloy and is manufactured in Durban (South Africa) and holds a 20mm wide strap in place. It is usually attached to a shoe upper (or leather or fabric product) by punching a hole through the leather, folding the leather onto itself on the hole-line, sliding the prong through the hole and stitching (or riveting) the folded section onto itself. This buckle is also available with a swivelling steel ‘Fish Plate’ attached. The fishplate allows attachment of the buckle directly on the upper with a rivet (or cap and rivet) through the fishplate hole.
For those of you who love the technical stuff…
Zinc is mined in Rosslyn, outside Johannesburg in South Africa, refined and mixed with various other metals to form alloys suitable for casting. Moulds are made from a special silicone (for small production runs) and from steel (or large production runs). The zinc alloy is heated up to 425° Celcius and becomes liquid. The molten zinc is poured / spun / pumped into moulds and allowed to slowly cool. The castings are removed from the moulds and the casting ends ground off and polished smooth by hand. The castings are tumbled in a gently abrasive vibratory polisher to remove any burrs and sharp edges.
The completed raw buckles are then pickled in various non-acid surface preparation solutions, electro-cleaned, rinsed and a thick layer of copper applied through an electroplating process. The copper further rounds the edges and provides an excellent corrosion resistant base for the subsequent electroplating layers. In this case the last layer is pure copper which is deliberately ‘aged’ through a carefully controlled oxidation process. The buckles are then tumbled together and polished by leather strips until the ‘high spots’ lighten in colour to just the right amount. The oxidation and polishing process is paused forever by fully immersing the the buckles in a clear lacquer, centrifuging off the excess, spin dry and bake to a very hard and smooth finish offering a lifetime of maintenance-free protection. ‘Antique Copper Light’ Finish appears very similar to ‘Old Brass’ Finish as the oxidation is equally black and the underlying colours are very similar. Antique Copper Light has consistently been our most popular antiqued shoe buckle finish since the 1960’s. You can’t go too far wrong with this one if you require an aged finish.
Cast and finished locally and electroplated in-house we can make you small quantities quickly in a wide range of standard and custom metallic finishes to exactly suit your needs.