How to protect Werner Herzog's signature on a pair of Chuck's?
June 27, 2009 4:21 PM   Subscribe

I got Werner Herzog to sign one of my Chuck's. He used a permanent Sharpie. I'd like to continue wearing the shoes (it's just a signature), but I'd like the sig to fade as slowly as possible (it's Werner Herzog's signature OMG!) What is the best way to protect Werner Herzog's signature (in Sharpie) on a pair of Chuck's?
posted by barfmann to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (25 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Use some black thread and sew over the signature with little stitches to make it part of the shoe.
posted by youcancallmeal at 4:28 PM on June 27, 2009 [1 favorite]

I think I speak for everyone when I say, no, no you shouldn't wear these. But I assume you're kidding. I would recommend some sort of shrine.
posted by abcde at 4:31 PM on June 27, 2009 [2 favorites]

Thanks Al - that's a very very cool idea.

Alphabet - not kidding, though I totally appreciate where you're coming from (my roommate's reaction was the same). With other people, I would probably preserve the sig, but with Werner it just seems appropriate to slowly wear the thing down by walking it out. I sort of think he would appreciate it.

Of course, I might also be an idiot.

Any other ideas?
posted by barfmann at 4:36 PM on June 27, 2009 [1 favorite]

Whenever you notice it starting to fade, just trace over it again with a sharpie. If you think that will ruin the authenticity of it, your other options are to not wear the shoes, or just let the signature fade away following the natural course of things.
posted by GleepGlop at 4:38 PM on June 27, 2009

you could add epoxy over it as a sort of bubble laminate type of thing; the shoe will wear away before the signature then
posted by Think_Long at 4:40 PM on June 27, 2009

Or you could just spring for a new pair of chucks.
posted by Decimask at 4:41 PM on June 27, 2009

Dude. Yes, you are being an idiot (nothing personal). A new pair of Chucks will cost you about $45. There are many colors to chose from. Retire the Herzog shoes and get a new pair.
posted by thebergfather at 4:41 PM on June 27, 2009

posted by fire&wings at 4:48 PM on June 27, 2009

You should probably eat it.
posted by hamsterdam at 4:50 PM on June 27, 2009 [7 favorites]

FWIW, I totally agree that it would be appropriate to walk in the shoes. But maybe you should reserve them for some kind of walk worthy of Werner (something long and a bit crazy)? No suggestion on preservation, although I do like the idea above of stitching over it.
posted by Emanuel at 4:53 PM on June 27, 2009 [1 favorite]

Seal it with Scotchgard.
posted by DarlingBri at 5:10 PM on June 27, 2009

I actually don't think you need to worry about it at all. I had all my friends sign my chucks with sharpies in my sophomore year of high school. I continued to wear, wash and even dry those shoes until the rubber gave out, and the signatures never faded so much that you couldn't read them. That was 12 years ago.

Put some clear nailpolish over it maybe, but I'm pretty sure it's there to stay.
posted by peanut_mcgillicuty at 5:39 PM on June 27, 2009

seconding Scotchguard, and I'd probably also take a photo of the shoes in macro-focus mode, emphasizing the autograph, for my own memory bank.
posted by squasha at 5:40 PM on June 27, 2009

2nding Scotchguard.

Otherwise don't get them dirty so you don't have to wash them often and it will outlast your shoes. (Sharpie on cloth is likely more potent than the original dye that came with the cloth.)

This assumes that he signed on a cloth part, not on a plasticy/rubber part. If it's on a flexibly, non-cloth area there is probably a flexible fixative you can use. I'd go to your nearest professional level art supply store and ask them.

And you are completely in the right to want to wear them. They're your shoes and anyone who is telling you how to enjoy your shoes are jealous. Enjoy the hell out of 'em!
posted by Ookseer at 5:45 PM on June 27, 2009

I think you should eat the unsigned shoe (keep the signed one for christ sake. It makes for a better story this way!

Oh, and buy a new pair to actually wear.
posted by 2oh1 at 5:53 PM on June 27, 2009

Also, always close your open parenthesis (ok, that's really more of an oops comment for myself. Grumble grumble).
posted by 2oh1 at 5:54 PM on June 27, 2009

Make sure the shoe is clean then spray a few coats of clear acrylic on, allowing time to dry inbetween.
posted by wongcorgi at 5:54 PM on June 27, 2009

That's a really great keepsake. I would make them in to some sort of tribute sculpture piece based on some of his films. A nice pipe organ, some jungle, some garlic, a gun, grizzly bear fur rug, some hilarious possibilities there. Even photograph it as a meal.
posted by effluvia at 6:16 PM on June 27, 2009

For some reason, Sharpie's never lasted as long with me on whatever surface I choose to use it on, as it seems to with other people. So I think you are in danger of letting in fade, but since you don't seem to mind that:

I think you need to find some kind of clear, flexible, waterproof liquid polymer to brush over it. I suggest this fabric "liquid stitch" repair or some other kind of epoxy. I was going to suggest varnish but that'll definitely crack, or rubber cement but that will be easy to peel off.

I think you should also test this out with Sharpie on a piece of canvas that you drop in the washer. You don't want whatever chemical you use on the sig to accidentally eat away at it faster.

(Did he sign the canvas part or the rubber part?)
posted by twins named Lugubrious and Salubrious at 8:41 PM on June 27, 2009

If he would appreciate you wearing the thing down, why would you think he'd appreciate you artificially slowing that process?

If you're going to do it, do it. Commit to the bit.
posted by thejoshu at 9:59 PM on June 27, 2009 [2 favorites]

Definitely seems like you should walk a really long distance in them for some obscure reason, and then write a book about it, also maybe make the book totally unintelligible. Afterwards, make some amazing movies, and also some terrible ones.
posted by sully75 at 5:09 AM on June 28, 2009

If you really want to get into this, buy a spare pair of the same model sneaker, draw different letters all over the sneaker, and apply a different protective treatment over each letter.

Leave the sneakers in a place where they get plenty of sunshine, or alternately wear them for a month, and see which letters fade the least.

I'd try Scotchgard, clear acrylic, maybe a solution that "sets" dies in shirts, and maybe tent waterproofing spray on the test sneakers.
posted by zippy at 12:01 PM on June 28, 2009 [1 favorite]

The different letters above make it easier for you to keep track of which treatment you applied to them.
posted by zippy at 12:02 PM on June 28, 2009

I'd go with clear nailpolish for this, though if the sig is in a place that flexes a lot, it might crack.
posted by rmless at 8:53 PM on June 28, 2009

You guys are awesome.

I've started the stitching. Yellow thread on brown canvas (he signed the canvas). It looks very neat, but will take a while.

A long walk is the right way to use these guys. I just need to discover the right long, idiotic walk to take.
posted by barfmann at 3:41 PM on July 3, 2009

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