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shoe construction...behind the veil - Page 84

post #1246 of 1513
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post


Bengal-Stripe probably has the better vantage when speaking about English shoemaking practices / choices esp. as it applies to the Industry.

But several thoughts occur to me: First, Blake-Rapid and maybe even Blake is more expensive to do than GY. It requires a leather insole...at least nominally...and a leather midsole.

Second and probably one of, if not the major factor, is that the last has to be pulled before the shoe is complete...maybe even before the lasted shoe is stabilized. Too much can go wrong. If nothing else it's not a given--it requires someone to care and handle the shoes with care.

And then after the Blake is done the last has to be put back in.

And all during the process, from pulling the last to putting it back in, the uppers can be inadvertently creased. Which may or may not be able to be satisfactorily fixed.

That's a lot of extra work and fuss and uncertainty, relatively speaking. It's dern sure not cost effective.

As for the Italians...I can't say but perhaps it's as simple as the way the shoemaking industry is organized there.

Maybe it's just perversity. nest.gif

lol8[1].gif

edited for punctuation and clarity

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post


Bengal-Stripe probably has the better vantage when speaking about English shoemaking practices / choices esp. as it applies to the Industry.

But several thoughts occur to me: First, Blake-Rapid and maybe even Blake is more expensive to do than GY. It requires a leather insole...at least nominally...and a leather midsole.

Second and probably one of, if not the major factor, is that the last has to be pulled before the shoe is complete...maybe even before the lasted shoe is stabilized. Too much can go wrong. If nothing else it's not a given--it requires someone to care and handle the shoes with care.

And then after the Blake is done the last has to be put back in.

And all during the process, from pulling the last to putting it back in, the uppers can be inadvertently creased. Which may or may not be able to be satisfactorily fixed.

That's a lot of extra work and fuss and uncertainty, relatively speaking. It's dern sure not cost effective.

As for the Italians...I can't say but perhaps it's as simple as the way the shoemaking industry is organized there.

Maybe it's just perversity. nest.gif

lol8[1].gif

edited for punctuation and cla

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Testudo_Aubreii View Post

I've a question or two about the prevalence of shoe construction techniques. DWF, I seem to recall from reading your scans of Thornton's Textbook of Footwear Manufacture that Blake-Rapid was an accepted and widely used technique in England at the time of writing, as was regular Blake, moccasin, Silhouwelt, etc.. Why is it that Blake-Rapid and these other techniques died out in English shoe manufacturing and Goodyear or cemented became the hegemonic methods? And why is it that in Italy today, Blake-Rapid or Blake are more common than Goodyear?

Bengal-stripe, do you have a hypothesis about either of these?


Thanks for this really interesting question. I wonder why it hasn't been asked before, if I'm not mistaken. So obvious and simple and yet not made, as far as I can remember, on this thread. Is it certain that Blake rapid is a more costly technique thant GY? I'd like to see some figures about that. And as for mid-soles, many of the Northamptonshire makers use two sometimes three layers of sole leather, so I don't see why that should be a factor. The remark of DWFII that the "last has to be pulled before the shoe is complete" is something I simply don't understand, and would love DWFII to expand on. Again the remark (DWFII) "-it requires someone to care and handle the shoes with care." implies that the people working in the N'tonshire factories don't (care and handle the shoes with care), and this is simply distasteful, and degrading for the people that have spent their lives learning the skills of GY welting, to produce the excellent and long-lived shoes that they do.
 

post #1247 of 1513
Thread Starter 
The simple fact is that in any factory the bottom line is the prime directive. Shiily-shallying around isn't consistent with that.

Sorry if it disturbs you, but from my perspective as a bespoke shoemaker the skills required to run a GY welting machine (or any other shoe factory job) are relatively minimal. (note the word "relatively")

And from a business perspective it can hardly be otherwise.

The whole raison d'etre of the factory is speed and efficiency. One of the common and commonplace ways to do that is to break every job down into smaller jobs that don't require a skilled worker to do them. It's almost SOP.

It takes years to train a man to hand welt a pair of shoes in 45 minutes (as was mentioned recently) What happens if that man leaves? Or dies? Or retires? The whole line shuts down until another skilled bottom man can be found or another trained.

If the job is broken down so that one man is stapling a pre-gemmed insole to the last (how difficult and how much skill does that take?); then handing it off to a man who positions it in a lasting machine and steps on a pedal (is this really difficult?) and so forth, the line might be down ten minutes, max.

People in a factory are meant to be interchangeable and dispensible to some degree--like cogs in a bigger machine.

