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Leather Quality and Properties - Page 53

post #781 of 1343

:laugh:

post #782 of 1343
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post



I think it was also Rees who said that 18 stitches to the inch...welt stitching...was "middling work."

I might add that even if you see "ridges," as in the JL Paris Bespoke, it is not a guarantee that the number of "ridges" corresponds to the number of stitches. Welt stitching was Traditionally "pricked up" to separate and tighten the stitching. But soon enough some clever fellow invented a tool to "relieve" us all of the onerous and tedious job (yeah, right! Terrible strain, just terrible) of welt pricking--the fudge wheel. Which a maker rolls over the welt after stitching and it impresses a pattern that imitates pricking. But even if the fudge wheel is 8 to the inch and the stitching is 8spi the fudging and the stitching seldom remain congruent for long. The pricking is supposed to go between the stitches , fudging can end up almost anywhere.

When I did this work I used a fine needle that had been ground to a chisel point, mono fishing line (maybe as fine as 2lb. test) for a bristle (daughters all grown and moved away) , veg tanned kangaroo which I acquired stateside (maybe not the prime hides) and a bone folder. I made my hole, made the stitch, and then pushed the leather back toward the stitch to close up the hole. Again it was crude but I could see that it was doable.

PS...it's worth observing that in all probability in all of the stitching photos you posted, with the exception of the Vass and perhaps the JL Paris Bespoke, the stitching was done by machine.

Pretty interesting discussion and if I may ask few things as I choose to think differently when it comes to number of stitches per inch and the underlying philosophy that more is better:
With close stitches you are invariably making more holes in the welt as well as the outsole with a finer thread. As the shoe flexes with your each step and foot exerts pressure these tiny stitches may act like scissors cutting through the minimum leather space in between the holes. Once a stitch is cut or the leather in between is lost there is a chance of the stitches coming loose..

Not trying to say that less the number of stitches the better in any way shape or form, but I feel there has be a balance as to what is most appropriate and I'm sure every cordwainer will have his or her interpretation based on experience.
post #783 of 1343
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Equus Leather View Post

Its also worth saying that in common with a decline in the quality theres also a decline in the quality of hand tools - at one time a good 14spi pricking iron wasn't that difficult to get, the modern ones just aren't them same if you have to buy new though. Less significant than the decline in leather quality (which is definitely happening as well) but a slow cancer unless some one starts raising standards again - at some point we'll run out of good Edwardian tools....

Charlie

That's right. Something that just naturally follows when makers...as a group...choose to make money rather than make shoes.

Of course once upon a time shoemakers made their own tools. I've made awls, collices, and stitch pricks, along with other mundane tools such as knives. So as long as there's people who know the Trade and the Traditions, as long as there's people who are interested in preserving the knowledge, there's hope.
Quote:
Originally Posted by chogall View Post

Some pix of welt stitching for your viewing pleasure

More explanation needed from DWF, BS or other shoe encyclopedias.  And help needed in taking better micro pictures...

How the hell do shoemakers stitch 60 SPI is beyond me but it seems being a masochist is definitely a prerequisite.

It's not easy...it's probably near-as-nevermind impossible given today's state of the Trade and the available tools and leathers.

Rees (John F. Rees : The Art and Mystery of a Cordwainer (London, 1813) said that when he did this work (+50spi) he had used a hair from his daughter's head and an awl so fine that when he pierced the base of his thumb it neither hurt nor bled.

Again, it was done for exhibition work. It was never intended for wearing. It was done to make a point and prove the superiority of work done by human hands...and hearts...versus work done by machines or "wage slaves" with their hearts not in it.

I think it was also Rees who said that 18 stitches to the inch...welt stitching...was "middling work."

I might add that even if you see "ridges," as in the JL Paris Bespoke, it is not a guarantee that the number of "ridges" corresponds to the number of stitches. Welt stitching was Traditionally "pricked up" to separate and tighten the stitching. But soon enough some clever fellow invented a tool to "relieve" us all of the onerous and tedious job (yeah, right! Terrible strain, just terrible) of welt pricking--the fudge wheel. Which a maker rolls over the welt after stitching and it impresses a pattern that imitates pricking. But even if the fudge wheel is 8 to the inch and the stitching is 8spi the fudging and the stitching seldom remain congruent for long. The pricking is supposed to go between the stitches , fudging can end up almost anywhere.

