or Connect
Styleforum › Forums › Men's Style › Classic Menswear › can you tell by this pic if it is goodyear or hand welted?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

can you tell by this pic if it is goodyear or hand welted? - Page 5

post #61 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by thelonius View Post

OK, the holdfast is not hand-carved, but is cut by the machine. But it's the holdfast that is sewn through (yes, backed by a canvas strip), by hand, and acts as the main rib holding the insole to the other parts. Even though it is reinforced by a canvas strip, I don't think it's correct to call this gemming in this case. The video states that the insole leathers are 5 mm at the end of preparation before being cut. For shoes costing around 650-700 euros their techniques seem to be laudable, no ?

Yes and no. The leather rib is indeed a kind of holdfast. The canvas reinforcing is gemming, nothing else.

The real issue here is, as I mentioned before--you're forcing the the leather fibers into a position that is perpendicular to the way they would naturally want to lay.

First they are cut, then jimmied vertical. Just doing that, creates a strain on those fibers that is not natural. Then you "postage stamp" the rib.

What I've seen throughout the years is that the rib breaks. When the rib breaks it's almost worse that a simple slippage of the gemming in the more common cement gemmed shoe, because when the gemming slips the insole remains full thickness. But when the ribbing breaks the best scenario is that there is a portion of the insole that is now roughly half the thickness of the rest of the insole--creating a depression under foot; And the worst scenario is that when the rib breaks it takes some of the leather at the base of the rib with it.--creating an actual hole in the insole.

Without that thick slab of cork the rib breaks even sooner simply from the weight of the body as well as the force of the shoe flexing. Take a wire clothes hanger and bend it in one place. Now bend it back and forth in same place ten to fifteen times. What happens? The wire breaks. The same sort of stresses and forces apply to this kind of construction.

Having said that, I do believe that this variant of GY is significantly superior to GY that relies solely on cemented gemming. But it can't hold a candle to hand welted.

On a scale of one to ten, with cemented gemming being one and good handwelted being ten, leather ribbed GY would be about a four in my book....maybe a six if the leather is really well tanned, supple, long fibered, and heavy enough.
post #62 of 67
This poem to my first Trickers brogues has been deleted
Edited by thelonius - 11/4/13 at 4:45am
post #63 of 67
Listen, in an ideal world everyone should have a choice and every choice should be available. Can we get that far?

Because there are a number of people here who seem to think that "better" is the enemy of the "good"--it's not, it doesn't have to be. And I'm not saying that it is.

Nor am I saying that "good" is the enemy of "better" although in a consumer driven economy, it might very well be. It can be.

Why? Well, like I said...tacitly...in another thread, when the demand for handwelted shoes drops below a certain level there will be no more handwelted shoes.

When the quality of leather required to do handwelted work...when the Bakers of the world...finally disappears for lack of demand; when the skilled bottomers are all pensioned off and the last one "catches the bus"; when the last of the "grinderies" goes "tips up'; when the knowledge of how to prepare a last, and the channel the leather, and make the taws on the waxed ends is lost to the ages and the deadening of our appreciation for quality; no one will do it, much less be able to do it...

When the demand for good quality leather soles falls below a certain point, all that will be left is mediocre quality leather outsoles. And when the demand for mediocre quality gives way to the demand for rubber outsoles not even the tanneries producing poor quality leather soles will survive...

When GY construction finally yields to pure cement construction...and it will, simply because the latter is cheaper and faster and requires less machines and no human operators...

Then when the demand for really good calf falls below a certain point, tanneries will turn to corrected grain leathers, just to survive for the next little bit...

All that will be left is plastic shoes with molded soles.

And they'll be shiny and antiqued, stamped to look like they're gimped and brogued, and no one will be able to tell (from the highway) that they're not real leather. Maybe no one will even remember what real leather looked like. So who's gonna care anyway?

And you'll be able to wear them every day for fifty years in mud and in rain and in heat and in dust, and they'll never fall apart, or let moisture in, or allow your feet to feel the stones underneath your foot.

"Oh brave new world that has such wonders (sic) in't!"

