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Hand lasted vs machine lasted - Page 3

post #31 of 294
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post
I've got nothing against machines per se. I use sewing machines, skiving machines, splitting machines, etc.. The danger is that those people operating them...either directly or as managers, owners, etc....become as mindless as the machines themselves.

And my real gripe is that people...some here, even...don't want to see the differences or the compromises that are embraced when machines are substituted for skill and intelligence. Witness Toyota.

As a previous poster mentioned when a shoe is handlasted, accommodations to the leather itself can be made. That's significantly different than making accommodations to the machine or the operator or a quota. Or making th eleather accommodate itself to the machine, operator, etc..

No two pieces of leather...say vamps...are identical in temper or stretch. Even if cut directly opposite one another across the backbone. That means one vamp may stretch more than the other. Or it may stretch more in one direction. Or one side. Even a single vamp can have such variations across its breadth. The hand laster sees and adjusts for this. Despite what has been proposed I don't see any machine...even one imbued with an AI to guide it...being able to make such qualified and subjective judgments without the same experience and perceptions (visual, tactile, etc.) that a maker has had.

I wouldn't gainsay any company the right to market and make shoes to meet a a market. Even call them "hand lasted" if such equivocation will be tolerated or ignored by the consumer. All I've ever said, and am saying, is that if anyone...myself included...is going to prattle on about quality or how wonderful a shoe is they should be at least aware of the reality.

Words mean something...else we are all fools declaiming our ignorance right here on Style Forum. "Quality" means something. "Handmade" means something.

And not something else.

There are some discrepancies that should be clarified. In another post, Mr. Chay Cooper stated that the toe and heel stiffiners are made of leather. I am not sure if the shoe shown was indeed a Handgrade but if so DWFII raises a valid point.

DWFII,

would you be abe to tell the difference between a hand lasted shoe and a machine lasted shoe once the shoe has been completed?
post #32 of 294
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tidybeard View Post
Thank you all, informative thread. DWFII, do you have any views on the overall quality of Trickers hand lasted shoes please? {snip}
I'm sorry, I don't comment on the quality of any brand or maker's shoes. And to be fair, I've never handled a pair of Tricker's, that I can remember. Again, my interest is simply to inform and to offer some perspective not just on the construction of shoes in general but on the philosophies that lead a maker/company to abandon techniques that are objectively and historically superior. And perhaps...to introduce just a little bit of restiveness regarding commonly accepted notions of quality and value.
post #33 of 294
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sir James View Post
DWFII, would you be abe to tell the difference between a hand lasted shoe and a machine lasted shoe once the shoe has been completed?
Not normally...not without wearing it or taking it apart or seeing it after it had been worn for some time. That said, since this discussion is about hand versus machine lasting...I have seen shoes touted as "wonderful" on this forum that I strongly suspected were either machine lasted or very poorly hand lasted. Whenever you see a brogued shoe where the toe perfs are encroaching on the inseam--almost under the welt, in other words--you can be sure that the patterns were not right for the last and/or the lasting was done on a machine with absolutely no consideration for the amount of toe draft that the toe lasting machine was applying. Or both. I've also seen shoes posted here where certain parts of the shoe were not centered on the last...this can happen with hand lasting, as well, but it is far more common when there is no experienced and skill maker to notice. And "noticing"...simply noticing...is half the battle but it is not always cost effective until too late to rectify the problem. If you buy a shoe that is a second, chances are the flaw...if there is a flaw that is visible...will be something of this order.
post #34 of 294
One important question has not been raised: Should the operator be standing or sitting when lasting?

Some operators (including DW, I believe) stick the last onto a poke (I don’t know the proper name of that thing) and stand in front of the shoe, working away.



Others sit down and place the shoe onto their lap while doing the lasting.

Here is a video (in three parts) by Tim Skyrme, an Australian shoemaker, demonstrating hand lasting (on his lap).



And there is at least one shoemaker who holds the last the 'wrong' way 'round.

What gives the better result - using a poke or using one‘s lap?

Shouldn't it be the result that counts?......Shouldn't it be the result that counts?......Shouldn't it be the result that counts?......
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post #35 of 294
Quote:
Originally Posted by bengal-stripe View Post
One important question has not been raised: Should the operator be standing or sitting when lasting? Some operators (including DW, I believe) stick the last onto a poke (I don’t know the proper name of that thing) and stand in front of the shoe, working away. Others sit down and place the shoe onto their lap while doing the lasting. Here is a video (in three parts) by Tim Skyrme, an Australian shoemaker, demonstrating hand lasting (on his lap). And there is at least one shoemaker who holds the last the 'wrong' way 'round. What gives the better result - using a poke or using one‘s lap? Shouldn't it be the result that counts?......Shouldn't it be the result that counts?......Shouldn't it be the result that counts?......
B-S, I don't know that it is such an important question...it has been done both ways time out of mind. For myself, I sit. But perhaps because of my bootmaking experience I also use a "lap jack." It gives me a control I like and eliminates the possibility of slipping and just the general mayhem associated with trying to hold an irregular shaped object between the knees. But I have done inseaming, outseaming and some lasting without the jack. Historically, one of the reasons that sitting (on a very low stool, BTW) while lasting and inseaming was/is preferred is wholly practical--if the shoemaker drops a pair of pincers or a piece of leather he simply reached down and picks it up...without relinquishing his "place" in the procedure. It's usually within arms distance. If he drops anything while standing up he has to bend down and essentially let go of the shoe. Also if the shoe itself is dropped (tsk!) it is less likely to be damaged. And related to all of that but often overlooked is the fact that while sitting the shoemaker is able to cradle the shoe and last and tools in his lap. Heck, you can't even make a lap standing up. "Shouldn't it be the results that count?" If it were we wouldn't be having this discussion right now, and gemming and celastic toe stiffeners would be unheard of.
post #36 of 294
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post
Not normally...not without wearing it or taking it apart or seeing it after it had been worn for some time.