When I did this work I used a fine needle that had been ground to a chisel point, mono fishing line (maybe as fine as 2lb. test) for a bristle (daughters all grown and moved away) , veg tanned kangaroo which I acquired stateside (maybe not the prime hides) and a bone folder. I made my hole, made the stitch, and then pushed the leather back toward the stitch to close up the hole. Again it was crude but I could see that it was doable.

PS...it's worth observing that in all probability in all of the stitching photos you posted, with the exception of the Vass and perhaps the JL Paris Bespoke, the stitching was done by machine.

--

Googled " welt pricking", what did I find?



I wonder whose work that is?
post #784 of 1343
Quote:
Originally Posted by sstomcat View Post

Pretty interesting discussion and if I may ask few things as I choose to think differently when it comes to number of stitches per inch and the underlying philosophy that more is better:
With close stitches you are invariably making more holes in the welt as well as the outsole with a finer thread. As the shoe flexes with your each step and foot exerts pressure these tiny stitches may act like scissors cutting through the minimum leather space in between the holes. Once a stitch is cut or the leather in between is lost there is a chance of the stitches coming loose..

Not trying to say that less the number of stitches the better in any way shape or form, but I feel there has be a balance as to what is most appropriate and I'm sure every cordwainer will have his or her interpretation based on experience.

Yes, but those ultimate number of stitch per inch shoes were never meant to be worn just displayed as testaments to the craft.
post #785 of 1343
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fang66 View Post

Googled " welt pricking", what did I find?



I wonder whose work that is?

Is that one of mine? Looks like a shoe I did some years ago. What was the link? I forgot I had that photo--was looking yesterday to post one here.

If it is, it's an "oldie." It may be 12spi, I can't remember but I'm significantly better now, I think.
post #786 of 1343
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post


Is that one of mine? Looks like a shoe I did some years ago. What was the link? I forgot I had that photo--was looking yesterday to post one here.

If it is, it's an "oldie." It may be 12spi, I can't remember but I'm significantly better now, I think.

 

http://www.xmarksthescot.com/forum/f103/shoes-46940/index5.html

post #787 of 1343
Quote:
Originally Posted by sstomcat View Post

Pretty interesting discussion and if I may ask few things as I choose to think differently when it comes to number of stitches per inch and the underlying philosophy that more is better:
With close stitches you are invariably making more holes in the welt as well as the outsole with a finer thread. As the shoe flexes with your each step and foot exerts pressure these tiny stitches may act like scissors cutting through the minimum leather space in between the holes. Once a stitch is cut or the leather in between is lost there is a chance of the stitches coming loose..

Not trying to say that less the number of stitches the better in any way shape or form, but I feel there has be a balance as to what is most appropriate and I'm sure every cordwainer will have his or her interpretation based on experience.

Yes, you're correct as far as it goes. But in truth the longer the stitches the more stress is put on each stitch during walking. It's like pillars under a bridge...the bridge flexes too. More pillars distribute the flex more evenly and each pillar receives less . Less pillars and each pillar has to bear up under more stress relative to the amount of flex.

I think a case could be made that depending on the quality of the leather (as well as the size of the needle/awl), up to a point smaller equals...at least equivalent strength.

As Patrick said when you start getting to really tight spi of the sort involved in exhibition work it was never intended to bear any stress.

In any case, it's true there is a point of diminishing returns--where more stitches per inch probably equals less utility, just as longer stitches also can equal less utility. But, for all practical purposes, except for the difficulty in doing it I don't think we lose significant function or useability, in leather, in anything looser than 20-22 spi or wider than, say, 4spi. Depends on the application and the leather. For instance, 20 spi on the uppers is, by today's standards, doable but very tight...yet completely unacceptable for an inseam or welt stitch.

--
Edited by DWFII - 11/6/13 at 10:49am
post #788 of 1343
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fang66 View Post

Googled " welt pricking", what did I find?



I wonder whose work that is?

Is that one of mine? Looks like a shoe I did some years ago. What was the link? I forgot I had that photo--was looking yesterday to post one here.

If it is, it's an "oldie." It may be 12spi, I can't remember but I'm significantly better now, I think.

"I am not a master of this technique but I get better with every attempt". Posted in 09 to http://www.xmarksthescot.com/forum/f103/shoes-46940/index5.html

Pic is at http://www.bootmaker.com/pics/outseam_hand.jpg
post #789 of 1343
Quote:

Thanks! Heck, that was 5 years ago. (made those shoes in '08).

