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Sole Welting - Page 13

post #181 of 1182
Quote:
Originally Posted by RogerP View Post
 

 

Cheers.  Any idea what the price range is for the Linea Maestro?

A very affordable 260 (VAT included).  Since you live in Canada you'll get the 21% VAT deducted, so net price is 214.88  However, you would be hit by import duties.  Have a look at the Meermin thread here: http://www.styleforum.net/t/277707/meermin-mallorca-shoes

 

Would love to try their hand welted line but they don't offer them in UK 5.0, and I don't want to pay the MTO upcharge.  

post #182 of 1182

Thanks - those must certainly rank as the most affordable hand-welted RTW shoes on the  market.

post #183 of 1182

Here's an interesting item from Carreducker blog.

 

" Don't forget, the basis of a Goodyear welted shoe is glue - if it fails, the shoe falls apart. Not like a leather feather/holdfast. Just sayin..."

 

me too, just sayin'

post #184 of 1182
Although many in Northamptonshire offer hand sewn lasting for the bespoke service, so they must have the craftspeople to do it. And then there's some people starting off on their own, like Sid Roberts. I do not understand why some of the makers that offer "made to order" models (shoes made on their standard lasts, and based on their RTW models, but the client can choose leathers, colours and many other details, soles, etc) could not add to this an option to hand sew at the lasting stage. The ones I've contacted have not replied positively. Something about the process is probably escaping me. If this were possible it would be cheaper than a full bespoke.
post #185 of 1182
Quote:
Originally Posted by thelonius View Post

Although many in Northamptonshire offer hand sewn lasting for the bespoke service, so they must have the craftspeople to do it. And then there's some people starting off on their own, like Sid Roberts. I do not understand why some of the makers that offer "made to order" models (shoes made on their standard lasts, and based on their RTW models, but the client can choose leathers, colours and many other details, soles, etc) could not add to this an option to hand sew at the lasting stage. The ones I've contacted have not replied positively. Something about the process is probably escaping me. If this were possible it would be cheaper than a full bespoke.


Pardon me, I don't wish to revive the "late unpleasantness," but I think you're asking the wrong question. It sounds to me as if what you really want to know is why hand welting isn't the "go to" construction technique...esp. at the prices asked.

Hand inseaming isn't all that hard to do, conceptually. It does take work and time however. And that's just the sewing, you still have to purchase a stock of really good quality insole leather; grade, cut, channel (can be done by machine) and prepare the insole for hand welting; cut, bevel and prepare welt; make up the waxed ends (which admittedly can be done en masse); bristle; provide, sharpen and prepare awls (often idiosyncratically) , hand leathers, large amounts of beeswax and individual work benches for inseamers.

It is by no means a "wham, bam, thank you ma'am" type of thing.

When I first got into the business I was told that a skilled bottom man could inseam twelve pair of boots in a day...of course that was just waist to waist. After 40+ years I can hand welt a shoe...breast to breast, with a locked, hasluck whip stitch in the heel...in about an hour and a half or a little more. Admittedly, I'm not interested in speed--speed kills...quality. But I doubt anyone can do it in half that time. I would sure like to watch if they could.

Now the GY machine can do all of that in five minutes or the like and all the incidentals--the quality insole, the awls the bristles, all of that is beside the point. Not a factor. Not wanted, not interested.

And as we've seen in other threads, the upper leather is not significantly all that much better between the really high end leathers and the more run-of-the-mill leathers. Yet, in a very real sense, the upper leather is really the only substantive thing that distinguishes the cachet brands from the scorned. All else is pretty much the same.

Yet some outfits/workshops...like St. Crispin and Vass...do hand welt all their shoes. And still charge less than the big Northampton manufactures.

I don't know about anyone else but knowing what I know, it makes me wonder what the cachet brand guys are charging for when they make a GY, RTW shoe?

?!

