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Gaziano & Girling Appreciation & Shoe Appreciation Thread (including reviews, purchases, pictures, etc...) - Page 800

post #11986 of 21791
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post


Have you ever seen a celastic stiffener? Celastic stiffeners are not skived to a feather at the back edge.

Of all the bespoke shoes and boots I've ever seen, I've seen far more where the outlines of the celastic toe puff is visible than I have seen with leather toe puffs.

Of course, celastics are not skived, but you can adjust the stiffness (due to control of the acetone) within a celastic toe-puff: rigid at the tip and quite floppy at the end. The skiving not only reduces thickness, but also adjust the stiffness within the piece. I haven't got a toe puff on hand, but in a hand-skived counter, the thickness varies from about 2.5 mm to virtually nothing at the edges. The thickness of the celastic is the same all over: it is the thickness of the actual cotton weave.

I am not talking about celastics in handmade shoes but in factory work. Rendenbach used to produce counters and maybe toe puffs as well, pre-cut, pre-skived and pre-shaped (they might have stopped production, as I cannot find them on the website any more). I never said a celastic was preferable to a carefully hand-skived toe puff which, once in situ, is then rasped into shape (and possibly get an additional strip of torn newspaper glued over).

I don't know what "needle toe boots" are - are they those ridiculously pointed cowboy boots? Maybe 50 years ago, when Teddy-boys wore "winkle pickers", English shoe may have had heat formed plastic stiffeners as well. The Northampton factories might still have the heat moulding machinery in the back, but as far as I know, everyone uses celastics (at least for the toe).
post #11987 of 21791
I am reluctant to do this but to illustrate the point, I am forced to use a photo of a pair of shoes made by some maker one way or the other. So it might as well be one that is related to this thread and convenient.

My apologies to the owner and to G&G.

I hope the text is not too small. Click on photo to enlarge it.



PS...again, I have no direct experience (although many colleagues) working directly with celastic.But I know the constituent materials intimately. And I am not sure how "control of the acetone" can possibly effect a variance in stiffness.

Celastic is fundamentally a fiber mat that has been soaked in, and impregnated with, Celluloid Acetate--a crude and early form of plastic. (Think carnival "Kewpie dolls" and early faux ivory cue balls--sometimes they would literally explode) Acetone is a solvent for celluloid acetate.

Skiving the celastic beyond the default configuration might mitigate the stiffness in the area skived simply because some of the celluloid, as well as fabric, is being shaved away.

But more or less acetone, or more or less time in the acetone will not affect the temper or stiffness of the celluloid after the acetone has completely outgassed and the celluloid cured. It's going to be celluloid...with all the attributes of celluloid...regardless of how much time it spent in the acetone.

--
Edited by DWFII - 5/15/14 at 5:01pm
post #11988 of 21791
Quote:
Originally Posted by JubeiSpiegel View Post


I will try to reply with as little snark as possible smile.gif

This has not been my first experience with a GG MTO issue. On both occasion it took quite some time to fix, and they both involved structural repairs.

This pair had to have the soles removed to address the issue at hand, and then re-soled. You be the judge on which example was more severe.

All I'm trying to say is that even when you throw money at the prospect of getting a better shoe, the end result is never guaranteed...


I have no experience with the MTOs, so can't really speak there, or even for the RTW as much as is simply my perception.

 

You are probably both correct over me. At the same time, my e-mails to Meermin were never even returned (and these weren't exactly special order) on what I would consider a very serious issue that makes the shoes both unwearable and dangerous.

post #11989 of 21791
Quote:
Originally Posted by MSchapiro View Post

At the same time, my e-mails to Meermin were never even returned (and these weren't exactly special order) on what I would consider a very serious issue that makes the shoes both unwearable and dangerous.

I empathize with your Meermin troubles, the lack of support and communication was the biggest reason I never gave them a try...
post #11990 of 21791

This is all way over my head...

 

I still like G&G's shoes alot...and will continue to buy them

 

regardless of whether their toe puffs are made of one thing i've never heard of...or another thing i've never heard of.

post #11991 of 21791

Here's some celastic stiffeners for people to see and judge for themselves.  I must state that I have no skin in this.

 

Here's some skiving/smoothing of the edge on an attached celastic

 

And finally here's one that looks like the back portion is pre-skived

post #11992 of 21791
That's what they look like alright. Sometimes they are skived sometimes not so much but, as I said, never to a "feather." Usually the toe of the vamp is pulled over while the celastic is still wet...or at least that's the technique I'm familiar with. Of course, leather toe boxes are often done that way as well, although many contemporary makers are shaping the leather toe stiffener before the final drafts are taken...similar to the way your photos illustrate. So maybe there's some cross pollination going on there.

Beyond that, you can see the potential bulges that will appear in the final shoe already embodied in the mounted toe puff.