That said, since this discussion is about hand versus machine lasting...I have seen shoes touted as "wonderful" on this forum that I strongly suspected were either machine lasted or very poorly hand lasted.

Whenever you see a brogued shoe where the toe perfs are encroaching on the inseam--almost under the welt, in other words--you can be sure that the patterns were not right for the last and/or the lasting was done on a machine with absolutely no consideration for the amount of toe draft that the toe lasting machine was applying. Or both.

I've also seen shoes posted here where certain parts of the shoe were not centered on the last...this can happen with hand lasting, as well, but it is far more common when there is no experienced and skill maker to notice. And "noticing"...simply noticing...is half the battle but it is not always cost effective until too late to rectify the problem. If you buy a shoe that is a second, chances are the flaw...if there is a flaw that is visible...will be something of this order.


So if there were no alignment problems and the uppers had a balanced placement there is really no difference between the machine lasted and hand lasted. The primary diference is with quality control, to the point which you were alluding.
post #37 of 294
Quote:
Originally Posted by bengal-stripe View Post
Others sit down and place the shoe onto their lap while doing the lasting.

I don't make shoes...or even wear them anymore, after reading DWFII's posts...but when I sit down in a chair, I do have a lap.

I would strongly caution having any sharp, metal instruments being applied with force near your own lap.

I do not know if a shoemaker is as strong as a stripper with piercings, but let's just say it is a combination fraught with peril.


- B
post #38 of 294
Quote:
Originally Posted by voxsartoria View Post
I don't make shoes...or even wear them anymore, after reading DWFII's posts...

+2

There isn't a single manufactured shoe that will ever be made to the quality standards that my foot will accept
post #39 of 294
LOL vox, do you have a snark generator?
post #40 of 294
Quote:
Originally Posted by voxsartoria View Post
I only go ballistic at the sight of full breaking trousers or breached levies.

- B

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post #41 of 294
Hi oldog




its VOX!!!!!!

post #42 of 294
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post
I don't know that it is such an important question...

Well.........this was tongue in cheek! Actually, I don't think that that particular "˜how-it's-done' is important at all. Nor is it important whether a shoe is hand- or machine lasted as long as it is lasted correctly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sir James View Post
So if there were no alignment problems and the uppers had a balanced placement there is really no difference between the machine lasted and hand lasted. The primary diference is with quality control, to the point which you were alluding.

There was a time where even London West-End workshops did not make custom uppers (customized to one particular last), but bought in commercially made uppers. And this was in the lifetime of people still working in the business. (Which I'm sure is still practised elsewhere.) Just as not every "˜bespoke' shoe has a bespoke last. Then the skill of the ;maker' was very important, he would have manipulated the upper in a way to fit the last - for example stretching the outside and shrinking the inside.

This skill is not required in a factory setting, as, hopefully, last and upper would be a perfect match. Another point, a bespoke shoemaker lasts one pair, then he lasts another pair in a totally different design and a totally different leather. In a factory you have "˜runs; (batches): dozens of the same shoe in the same leather. Once you have set-up your machine optimally, which takes time, it should go through all swimmingly: that whole batch, from the first to the last. Then you set the lasting up for the next batch.

In a one-off setting, it might well be quicker to last one pair by hand then to set-up the lasting machine. (Just as in your kitchen, it is quicker to chop a single onion or wash a few dishes by hand then to use all those high-tech gadgetry.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post
"Shouldn't it be the results that count?"

If it were we wouldn't be having this discussion right now, and gemming and celastic toe stiffeners would be unheard of.

Quality is more than just skill. If you get your hair cut, the barber can use the traditional "˜scissors-over-comb', an electric clipper or can do a (cut-throat) "˜razor-cut' (there probably exist other methods to cut hair). Does a technique account for a good haircut? No! A haircut might be technically highly skilled, but is still disastrous, as it does not fit your hair, face or personality.

Quality is the sum of it's part, not a single part on it's own. A particular shoemaker might have technical skills in "˜making', but his aesthetic sensibilities are zilch. Is the resulting shoe an object of quality? I would say, No! - Having seen enough absolutely disgusting hand-made shoes, which I would not like to wear doing my yard work. (I could put up a few images of hideous footwear, all hand-made, but I will not do that.)

Technical skills are a means to an end, not an end in itself.

That's all folks!
post #43 of 294
In DWFII, in all seriousness, you might have fun shifting gears out of shoes and taking a look at jefferyd's blog.

Analogies are not always reliable mental shortcuts, but I would say there is a reasonable analogy between shoemaking and the making of tailored clothes. Many of the same topics are there in both, particularly the history, presence and relevance of making things by hand, and the effect of machines, automation, and the influence of the approaches of mass production on the methods for making goods for consumers who spend more than others.

I don't suggest that in an attempt to change your mind, but I think you would still find it interesting to see how the themes that concern you play out in a different but closely related craft.


- B
post #44 of 294
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldog/oldtrix View Post






- B
post #45 of 294
Quote:
Originally Posted by voxsartoria View Post
In DWFII, in all seriousness, you might have fun shifting gears out of shoes and taking a look at jefferyd's blog.

Analogies are not always reliable mental shortcuts, but I would say there is a reasonable analogy between shoemaking and the making of tailored clothes. Many of the same topics are there in both, particularly the history, presence and relevance of making things by hand, and the effect of machines, automation, and the influence of the approaches of mass production on the methods for making goods for consumers who spend more than others.

I don't suggest that in an attempt to change your mind, but I think you would still find it interesting to see how the themes that concern you play out in a different but closely related craft.


- B
+1, I've had the same thought.
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