Can it be that long ago?!!
post #790 of 1343
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post


Thanks! Heck, that was 5 years ago. (made those shoes in '08).

Can it be that long ago?!!

 

Time flies when you're having fun!

post #791 of 1343
Quote:
Originally Posted by MoneyWellSpent View Post

Time flies when you're having fun!

I'm here to tell you!

It also flies when you get old enough that you need naps...again.
post #792 of 1343
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post


I might add that even if you see "ridges," as in the JL Paris Bespoke, it is not a guarantee that the number of "ridges" corresponds to the number of stitches. Welt stitching was Traditionally "pricked up" to separate and tighten the stitching. But soon enough some clever fellow invented a tool to "relieve" us all of the onerous and tedious job (yeah, right! Terrible strain, just terrible) of welt pricking--the fudge wheel. Which a maker rolls over the welt after stitching and it impresses a pattern that imitates pricking. But even if the fudge wheel is 8 to the inch and the stitching is 8spi the fudging and the stitching seldom remain congruent for long. The pricking is supposed to go between the stitches , fudging can end up almost anywhere.

The fudge wheel has been in use with English shoemakers at least since Edwardian times (if not earlier). The wheel gets used twice, it gets pressed into the (virgin) welt and thus marks the number of stitches. After the stitching has been done, it gets used again and presses the stitches down into the 'valleys'. First and subsequent fudging have to hit high and low the absolutely identical way. Otherwise the shoemaker is 'making babies', which is a very bad thing (well, these kind of babies).



Sole stitched, with the stitches placed exactly into the markings provided by the wheel




Finished welt/sole after second fudging and staining


All English and French makers (of repute) use the fudge wheel. Judging by 'nutcracker's' thread, the majority of Japanese makers use it as well). The pricking iron is the preserve of the Austro-Hungarian school (Vass uses it). I'm not sure about the Italians.
post #793 of 1343

^^^ Good info, thanks.

post #794 of 1343
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post


I might add that even if you see "ridges," as in the JL Paris Bespoke, it is not a guarantee that the number of "ridges" corresponds to the number of stitches. Welt stitching was Traditionally "pricked up" to separate and tighten the stitching. But soon enough some clever fellow invented a tool to "relieve" us all of the onerous and tedious job (yeah, right! Terrible strain, just terrible) of welt pricking--the fudge wheel. Which a maker rolls over the welt after stitching and it impresses a pattern that imitates pricking. But even if the fudge wheel is 8 to the inch and the stitching is 8spi the fudging and the stitching seldom remain congruent for long. The pricking is supposed to go between the stitches , fudging can end up almost anywhere.

When I did this work I used a fine needle that had been ground to a chisel point, mono fishing line (maybe as fine as 2lb. test) for a bristle (daughters all grown and moved away) , veg tanned kangaroo which I acquired stateside (maybe not the prime hides) and a bone folder. I made my hole, made the stitch, and then pushed the leather back toward the stitch to close up the hole. Again it was crude but I could see that it was doable.

PS...it's worth observing that in all probability in all of the stitching photos you posted, with the exception of the Vass and perhaps the JL Paris Bespoke, the stitching was done by machine.

--

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bengal-stripe View Post


The fudge wheel has been in use with English shoemakers at least since Edwardian times (if not earlier). The wheel gets used twice, it gets pressed into the (virgin) welt and thus marks the number of stitches. After the stitching has been done, it gets used again and presses the stitches down into the 'valleys'. First and subsequent fudging have to hit high and low the absolutely identical way. Otherwise the shoemaker is 'making babies', which is a very bad thing (well, these kind of babies).

  Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
 


Sole stitched, with the stitches placed exactly into the markings provided by the wheel


  Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
 


Finished welt/sole after second fudging and staining


All English and French makers (of repute) use the fudge wheel. Judging by 'nutcracker's' thread, the majority of Japanese makers use it as well). The pricking iron is the preserve of the Austro-Hungarian school (Vass uses it). I'm not sure about the Italians.

 

That does remind me of a question I had for DWF.  How did you manage to get the "pricks" so perfectly spaced if you did that by free hand?  Is there some sort of tool that you used to ensure perfect spacing?

post #795 of 1343
You mean, like a ruler?
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