--
Edited by DWFII - 12/13/13 at 8:09am
post #186 of 1182
I have been given to understand that the labor costs in Hungary and Romania (Vass and St. Crispin's) are a good deal less than in Northampton. I have no independent knowledge of this, but if it is true, it could at least partially explain why some manufcturers are able to offer a hand-welted shoe at a given price point while others are not.
post #187 of 1182
My reason for bringing the "made to order" option up was that, while wishing to purchase some hand sewn shoes, I thought this would be a way of keeping down the cost. I have to be clear that it is difficult for me personally at present to pay the price for bespoke shoes, which seem to start at around £1300, and usually go way above, and I had the idea that, with the made-to-order option, no feet measuring or personal last making would be required, so this must surely impact the price (downwards). However, the two makers in my home region I've contacted say they don't do it (no discussion), and I wonder why. Ordering Vass over the Internet is my next path, but it's risky with the last shapes and size.
post #188 of 1182
Quote:
Originally Posted by thelonius View Post

My reason for bringing the "made to order" option up was that, while wishing to purchase some hand sewn shoes, I thought this would be a way of keeping down the cost. I have to be clear that it is difficult for me personally at present to pay the price for bespoke shoes, which seem to start at around £1300, and usually go way above, and I had the idea that, with the made-to-order option, no feet measuring or personal last making would be required, so this must surely impact the price (downwards). However, the two makers in my home region I've contacted say they don't do it (no discussion), and I wonder why. Ordering Vass over the Internet is my next path, but it's risky with the last shapes and size.

You'd think that but I personally am not at all surprised at the "we (sic) don't do it (no discussion)" response. It takes considerable skill and intuition and deft hands to create or modify a last for an individual customer. It involves years of training and paying a relatively higher wage for a number of years based mostly on faith. And ultimately it also forces the maker to be responsible in a way that RTW absolves them of. So why would it surprise anyone that the manufactuaries don't want to make that investment/commitment?

Similarly with hand welters. And again, none of that factors in all the incidental costs--the price of "better quality" insole shoulder, just for one.

With the inseaming issue, if my estimates are anywhere near to reality, there's an 8-1 discrepancy in the output of an untrained machine operator and the (highly optimistic) output of the skilled bottom man. At the end of the day, that's 96 pairs of shoes versus 12.

And it bears repeating that...still...none of that takes into account the jobs, workers wages and material costs associated with getting to the point where the bottom man can even begin to sew. There would have to be a huge wage difference to make up the discrepancy. Again, for untrained versus trained.

In fact, you could make the case that since the inseam is theoretically (depending on what you want to believe, I guess) the backbone of the shoe, the handwelter is essential to an operation like Vass or St. Crispin in a way that the machine operator is not. And it follows that they would be paid higher wages than the button pusher, relatively speaking.

It's perhaps also worth noting that if I'm not mistaken, Vass and St, Crispin last by hand as well. Which is another time/wage discrepancy of at least three or four to one relative to machine lasting.

Believe me when I tell you that the manufacturers have figured this all out long before you and I ever came on the scene--it's called "maximizing profit" and it's a science.

--
Edited by DWFII - 12/13/13 at 9:21am
post #189 of 1182
Quote:
Originally Posted by testudoaubreii View Post

Here's an interesting item from Carreducker blog.

" Don't forget, the basis of a Goodyear welted shoe is glue - if it fails, the shoe falls apart. Not like a leather feather/holdfast. Just sayin..."

me too, just sayin'

I saw that. I read James' blog every Friday morning. It's a ritual for me, I guess.
post #190 of 1182
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post

After 40+ years I can hand welt a shoe...breast to breast, with a locked, hasluck whip stitch in the heel...in about an hour and a half or a little more.

I believe you are just talking about pulling the thread through a fully prepared insole.

What about the time it takes to block and trim the insole; cut two channels to create a 'holdfast'; pre-perforate the holdfast; roll and wax the thread by hand; prepare the welt..........after this is all done you can start stitching and your one and a half hours clock-down begins. One of the top English bottom makers, who has worked as a freelance maker for 35+ years, completing two and a half pairs per week, reckons it takes him a whole day to get a pair to the 'in welt'' stage(that might include the lasting).

Despite some of the rumours going through this forum, English freelance shoemakers would earn less than supermarket check-outs, I can state categorically, that is not the case. They are not exceptionally well paid, but those days of Edwardian London when there were so many shoemakers that you could get away with paying them pittance, are well and truly over.

What people do not realize, that retailers need a margin as well: any increase in the wholesale price will become two and a half times in the retail price.To hand-welt a pair of shoes to bespoke standard (not using some of the short-cuts that seem to be common with some of the firms offering the cheap hand-welting), will increase the price of the pair by about 50%.
post #191 of 1182

^^^ Interesting - so then it's a good deal more than an extra hour and a half involved per shoe (pair?), hand-welt versus GYW?  In either case, I would suspect that it would make a rather significant difference in the context of the annual volume produced by a company like, say, Lobb.  I don't remember the exact numbers, but the volume produced by St. Crispin's is a small fraction of that produced by Lobb.

post #192 of 1182
Quote:
Originally Posted by bengal-stripe View Post

I believe you are just talking about pulling the thread through a fully prepared insole.