There is no absolute disparagement involved in the facts of the matter. Do I have as much respect for the man who holds a lasted shoe up to a machine that simultaneously feeds welt and stitches it to gemming as I do for the man who hand welts a pair of shoes? No, I don't. I have respect but not as much respect. Not all things are equal. Not everybody gets an "A" without passing the test. No apologies.

As for what you say you don't understand...can you visualize a method by which the stitching on a Blake or Blake-Rapid--which goes from the surface of the insole, inside the shoe, through the insole, upper, midsole and outsole--can be done with the last still in the shoe?

And whether you or anyone else likes it or not, no one cares about work as much as those who have a creative, even emotional, investment, and a direct, personal responsibility for the outcome / product that bears their name.

--
Edited by DWFII - 2/8/16 at 2:42pm
post #1248 of 1513
Quote:
Originally Posted by thelonius View Post
 

 

 


Thanks for this really interesting question. I wonder why it hasn't been asked before, if I'm not mistaken. So obvious and simple and yet not made, as far as I can remember, on this thread. Is it certain that Blake rapid is a more costly technique thant GY? I'd like to see some figures about that. And as for mid-soles, many of the Northamptonshire makers use two sometimes three layers of sole leather, so I don't see why that should be a factor. The remark of DWFII that the "last has to be pulled before the shoe is complete" is something I simply don't understand, and would love DWFII to expand on. Again the remark (DWFII) "-it requires someone to care and handle the shoes with care." implies that the people working in the N'tonshire factories don't (care and handle the shoes with care), and this is simply distasteful, and degrading for the people that have spent their lives learning the skills of GY welting, to produce the excellent and long-lived shoes that they do.
 

The last has to be pulled because in Blake or Blake Rapid construction, the insole is stitched directly to the outsole/ midsole. That obviously cant be done with a last in the shoe...

 

As for the second part that I've highlighted above, I dont understand how you can come away from reading what he wrote with that interpretation. Removing the last, stitching the insole and replacing the last are all operations that must be done manually and as such, the error rate and opportunity for damage to be done to the shoe are much higher. This means that the cost goes up commensurate with additional labor costs and material waste. 

 

I am not a shoemaker, so take the above with a grain of salt. However, I think that in a reasonably short period of time I could be trained to operate a goodyear machine. I think it is also likely that it would take significantly longer to become proficient in the Blake/ Blake Rapid process. I think thats what he meant by "care".

 

** Someone please correct me if the above is incorrect.

post #1249 of 1513
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdavro23 View Post

The last has to be pulled because in Blake or Blake Rapid construction, the insole is stitched directly to the outsole/ midsole. That obviously cant be done with a last in the shoe...

As for the second part that I've highlighted above, I dont understand how you can come away from reading what he wrote with that interpretation. Removing the last, stitching the insole and replacing the last are all operations that must be done manually and as such, the error rate and opportunity for damage to be done to the shoe are much higher. This means that the cost goes up commensurate with additional labor costs and material waste. 

I am not a shoemaker, so take the above with a grain of salt. However, I think that in a reasonably short period of time I could be trained to operate a goodyear machine. I think it is also likely that it would take significantly longer to become proficient in the Blake/ Blake Rapid process. I think thats what he meant by "care".

Perfectly correct!

cheers.gif

And a perfect example of how understanding can had if only a person has an open mind...and how ignorance is all too often a deliberate choice. You say you're not a shoemaker, but you get it. Good on you, mate.
post #1250 of 1513

DW,

 

You know that everybody is equally good at everything and that nobody has ever accomplished more than anybody else.  Any of the apparent differences one might see are all purely results of victimization by Wealthy Heterosexual Christian Caucasian Patriarchs.  They are the source of all that is evil in the world.  How did they become this way?  Answer: They became forces of darkness because they were fed too much red meat growing up.

 

You pretend to build first-rate footwear, making no compromises on quality.  You also pretend to share your experience with others so that they might appreciate the craft or even take it up.  However, you need to admit here and now that it is really all about oppressing those less-advantaged than yourself!

 

:)

post #1251 of 1513
Thread Starter 
post #1252 of 1513
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post


Perfectly correct!

cheers.gif

And a perfect example of how understanding can had if only a person has an open mind...and how ignorance is all too often a deliberate choice. You say you're not a shoemaker, but you get it. Good on you, mate.

:cheers:

post #1253 of 1513
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdavro23 View Post

The last has to be pulled because in Blake or Blake Rapid construction, the insole is stitched directly to the outsole/ midsole. That obviously cant be done with a last in the shoe...

