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**The Official Shoe Care Thread: Tutorials, Photos, etc.** - Page 618

post #9256 of 10226
Quote:
Originally Posted by dlind View Post

Nope not on par, Vass hand stitches the soles while StC does that by machine so if we follow the same logic as we did before then construction vise Vass > StC. Also I think, but i'm not sure, that StC buys insoles with the feather already pre cut instead of cutting it by hand which is the traditional way and is supposed to create a stronger feather. (Not 100% sure my terminology is correct, if it isn't I apologise.)

I've no desire to get into the middle of a discussion of the relative merits of these two makers but I will observe that the premium look and best practices dictates smaller, tighter, outsole stitching...whether it be by hand or machine...rather than long, clunky, in-your-face outsole stitching even if it is done by hand.

I once had a dance teacher tell me something that I suspect applies across the board, to any aspect of craft or art--"large gestures (movements) look clumsy even if they are intended."

Fact of the matter is...in my opinion...hand-stitching (and I offer it at 11-12spi) brings very little to the game that isn't superficial...and thereby subjective. For me, that's reason enough to learn and master the technique but for the customer, I'm not so sure it's moot.
post #9257 of 10226
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post


I've no desire to get into the middle of a discussion of the relative merits of these two makers but I will observe that the premium look and best practices dictates smaller, tighter, outsole stitching...whether it be by hand or machine...rather than long, clunky, in-your-face outsole stitching even if it is done by hand.

I once had a dance teacher tell me something that I suspect applies across the board, to any aspect of craft or art--"large gestures (movements) look clumsy even if they are intended."

Fact of the matter is...in my opinion...hand-stitching (and I offer it at 11-12spi) brings very little to the game that isn't superficial...and thereby subjective. For me, that's reason enough to learn and master the technique but for the customer, I'm not so sure it's moot.

I agree that it's certainly doesn't make that big of a difference but I was merely pointing out the differences. What is your opinion of pre-cut insoles vs. cutting the feather yourself?

post #9258 of 10226
Quote:
Originally Posted by dlind View Post

I agree that it's certainly doesn't make that big of a difference but I was merely pointing out the differences. What is your opinion of pre-cut insoles vs. cutting the feather yourself?

The maker forfeits control whenever he buys pre-made components whether they be insoles or heel stacks or toe stiffeners...or even the inseam itself--in the form of gemming.

He has no way to control the quality of the leather or how wide the feather should be etcetra. The thing is that precut insoles are only viable in RTW work...where a fixed last size and bottom paper can set the parameters for how the channel and holdfast are cut. It cannot work for bespoke work.

On a bespoke shoe, the feather may want to be cut as much as twice as wide in the waist as around the forepart. To do that you need to know the precise dimensions of the last and be able to not only vary the width of the feather but blend it into the rest of the feather.
post #9259 of 10226
Nothing to do with shoe care but I like the consistent contributors to this thread. Found some shoes on amazon by angel cola, they look very nice but looking for an opinion. Also I polished a pair of shoes I bought recently (this is shoe care related) there was an effect I achived on one shoe which I wish to replicate in the other but im not sure what I did. Priducts used all saphir - renovateur, light brown polish and way (thier high end line I guess). On one shoe one the actual brogueing and on the toe box there is a beautiful darkening / burn look to it which adds dimension and really adds to the shoe. However the other is more uniform and doesnt have this effect (ill try and get photos up later but this is urking me right now) I did nothing diffrent to ether except the one with the desired effect had some more renovateur added (found on discount rack amd the right shoe was rather dry) if u know what im describing a response of hiw to get this burn /darkening in desired places would be appreciated.
post #9260 of 10226
Quote:
Originally Posted by dlind View Post
 

Nope not on par, Vass hand stitches the soles while StC does that by machine so if we follow the same logic as we did before then construction vise Vass > StC. Also I think, but i'm not sure, that StC buys insoles with the feather already pre cut instead of cutting it by hand which is the traditional way and is supposed to create a stronger feather. (Not 100% sure my terminology is correct, if it isn't I apologise.)

 

St. Crispin's insoles are not pre-cut.

post #9261 of 10226
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post

I've no desire to get into the middle of a discussion of the relative merits of these two makers but I will observe that the premium look and best practices dictates smaller, tighter, outsole stitching...whether it be by hand or machine...rather than long, clunky, in-your-face outsole stitching even if it is done by hand.
But isn't there a tradition aspect to this, viz a viz Austro Hungarian more of long stitches as opposed to English? In the same vein I find Japanese bespoke work probaly having the closest and finest of stiches and finishing but would you call that superior to all? I dont think so...
post #9262 of 10226
Quote:
Originally Posted by sstomcat View Post

But isn't there a tradition aspect to this, viz a viz Austro Hungarian more of long stitches as opposed to English? In the same vein I find Japanese bespoke work probaly having the closest and finest of stiches and finishing but would you call that superior to all? I dont think so...

I don't care for the Austro-Hungarian look for the reasons I gave above. You can call that a subjective opinion but in fact tighter stitches actually hold things together better than long stitches. And of course they are...always...a hallmark of the makers dedication and his search for finesse and excellence, if only because they take markedly more time and skill.

Beyond that, I've not seen a Japanese make who has done the kind of work that once was the signature of the great British makers where 18 to the inch was considered "middling work."

And having said that, the best of the Japanese makers are undoubtedly in the very top tier. There is a commitment to quality and perfection among the Japanese makers that I admire and do not think is common in the West anymore.
post #9263 of 10226
Quote:
Originally Posted by sstomcat View Post

Construction wise Vass is a one man one shoe type of deal, where in he does everything from start to finish apart from clicking. Just like the Mercedes AMG engines. I think there are certain merits to this process.
STC is equally well constructed but IMO there are small nuances that VAss stands out in this regard.

Well at 6 SPI outsole stitching isn't anywhere close to top notch. I can find a handful of OEM doing better by hand.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dlind View Post

Nope not on par, Vass hand stitches the soles while StC does that by machine so if we follow the same logic as we did before then construction vise Vass > StC. Also I think, but i'm not sure, that StC buys insoles with the feather already pre cut instead of cutting it by hand which is the traditional way and is supposed to create a stronger feather. (Not 100% sure my terminology is correct, if it isn't I apologise.)

SC insoles are not pre cut...
post #9264 of 10226

that is of course if you define top notch shoes  as defined solely by SPI....

post #9265 of 10226
Quote:
Originally Posted by venividivicibj View Post

that is of course if you define top notch shoes  as defined solely by SPI....

It's not the definitive measure but it's one of the most apparent ones asides from upper leather used. Vass sole stitching is great, but definitely nowhere close to top notch.
post #9266 of 10226
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post

I don't care for the Austro-Hungarian look for the reasons I gave above. You can call that a subjective opinion but in fact tighter stitches actually hold things together better than long stitches. And of course they are...always...a hallmark of the makers dedication and his search for finesse and excellence, if only because they take markedly more time and skill.

Beyond that, I've not seen a Japanese make who has done the kind of work that once was the signature of the great British makers where 18 to the inch was considered "middling work."

And having said that, the best of the Japanese makers are undoubtedly in the very top tier. There is a commitment to quality and perfection among the Japanese makers that I admire and do not think is common in the West anymore.

Does this depend on the application of what is being stitched? I recall our brief exchange on the "ticket book" effect. Is that only reserved for softer leathers and denser leathers this doesn't apply as much?
post #9267 of 10226
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post

I don't care for the Austro-Hungarian look for the reasons I gave above. You can call that a subjective opinion but in fact tighter stitches actually hold things together better than long stitches. And of course they are...always...a hallmark of the makers dedication and his search for finesse and excellence, if only because they take markedly more time and skill.

Beyond that, I've not seen a Japanese make who has done the kind of work that once was the signature of the great British makers where 18 to the inch was considered "middling work."

And having said that, the best of the Japanese makers are undoubtedly in the very top tier. There is a commitment to quality and perfection among the Japanese makers that I admire and do not think is common in the West anymore.

Its not about whether you care or not but there is no denying the fact that Austro Hungarian tradition has been around for centuries and has evolved over a period of time and thrived or thriving because of a reason...
With the topic of shoes in general and not going into the classification of formal (oxford), derby and so on I dont think tight stitches looks good in every aspect on every shoe. Certain models mostly derby's in some lasts that Vass makes (3636 etc) need a more rugged look and will look odd to borderline ugly with 16 spi stitches.
Again, this is subjective and personal preference somemight say.

As to your point of more spi the better there is a point of diminishing returns, more fine means also more holes in the welt, outer and sole and with movement flexing this will lead to abrasion and cutting leading to more wear and tear,

Look wise yes on a formal oxford or derby in the sleek lasts it definitely looks more appealing just as the Japanese have demonstrated loud and clear.
post #9268 of 10226
Quote:
Originally Posted by chogall View Post

Well at 6 SPI outsole stitching isn't anywhere close to top notch. I can find a handful of OEM doing better by hand.

Where did you see them mentioned as top notch? Ofcourse there is no point comparing a 500$ shoe with you 5K GG and call them below par.

What about other things that your RTW shoes claim that are top notch?
post #9269 of 10226
Quote:
Originally Posted by chogall View Post

It's not the definitive measure but it's one of the most apparent ones asides from upper leather used. Vass sole stitching is great, but definitely nowhere close to top notch.

In same vein the stitching of your bespoke work is not even close to the Japanese top tier makers that I have seen which I would categorize as truly world class.
post #9270 of 10226
Quote:
Originally Posted by patrickBOOTH View Post

Does this depend on the application of what is being stitched? I recall our brief exchange on the "ticket book" effect. Is that only reserved for softer leathers and denser leathers this doesn't apply as much?

Yes, of course. It also depends on the substance and temper of the leather. Once upon a time the leather was good enough and the makers skilled enough that 50+spi ("64 to the inch")was not only possible but considered the gold standard for prize work. I suspect 6 to the inch would have been laughed out of the exhibition hall. Maybe even 10 to the inch would have been

Quote:
Originally Posted by sstomcat View Post

Its not about whether you care or not but there is no denying the fact that Austro Hungarian tradition has been around for centuries and has evolved over a period of time and thrived or thriving because of a reason...


Well, I'm not sure the documentation is there to support that assertion. Not saying it isn't true but there is ample documentation of fine welt stitching in the literature and Art. I've never seen long stitches on shoes...even East European shoes...prior to the second World War. I suspect the AH Tradition...if you can call it that...relates more to privation than any consideration for best practices.

I concede that there are people who like the look. Who consider wide expansive gestures to be more "masculine," rugged, what have you, than the less "in-your-face" stitching of classic western European work. And that's their choice...they are entitled to their opinion. I suspect it's all of a piece--if you cannot or will not define excellence in any terms but ostentation, it is likely that the rest of your wardrobe will reflect that same bias. But it kind of reminds me of the fish that when threatened puffs itself up to look twice its real size.

And that of course is just my opinion.

It is significant however that among shoemakers it is almost universally accepted that the finer stitching is indicative of more skill and more time and better quality. Only among consumers who elevate style and the superficial above such objective considerations as "substance"--workmanship, technique, materials, etc.--are long stitches and wide gestures meaningful.
Quote:
As to your point of more spi the better there is a point of diminishing returns, more fine means also more holes in the welt, outer and sole and with movement flexing this will lead to abrasion and cutting leading to more wear and tear,

Of course, but the point of diminishing returns isn't anywhere close to 6spi. Today, I'd be nervous at 20spi, perhaps, but I'm not as good as the old guys were nor do I have access to the kind of leather they had.

And BTW...if you subtract from the equation the use of All Purpose Neoprene cement,12 spi is significantly more waterproof than 6spi. But then it begs the question of why stitch the outsole at all--the cement will almost hold the outsole on by itself.
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