Originally Posted by Christofuh
The majority of RTW shoemakers glue on a piece of linen ( called a ' feather ' ) to the bottom of the insole ( which in turn is attached to the bottom of the upper). This ' feather ' is where the sole of the shoe is stiched onto the upper part of the shoe. In Scafora shoes there's nothing glued on. The ' feather ' in his shoes is carved directly from a thicker insole. Therefore there is a direct attachment of the sole to the upper, wth no risk of glue failure. (C)
I have made this argument before, and I no longer think that it is a sound one. A linen feather that is glued to the insole sounds like something weak and prone to failure, but does not seem to be the case, at least if we trust the experience of cobblers who have dealt with them extensively. There are many arguments that can be made for the superiority of handmade shoes over machine-made ones, but I don't think that this is a good one.
In addition, please note that glue is integral to the shoemaking process, regardless of the type of feather used.