As for the second part that I've highlighted above, I dont understand how you can come away from reading what he wrote with that interpretation. Removing the last, stitching the insole and replacing the last are all operations that must be done manually and as such, the error rate and opportunity for damage to be done to the shoe are much higher. This means that the cost goes up commensurate with additional labor costs and material waste. 

I am not a shoemaker, so take the above with a grain of salt. However, I think that in a reasonably short period of time I could be trained to operate a goodyear machine. I think it is also likely that it would take significantly longer to become proficient in the Blake/ Blake Rapid process. I think thats what he meant by "care".

** Someone please correct me if the above is incorrect.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post

Perfectly correct!

cheers.gif

And a perfect example of how understanding can had if only a person has an open mind...and how ignorance is all too often a deliberate choice. You say you're not a shoemaker, but you get it. Good on you, mate.

Why would manufacturers will insert last for outsole sewing when the argument against them is about cost cutting?

And why would they need last inserted when sewing rapid outsole, when last was not even needed when sewing Blake outsole/rapid midsole?
post #1254 of 1513
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post

Bengal-Stripe probably has the better vantage when speaking about English shoemaking practices / choices esp. as it applies to the Industry.

But several thoughts occur to me: First, Blake-Rapid and maybe even Blake is more expensive to do than GY. It requires a leather insole...at least nominally...and a leather midsole.

Second and probably one of, if not the major factor, is that the last has to be pulled before the shoe is complete...maybe even before the lasted shoe is stabilized. Too much can go wrong. If nothing else it's not a given--it requires someone to care and handle the shoes with care.

And then after the Blake is done the last has to be put back in.

And all during the process, from pulling the last to putting it back in, the uppers can be inadvertently creased. Which may or may not be able to be satisfactorily fixed.

That's a lot of extra work and fuss and uncertainty, relatively speaking. It's dern sure not cost effective.

As for the Italians...I can't say but perhaps it's as simple as the way the shoemaking industry is organized there.

Maybe it's just perversity. nest.gif

lol8[1].gif

edited for punctuation and clarity

Thanks, DWF. If more labor is required to make Blake than Goodyear i(and there are more chances for error in Blake than in Goodyear), and if Blake-Rapid requires both the extra labor and more costly materials than Goodyear, then it would make sense that we see Blake (and certainly Blake-Rapid) far more in Italy than in England, since labor costs (and sole leather costs?) are lower in Italy than England. Here's a puzzle, though. I think labor costs are just as low or lower in Spain than in (northern) Italy. Somebody correct me if I'm wrong on that. If I'm right, why then are all the factory shoes stitched in Spain Goodyear, and not Blake or Blake-Rapid?

Would the same argument apply to moccasin construction or Bologna? Both are prevalent in Italy, and non-existent in England.
post #1255 of 1513
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Testudo_Aubreii View Post

Thanks, DWF. If more labor is required to make Blake than Goodyear i(and there are more chances for error in Blake than in Goodyear), and if Blake-Rapid requires both the extra labor and more costly materials than Goodyear, then it would make sense that we see Blake (and certainly Blake-Rapid) far more in Italy than in England, since labor costs (and sole leather costs?) are lower in Italy than England. Here's a puzzle, though. I think labor costs are just as low or lower in Spain than in (northern) Italy. Somebody correct me if I'm wrong on that. If I'm right, why then are all the factory shoes stitched in Spain Goodyear, and not Blake or Blake-Rapid?

Would the same argument apply to moccasin construction or Bologna? Both are prevalent in Italy, and non-existent in England.

Why is are long stitches (visually crude in my personal opinion) both in the outsole and often in the insole as well so common in Eastern Europe? Every country or region seems to have it's own style...often one that defies logic.

Same, same. Bottom line, I can't speak to why Blake / B-R is seen more in one place than the other.
post #1256 of 1513
Blake produces a more lighter and sleeker shoe compared to the average British good year welt, which on average are more clunky and heavier. Because of the warm and dry climate (no need to worry that rain water penetrating from outsole to the insole through the Blake stitch) you would be force to wear lighter type clothing like linen and cotton, which matches better with a sleeker thin sole than the clunkier good year welt. It's untill recently you are getting more of the Spanish and Italian brands that are producing good year welt with flex welt and flex outsoles.
I live in a warm climate all year long and wearing heavier clunkier shoe will only keep you feet warm/hot and that can be very exchausting.
post #1257 of 1513
Quote:
Originally Posted by Testudo_Aubreii View Post


Thanks, DWF. If more labor is required to make Blake than Goodyear i(and there are more chances for error in Blake than in Goodyear), and if Blake-Rapid requires both the extra labor and more costly materials than Goodyear, then it would make sense that we see Blake (and certainly Blake-Rapid) far more in Italy than in England, since labor costs (and sole leather costs?) are lower in Italy than England. Here's a puzzle, though. I think labor costs are just as low or lower in Spain than in (northern) Italy. Somebody correct me if I'm wrong on that. If I'm right, why then are all the factory shoes stitched in Spain Goodyear, and not Blake or Blake-Rapid?

