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Photo essay on Britain's last oak bark tannery - Page 15

post #211 of 230
Learned today that Herring Shoes is now offering oak bark belt made by Tanner Bates, who uses hides tanned at Baker's Devon tannery. Is this a growing trend?
post #212 of 230
Quote:
Originally Posted by Asian Afro View Post

Learned today that Herring Shoes is now offering oak bark belt made by Tanner Bates, who uses hides tanned at Baker's Devon tannery. Is this a growing trend?

I shall not make snarky comments about the price, the rivets, the dodgy stitching, the lack of crease marks or the unblocked keepers ;-)
post #213 of 230
Even if you are asked about "lack of crease marks"?

What is the meaning, good, bad, or otherwise, of "lack of crease marks"?
post #214 of 230
Quote:
Originally Posted by james_timothy View Post

Even if you are asked about "lack of crease marks"?

What is the meaning, good, bad, or otherwise, of "lack of crease marks"?

Crease marks are the decorative lines that those in the saddlery trade put around the edge of their work with a warm creasing iron. Not compulsory at all but one of those things that those of us trained that way wince about the lack of. A very minor and rather petty niggle on my behalf really...
post #215 of 230
Thanks, Charlie. I'm glad to see other folks use Baker's leather for things, but that belt you made for me is spectacular.

The more time you spend educating us, the better able we are to appreciate the work.
post #216 of 230
Quote:
Originally Posted by Equus Leather View Post

I shall not make snarky comments about the price, the rivets, the dodgy stitching, the lack of crease marks or the unblocked keepers ;-)

Heh. Worry not, my next belt--oak bark or not--shall be from you. Love my Australian Nut.
post #217 of 230
Quote:
Originally Posted by james_timothy View Post

Thanks, Charlie. I'm glad to see other folks use Baker's leather for things, but that belt you made for me is spectacular.

The more time you spend educating us, the better able we are to appreciate the work.

I agree, we need people to use their leaher so Bakers and others like them can stay in business so we can all enjoy their work. We're going to keep stocking at least he Australian Nut I think for exactly that reason
post #218 of 230
Quote:
Originally Posted by Equus Leather View Post

I agree, we need people to use their leaher so Bakers and others like them can stay in business so we can all enjoy their work. We're going to keep stocking at least he Australian Nut I think for exactly that reason

Have to agree Charlie, Tanner Bates did not do the leather much justice at all. Most people can make products look reasonable if they use a good material but this wonderful stuff is really special for lots of reasons. As we need to support them so we shall in good time - hope I can make something more in keeping with it's tradition - just very busy presently. Incidentally, I was taught to understand that creasing not only gives a decorative finish but compresses the fibres on the edge to enhance durablity. Best, Tim Hardy
post #219 of 230
Quote:
Originally Posted by TimH View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Equus Leather View Post

I agree, we need people to use their leaher so Bakers and others like them can stay in business so we can all enjoy their work. We're going to keep stocking at least he Australian Nut I think for exactly that reason

Incidentally, I was taught to understand that creasing not only gives a decorative finish but compresses the fibres on the edge to enhance durablity. Best, Tim Hardy

Likewise. I have to say whilst I've always been able to see the logic I've never thought it makes much difference TBH, I think we do it because the people who tought us did it and the people who tought them did it and so a tradition is born. It looks right though so we do it because it's always been done.

Charlie
post #220 of 230
Quote:
Originally Posted by Equus Leather View Post

I shall not make snarky comments about the price, the rivets, the dodgy stitching, the lack of crease marks or the unblocked keepers ;-)

What does "unblocked keepers" mean?
post #221 of 230
Quote:
Originally Posted by kolecho View Post

What does "unblocked keepers" mean?

Its possibly easier to answer in reverse. A keeper is blocked when a square block type thing, normally a loop stick, is pushed through a keeper after its stitched to stretch it just the right amount to make it easy to use and give it a squarer, more finished appearance. The keeper will probably have been dampened a little to help it hold the shape and also will probably be tapped with a hammer to give it crisper edges. A lot of this is for appearance, it gives the keeper a more finished appearance and is one of the things that show you wether someone is working to a standard or to a profit margin. If its done properly it should mean the keeper is just the right size for the strap in use and isn't either too tight when new or really ugly and gaping like a lot are. We also re-crease the face whilst we do it - again just helps get the finishing touches right.

I suspect that if you just think a belt is just for holding up a pair of trousers the difference in blocked or not is at best trivial, but it makes a enough of a difference to those who like things to be right that no keepers ever leave here without it being done.

Very quick and not very good photos......

An un blocked running keeper
233

Keeper on a loop stick
233

A blocked and re-creased running keeper
233
post #222 of 230
Just back office today from a trip. And found my belt on my office table, thanks Charlie!
post #223 of 230
Quote:
Originally Posted by Equus Leather View Post

Likewise. I have to say whilst I've always been able to see the logic I've never thought it makes much difference TBH, I think we do it because the people who tought us did it and the people who tought them did it and so a tradition is born. It looks right though so we do it because it's always been done.
Charlie

Charlie, thanks for your eloquent reply which inspired me to look into my notes from my days at Cordwainers back in the Eighties. When you think about it, a cold crease line will not hold for long so a degree of fibre compression must occur with a hot creasing iron thus reinforcing the edge. Similarly with edging irons as used in other areas of leather production such as shoe making when the sole edges are subjected to this to enhance the finish or when using a single crease line along the feathered edge in fine wallet manufacture and light leather goods manufacture where the turnover is rendered virtually invisible by such a process when done properly. History is Knowledge.
post #224 of 230
Quote:
Originally Posted by TimH View Post

...History is Knowledge.

It is and I agree. History and our tradition teaches us many obviously correct things like never stitching across a strap for e.g., but if we don't question the minutiae and look at the empirical evidence from our own work we don't progress. I still maintain the only real effect of creasing in bridgework is decorative, but given part of the joy of something as arcane as what we both do is we can argue about the details till the cows come home its fine we don't agree. I suspect however there are better places for discussing it!

Charlie
Edited by Equus Leather - 11/1/11 at 4:19am
post #225 of 230
Oh no, this is a great conversation.

How else are we supposed to learn about the wonderful minutiae and technology of leather working?

I only understood about a third of Tim Hardy's post...
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