While we're on the subject however, maybe a different perceptive would welcome, or at least thought provoking...

In most cases, a shoe maker buys leather by the square foot. Sometimes by weight. Yet only a roughly a third of any hide is considered prime. So the case can be made that roughly one of the other two thirds is marginal, offal...even scrap.

A maker pays just as much for the scrap, per square foot, as he does for the prime. And there is no significant difference between not using those scraps and throwing money out the window.

Scrap is no longer scrap, however, if it can be used.

Toe puffs and heel stiffeners...as well as shank covers, heel seats, sock liners, heel stacks, insoles, even welt...all come from less than prime areas of the hide. Scrap, IOW.

For every component that the maker buys that is extraneous to the materials that he has already paid for, a cost is added that is ultimately passed on to the customer. Celastic toe puffs cost pennies per, but when welt, heel stacks, sock liners, etc., are all bought "prefabricated," as who should say, it adds up.

Why do makers do it then? Celastic toe boxes are far easier to use and take far less time ( and far, far, less skill) to mount than leather toe boxes. No other reason.

But the real problem is that it is symptomatic of everything that makes RTW...at its best...inferior to bespoke at its best. And in my opinion, all other things being equal, often even inferior to bespoke at its worst. The use of celestic is one of the clearest expressions of the philosophy of expediency and the lowest common denominator. It is, however, a consistent philosophy--of a piece with GY welted construction, leatherboard insoles and paper heel stacks.

It does not make good sense...business sense...to buy celastic toe puffs when a maker has literally bins and bins of potential toe puffs that he has already paid for. But perhaps it explains some of the high cost of RTW...or, at least why some bespoke makers can charge less than high end, cachet RTW for an objectively better product.

Just throwing that out there....

--
Edited by DWFII - 5/15/14 at 8:55pm
post #11993 of 21791
Here you go folks, from several years ago.

post #11994 of 21791
deleted
post #11995 of 21791

G&G Canterbury - DG70 - Vintage Rioja

 

I was originally reticent to use black wax polish on G&G's rioja...but I am really like the results over time. I apply a thin layer to the whole shoe..but have been laying it on with a mirror for the toes...and I really like the contrast that the very darkened and high shined toes give to the rioja body.

 

 

 

 

 

 

post #11996 of 21791
Quote:
Originally Posted by barky View Post

Here's some celastic stiffeners for people to see and judge for themselves.  I must state that I have no skin in this.







Here's some skiving/smoothing of the edge on an attached celastic



And finally here's one that looks like the back portion is pre-skived


BEAUTIFUL steps
post #11997 of 21791
Thank you for the shot, nutcracker!

The heelcup stiffener looks like leather all right, the toe puff celastic. There's more to fine shoes than design and details alone, and I'll stick with Hungarian or Eastern-European pairs.
post #11998 of 21791
Both make superb shoes. Everything else is just bum fluff.
post #11999 of 21791
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post

Of all the bespoke shoes and boots I've ever seen, I've seen far more where the outlines of the celastic toe puff is visible than I have seen with leather toe puffs.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post


But the real problem is that it is symptomatic of everything that makes RTW...at its best...inferior to bespoke at its best. And in my opinion, all other things being equal, often even inferior to bespoke at its worst. The use of celestic is one of the clearest expressions of the philosophy of expediency and the lowest common denominator. It is, however, a consistent philosophy--of a piece with GY welted construction, leatherboard insoles and paper heel stacks.

In your previous post you stated celastics are commonly used in bespoke work. (Maybe in your neck of the woods, the picture posted by 'barky' clearly shows a cowboy boot).

But now you turn it into your favourite topic again, bashing RTW footwear. Leatherboard insoles and paper heel stacks are components that can be used, but where is your evidence they actually are?
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post

Anything can be done crudely.

This we can agree on!
post #12000 of 21791
Quote:
Originally Posted by bengal-stripe View Post

I do not think a "heat form plastic toe box and heel counters" have ever existed..

The most commonly used stiffener in GW work is the 'celastic' type:
There used to be a "hot puff" method using (stiff) tar-impregnated material, which subsequently got softened in a heated press, but I believe this isn't used any more as the celastic is far more flexible. Certainly preferable to a "one -size-fits-all" and crudely skived leather toe puff. Firms like EG and JL use the celastic at the toe only but leather at the heal. (I do not know whether G&G ready-to-wear uses celastic on the toe, but it's quite possible.)
Has anyone ever complained about their EG or JL shoes developing ugly creases across the toe cap? Maybe there is something to be said for this system (which has been in use since the 1920s, long before the invention of plastic materials).

Yes. Celastica is the proper term. It's not exactly plastic but as you said its celluloid based. So is ping pong ball celluloid based.

JL uses celastica for heel counter and toe boxes.

EG, G&G both use celasrixa at toe boxes only
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