Would the same argument apply to moccasin construction or Bologna? Both are prevalent in Italy, and non-existent in England.

Labour cost is much lower here than in Italy, specially compare to the north of Italy.  Wages here are a joke.   

post #1258 of 1513
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post

The simple fact is that in any factory the bottom line is the prime directive. Shiily-shallying around isn't consistent with that.

Sorry if it disturbs you, but from my perspective as a bespoke shoemaker the skills required to run a GY welting machine (or any other shoe factory job) are relatively minimal. (note the word "relatively")

And from a business perspective it can hardly be otherwise.

The whole raison d'etre of the factory is speed and efficiency. One of the common and commonplace ways to do that is to break every job down into smaller jobs that don't require a skilled worker to do them. It's almost SOP.

It takes years to train a man to hand welt a pair of shoes in 45 minutes (as was mentioned recently) What happens if that man leaves? Or dies? Or retires? The whole line shuts down until another skilled bottom man can be found or another trained.

If the job is broken down so that one man is stapling a pre-gemmed insole to the last (how difficult and how much skill does that take?); then handing it off to a man who positions it in a lasting machine and steps on a pedal (is this really difficult?) and so forth, the line might be down ten minutes, max.

People in a factory are meant to be interchangeable and dispensible to some degree--like cogs in a bigger machine.

There is no absolute disparagement involved in the facts of the matter. Do I have as much respect for the man who holds a lasted shoe up to a machine that simultaneously feeds welt and stitches it to gemming as I do for the man who hand welts a pair of shoes? No, I don't. I have respect but not as much respect. Not all things are equal. Not everybody gets an "A" without passing the test. No apologies.

As for what you say you don't understand...can you visualize a method by which the stitching on a Blake or Blake-Rapid--which goes from the surface of the insole, inside the shoe, through the insole, upper, midsole and outsole--can be done with the last still in the shoe?

And whether you or anyone else likes it or not, no one cares about work as much as those who have a creative, even emotional, investment, and a direct, personal responsibility for the outcome / product that bears their name.

--


Sorry, but you're way off the mark with this reply. I was not making any comparison with the skills implied for HW construction. The discussion is about Blake/Blake rapid versus GY in terms of cost. You haven't provided any objective information to support the assertion that Blake rapid is a more expensive process than GY. Where are the facts? The Italian makers offering both Blake rapid and GY models always price the former below the latter. Doesn't make sense if the former is the more expensive process.

post #1259 of 1513
Quote:
Originally Posted by vmss View Post

Blake produces a more lighter and sleeker shoe compared to the average British good year welt, which on average are more clunky and heavier. Because of the warm and dry climate (no need to worry that rain water penetrating from outsole to the insole through the Blake stitch) you would be force to wear lighter type clothing like linen and cotton, which matches better with a sleeker thin sole than the clunkier good year welt. It's untill recently you are getting more of the Spanish and Italian brands that are producing good year welt with flex welt and flex outsoles.
I live in a warm climate all year long and wearing heavier clunkier shoe will only keep you feet warm/hot and that can be very exchausting.


I don't think this is true of Blake rapid though, which can be just as heavy as GY. And, in any case, many GY models are quite slim.

post #1260 of 1513
Quote:
Originally Posted by vmss View Post

Blake produces a more lighter and sleeker shoe compared to the average British good year welt, which on average are more clunky and heavier. Because of the warm and dry climate (no need to worry that rain water penetrating from outsole to the insole through the Blake stitch) you would be force to wear lighter type clothing like linen and cotton, which matches better with a sleeker thin sole than the clunkier good year welt. It's untill recently you are getting more of the Spanish and Italian brands that are producing good year welt with flex welt and flex outsoles.
I live in a warm climate all year long and wearing heavier clunkier shoe will only keep you feet warm/hot and that can be very exchausting.

Not only that, you only need one special machine for Blake stitching as oppose to 3+ machines for GYW. Gemming, welting, cork fillet, in addition to outsole stitcher and others.

Blake rapid is lower sunk cost than GYW as well.

GYW is much more capex intensive contrary to what some shoemaker/shoe repair expert believe.
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