--
Edited by DWFII - 11/2/13 at 8:34pm
post #64 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post

...

And they'll be shiny and antiqued, stamped to look like they're gimped and brogued, and no one will be able to tell (from the highway) that they're not real leather. Maybe no one will even remember what real leather looked like. So who's gonna care anyway?

And you'll be able to wear them every day for fifty years in mud and in rain and in heat and in dust, and they'll never fall apart, or let moisture in, or allow your feet to feel the stones underneath your foot.

"Oh brave new world that has such wonders (sic) in't!"

--

I'll play the devil's advocate. You may not have time to play, however I'll continue. If we can add to the end of the last phrase "or allow your feet to feel the stones under your feet", the following ------ "and also let your feet breath just like good quality leather, and in fact do absolutely everything that a hand-stitched shoe can do that is made by the very best shoemaker using the very best materials, and, to add to that, the materials used were not based on petrochemicals but were produced from plant oil polymers that could be recycled entirely and whose fabrication was entirely neutral to the environment" ---  then..........would you stop making hand-sewn shoes ? It's a nonsense of course. But would a shoe expert, knowledgeable in all forms of the art, but blind unfortunately, who has had two pairs of shoes made for him/her, identical in every way, except that one pair are made with GY welting and gemming, and the other by hand stitching, be able to tell the difference ? And if they can't, why don't we all migrate to the other, cheaper GY-welted models ? But I think that that blind owner will be able to tell the difference, and that there is a real joy to be had from bespoke and hand-stiched shoes. However, the idea of using a scale of 1 to 10, and put (excellent quality) GY-welted shoes as 1, with JM Westons with their leather insole cut technique at 4, and a hand-stiched shoe using your method at 10, is an exageration, and probably offensive. On a scale of 1 to 10, where would C&J's be if Clark's were put at 1? Not being a shoemaker myself, but having had a fair amount of contact with the Northamptonshire shoe industry, and having appreciated some excellent shoes produced by people who take a real pride in their work in these companies, I'd be happy to hear some more balanced comments from makers such as yourself. 

post #65 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by thelonius View Post
 

OK, the holdfast is not hand-carved, but is cut by the machine. But it's the holdfast that is sewn through (yes, backed by a canvas strip), by hand, and acts as the main rib holding the insole to the other parts. Even though it is reinforced by a canvas strip, I don't think it's correct to call this gemming in this case. The video states that the insole leathers are 5 mm at the end of preparation before being cut. For shoes costing around 650-700 euros their techniques seem to be laudable, no ?

 

The name for that canvas strip is gemming.

 

 

post #66 of 67
Here we go again... plain.gif
post #67 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by thelonius View Post

I'd be happy to hear some more balanced comments from makers such as yourself. 

Honestly...and with no disrespect intended... I can't give you a "more balanced comment"--for two reasons:

First, what you're looking for isn't really a balanced comment, at all. It's more an endorsement of what you already believe.

Second, and probably just as important--I don't believe.

Nor do I have a "balanced" point of view in the sense that you would regard as balanced.

I have looked at, repaired and evaluated GY construction against other methods of construction. I have done this..."hands on"...repeatedly over many years. I have come to the conclusion that GY is actually something inferior pretending to be "Traditional" quality. It's like "faux" leather--it's an imitation.. Call it what you want, on the outside it looks like a handwelted shoe, but underneath the facade it is really a cemented shoe. The average customer would buy it not knowing the difference. In some sense, GY is marketed under false pretexts.

That's my assessment, stated here, unequivocally many many times.

I don't believe in GY construction. I believe in Traditional shoemaking--best practices, best materials, according to Traditional standards.

Albert Einstein said "The only source of knowledge is experience." My point of view is based on experience and hands-on quality analysis. It's not grey-scale. It's not "relative." It's not speculative. It's not placatory.

It's not ever going to be "balanced."

Sorry, I couldn't be more of a help...

--
Edited by DWFII - 11/7/13 at 5:23am
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Classic Menswear
Styleforum › Forums › Men's Style › Classic Menswear › can you tell by this pic if it is goodyear or hand welted?