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Posts by jimmyshoe

This is not a book, but it is full of detailed information on the making of hand stitched bespoke shoes. http://carreducker.blogspot.co.uk/
The two things to ask any bespoke shoemaker you approach about this are whether they will make a last for you specifically (rather than re-model an existing one) and whether they use foam impression boxes. If they don't I would avoid them. You need a bespoke shoemaker who has an expert lastmaker and who will take foam impressions alongside the standard foot measurements. Don't be tempted to scrimp on the cost and all in all it should be a long, but enjoyable process and...
What is weird about the leather breathing argument?
After leaving university with a degree in psychology and little inclination to knuckle down, I decided on an adventure and went to live in Barcelona with the intention of learning Spanish and moving on to Argentina. I was an English teacher and discovered the Guild Of Shoemakers shoemaking school, so I did a pattern making course and a making course. From there, I found a father and son shoemaking team called Ponsa (now defunct) who let me make shoes with them in my spare...
Thanks DW. That means a lot to me, James
PS Son of Saphir, look forward to hearing from you
I've just asked a West End closer friend and she uses synthetic thread in her post machine and our trusty hemp for hand work - stitching aprons on loafers, stay stitches on facings etc. Gimping will have no effect on the leather and is purely an aesthetic choice. Punching, on the other hand does cause weak spots across the joint over time. And the supposed original purpose of brogueing, to let the water out of your shoes, is no longer valid because the lining is not...
I learned using linen thread and boars bristles for thread making too. I moved to nylon bristles for three reasons. They are stronger and reusable - the boars bristles had a tendency to break. Secondly, they are more available. And thirdly they are simpler to attach We used Barbour linen, but they changed the "recipe" and the yarn no longer split leaving long tapers on the ends which are essential for attaching bristles. So we moved to natural hemp thread which works...
Hey to you too DW, good to hear from you. June Swann is indeed an amazing woman and I have had the pleasure of meeting her at the Independent Shoemakers Conference here in England, where she shared her expansive knowledge of shoes and critiqued our favourite shoes. And the Museum in Northampton is a little gem. The town itself is very industrial but has a certain Victorian charm and the factories are a plus for all of us shoe nerds. The reason Edward Green is so good is...
The most "handmade" shoes you can commonly buy are entirely handmade apart from the stitching on the upper. These will be described as bespoke shoes, or custom shoes, or handsewn shoes. They are made to order and are individual to each customer. It is possible to stitch a pair of uppers by hand, but it is very rarely done and looks 'agricultural'. Almost any shoe you buy ready to wear will involve machines in a factory. The quality can vary hugely, from the best (Edward...
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