I just got a pair of Dansko clogs from a clothing swap and was dismayed to realize after closer inspection that they have a flower pattern embossed all over them.


Image from dansko.com

Is there any way to remove it? I'm considering either sanding or using water and heat to try to minimize it as much as possible, then redying them. Any better ideas?

  • 1
    Do you know what type of leather they are?
    – walrus
    Oct 5, 2017 at 8:58
  • 1
    @Dandan, don't know if these are the same as the ones you have, but here is the link to the Dansko site showing a pair of embossed clogs that are probably similar to yours. It calls the leather "full grain" but doesn't seem to define it any more than that.
    – magerber
    Oct 5, 2017 at 15:50
  • @magerber Yep that's them!
    – Dandan
    Oct 6, 2017 at 0:45
  • @walrus Full grain leather, that's all I can tell. The link in Magerber's comment above is correct.
    – Dandan
    Oct 6, 2017 at 0:46

2 Answers 2


Disclaimer: I've not tried this, so I can't guarantee it will work.

One thing that I've seen suggested is to soak the leather with water and then heat it - this should cause the fibres to swell and reduce the depth of the debossing (embossing is raising a material, debossing is lowering it).

The issue with this is that I've only heard of it being done on untreated veg-tanned leather, which your shoes almost certainly are not.

In order to successfully have the leather absorb the water, you'll first need to remove the covering. This can be done with a little soap and water, or (more drastically, and more likely to damage your shoes) with acetone or rubbing alcohol.

Once you've done that, stuff your shoes with something to keep their shape, and then soak + heat (a hairdryer or heat gun is the best option here).


You could sand the surface which would create a Nubuck leather surface.

What is Nubuck: "Nubuck (pronounced /ˈnjuːbʌk/) is top-grain cattle leather that has been sanded or buffed on the grain side, or outside, to give a slight nap of short protein fibers, producing a velvet-like surface. It is resistant to wear, and may be white or coloured." (Wikipedia)

Is Nubuck the same as Suede? Nubuck is similar to suede, but differs in which side of the leather is sanded:

"There is not much visible difference between the two. Suede leather has been sanded on the inner layer of the skin, while Nubuck is sanded on the outer or exterior skin of the animal, since the outside layer of a skin is tougher Nubuck tends to be more durable" (Wikipedia)

Depending on how the leather was originally dyed, you may need to redye it, but if the original dyeing fully penetrated the leather, you may not need to.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .