Originally Posted by Xenon
First off, for anyone following this part know that DWFII is the expert here.
This is interesting and good to know. I was not aware that veg tan would as you say "subsume" to this level . Does this cause the leather to thicken substantially in such areas? My train of thought was definitely on chrome tannage and I assumed the throat area and surrounding would have been cut with a much smaller circumferance than last in order to avoid the large excess below.
When doing this do you wet the veg tan upper completely, not at all...? I have little knowledge of chrome-veg retans, are the characteristics almost always somewhere in between veg and chrome, or do they sometimes behave strictly like one or the other.
BTW who do you use for veg and veg retan uppers? have you tried Weinheimer's?
Well, thank you for the kind words but no, I'm not an expert esp. with seamless whole cuts. That said, I know enough about leathers, and making shoes and patterns for shoes, that I was successful doing this the first time out of the gate...never a sure thing.
Fundamentally, the upper is cut as an overlarge "blocker"--just a big flat piece of leather--and then it is wet thoroughly and stretched over the last from the top of the last towards the bottom. From the forepart to the instep it is pretty straight-forward...like lasting a shoe. But from the instep back to the heel all the excess must be moved along a vertical surface. And this is the longest distance that the leather must be moved.
Naturally, forcing pipes and wrinkles into smaller and smaller dimensions tends to thicken the leather...if stretch is not also applied simultaneously. But around the throat--the topline--there shouldn't be any significant excess left nor any real over-stretching.
Only after the leather has been stretched over the last is the pattern cut.
The bad news is that even if the pipes and wrinkles are entirely subsumed not all of the excess is eliminated...some of it remains in the leather. The good news is that much of it will be positioned over the heel stiffener and will be reinforced. Plus, the heel area does not get a lot of stretching or flexing when the shoe is worn.
I do not know of Weinheimers but very few tanners make veg tan leathers that are finished and suitable for shoe uppers...and almost none of those tanners are in the States. I get pure veg where and when I can and veg retans as water buffalo calf from an outfit in New Hampshire (?)--Garlin Leathers.
--Edited by DWFII - 7/24/12 at 11:03am