What about the time it takes to block and trim the insole; cut two channels to create a 'holdfast'; pre-perforate the holdfast; roll and wax the thread by hand; prepare the welt..........after this is all done you can start stitching and your one and a half hours clock-down begins. One of the top English bottom makers, who has worked as a freelance maker for 35+ years, completing two and a half pairs per week, reckons it takes him a whole day to get a pair to the 'in welt'' stage(that might include the lasting).

Despite some of the rumours going through this forum, English freelance shoemakers would earn less than supermarket check-outs, I can state categorically, that is not the case. They are not exceptionally well paid, but those days of Edwardian London when there were so many shoemakers that you could get away with paying them pittance, are well and truly over.

What people do not realize, that retailers need a margin as well: any increase in the wholesale price will become two and a half times in the retail price.To hand-welt a pair of shoes to bespoke standard (not using some of the short-cuts that seem to be common with some of the firms offering the cheap hand-welting), will increase the price of the pair by about 50%.

Oh, for god's sake!

What does this mean, do you suppose?!
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post

Hand inseaming isn't all that hard to do, conceptually. It does take work and time however. And that's just the sewing, you still have to purchase a stock of really good quality insole leather; grade, cut, channel (can be done by machine) and prepare the insole for hand welting; cut, bevel and prepare welt; make up the waxed ends (which admittedly can be done en masse); bristle; provide, sharpen and prepare awls (often idiosyncratically) , hand leathers, large amounts of beeswax and individual work benches for inseamers.
--

It's so hard to have a conversation...
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post

And it bears repeating that...still...none of that takes into account the jobs, workers wages and material costs associated with getting to the point where the bottom man can even begin to sew. There would have to be a huge wage difference to make up the discrepancy. Again, for untrained versus trained.

...esp. when people seem to be deliberately looking for reasons to disagree.

I agree with you! I agree with you! I agree with you! If that's not clear, redacting or ignoring what I said won't make it moreso.

--
Edited by DWFII - 12/13/13 at 1:28pm
post #193 of 1182
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post


Hand inseaming.......does take work and time however. And that's just the sewing, you still have to purchase a stock of really good quality insole leather; grade, cut, channel (can be done by machine) and prepare the insole for hand welting; cut, bevel and prepare welt; make up the waxed ends (which admittedly can be done en masse); bristle; provide, ]sharpen and prepare awls (often idiosyncratically) , hand leathers, large amounts of beeswax and individual work benches for inseamers.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post


After 40+ years I can hand welt a shoe...breast to breast, with a locked, hasluck whip stitch in the heel...in about an hour and a half or a little more. ?

You make it sound as you are able to do all the caboodle in three hours flat.

So, if the welt-stitching takes you three hours, how long do the other steps (which, of course are part and parcel of 'hand-welting') take you?
post #194 of 1182
Quote:
Originally Posted by bengal-stripe View Post


You make it sound as you are able to do all the caboodle in three hours flat.

Only if you skim over what I said. And those two quotes are from two different posts....I repeated myself to undersccore the point, IOW
Quote:
Originally Posted by bengal-stripe View Post

So, if the welt-stitching takes you three hours, how long do the other steps (which, of course are part and parcel of 'hand-welting') take you?

I've never added it all up. I don't do it all in one day. The jobs are so fundamentally disparate, it's hard to go from one to the other.

So...how long? I'm guessing but I'd say another three hours at least....not counting time for the rough cut insole to "sweeten" in the water, or for the rough blocked insole to dry, or stuffing the grainside with tallow, etc., etc..

I'm dead slow. I am semi-retired. I have shoulder issues. I am not trying to do it quickly (didn't I say that? I think I did.), Hell, it takes me 4-6 hours to get a pair of outsoles mounted, channeled and ready to stitch and another 4-6 hours per shoe to stitch at 11-12 spi.

But when I sit down to do it, I'm not dilly-dallying either. Slow and steady that's the ticket.

--
Edited by DWFII - 12/13/13 at 2:20pm
post #195 of 1182
Well said, bengal. Thank you for your added insight. It's very much appreciated.
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