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Posts by shoefan

Well, the stitches on top of the welt don't really suffer any significant wear, so there should be no effect in terms of wear.When a fudge wheel is used, it is first used prior to stiching to mark out the stitches. The challenge is that, when stitching, you have to hit each mark exactly in order for the spacing to remain consistent. This is important because, after stitching, the wheel will be run over the welt again. Because it is a wheel, with fixed distance between...
The outsole stitching on those is really nicely done.
there can also be nails that are cut off short before the top lift is mounted; those nails protrude from the previous layer of leather, and the top lift is hammered so the protruding nails go into, but not all the way through, the top lift. These nails, in addition to glue, help hold the top lift on. A maker I observed in London mounted his top lifts in this fashion.
Of course, just because a shoe is wheeled at 16 spi doesn't mean it's sewn at 16 spi (there's a reason they're called 'fudge wheels'). The finest modern closing stitches I've seen were on some Il Micio/Hidetaka Fukuya shoes I saw in Florence; I would guess they are in the the 18 - 20 spi range. The finest I've previously seen are on a pair of J&M Handmade that I own that are 18 spi, and I think the Il Micio were a bit smaller stitches. The stitches really looked like...
If you read the beginning of the first article (the JSTOR one), it says that the McKay stitch (i.e. Blake construction) predated the GYW, but it was only used on inferior quality of shoes due to the stitching through the insole and adjacent to the foot. So, at least at that time (and this is McKay/Blake, not Blake Rapid), GYW was considered the best mechanical type of shoe construction, and a substitute for hand welted.Interestingly, note that the GYW method cost the shoe...
Well, if you believe that these practices led to higher costs for GYW, then perhaps they in fact led to a slower substitution of GYW for HW. However, it seems that the GYW system reduced the cost of sewing on a welt by more than 80% (from a range of 50 cents - 75 cents/pair with HW to around 10 cents with GYW), so any price premium due to the monopoly wouldn't seem to have had a material impact on the move from HW to GYW.
Yes, this was used by United Shoe Machinery Corp, among others. USMC was a near-monopolist in the US shoemaking industry around the end of the 1800's and the 1900's. The other explanation for this pricing model is that it allowed USMC to extract a greater percentage of the shoemaking industry's revenues, as high-volume manufacturers (who used the machines say 7 days x 24 hours per day) paid more per machine (over time) than a lower volume manufacturer. In economics,...
(Tarred) felt was traditionally used by many bespoke makers in the UK; it is/was similar (or identical?) to tarred roofer's felt. It compresses to create a custom footbed, is waterproof and durable, and doesn't squeak when it rubs against leather. Another, alternative filling material is pieces of leather (less dense than insole or outsole leather), but this can cause squeaking if not adequately cemented. Cork sheeting -- a combination of ground cork and glue -- is...
I believe the first GY machines relied on a holdfast that was cut and turned up 90 degrees from the insole leather -- I think JM Weston still uses this method on at least some of their shoes. The leather rib may then have been covered by a strip of linen cloth (originally or eventually); perhaps this is where the idea for gemming came from. Of course, if you are going to cut and turn a portion of the insole for the rib, and still have enough leather for an insole, you...
Yes, this is pretty much right on target. I would add that there seems to be a difference in the views of the impact of a failure, if/when it does occur.I think one other source of disagreement is what comprises 'quality' in a shoe. DW seems to value superlative construction (i.e. HW) as an absolute requirement for a best quality shoe (IIRC, he writes of 'objective quality'). So, for DW, things like leather quality, last shape, design, etc., are, in a GYW shoe, like...
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