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Shoemaking Techniques and Traditions--"...these foolish things..." - Page 97

post #1441 of 1710
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zapasman View Post

Ecwy, that maker uses Original GYW construction for some of their models with a 90º leather flap (made by machine), to wich a canvas strip is glued. I understand that in the Hunt model they do something similar (machine < leather cut without canvas strip) to prepare the insole for the norvegese inseaming. 

Here is another clear example from another maker

.

Thanks but the ribbing makes sense for gyw to attach the welt. I don't understand how it works with Norvegese though. There isn't any way that I know of to do a norvegese welt by machine.

It also justifies why that model is so much more expensive.

Anyway i was actually more curious about the insole preparation especially from a rtw maker. I'm just thinking why there isn't a machine invented that can create the holdfast (heresy in this thread i know).
post #1442 of 1710
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post

Well, the bespoke maker always starts with the foot...as opposed to the manufacturer who always starts with the last (missing step)...but no two feet are the same. For instance, I have a naturally low arch, almost flat feet. and I do tend to pronate a bit. But an arch cookie, esp. an insert, bothers my feet.

The moral of the story is that additional arch support is not always appropriate even when the foot seems to pronate. Introducing pain to the foot in the name of foot health...or even fit....is counter-productive.

Generally speaking, a well constructed shoe made on a good last will provide the support most people need in a shoe. But a lot is dependent on the heel stiffener (and yes, the stiffener can be and often is, extended)--how thick it is, how stiff it is, etc.. And I believe that a good shank support helps more than a little, as well. Fit is a lot of it too. Or the way the customer laces up his shoe. Wearing a loose shoe will almost certainly obviate any support or structure in the shoe, esp. over time.

IMO, the narrowness of the insole in the waist is not as important as an appropriate width of the insole. The photo of insole you posted, does not show a particularly narrow insole. In fact, I would almost call it a wide insole through the waist. But the maker is insetting the holdfast so that he can position the inseam further under the shoe and thus hide it...for a beveled and fiddleback waist, for instance.

I agree.
post #1443 of 1710

I have a question regarding the finishing.

 

In the centuries past the finishing of leather shoes and especially the boots was considered an important part of shoe/boot making art.

Once the boot was made it went through a very laborious process that was also very dirty; making a Santa descend through the main hearth chimney leaving considerably less marks, wax calf aside. 

How it's done today, with modern chemistry?

 

After a black or a chestnut boot is made, does the shoemaker treat it with a conditioner, how many cream layers and polish (wax) layers? 

Some use alcohol based pigments made "in house", some Saphir products.

 

How would it look like? For a Wellington or a riding boot made of first grade thick leather. 


Edited by Nikolaus - 6/3/16 at 8:06am
post #1444 of 1710
Thread Starter 
^ Not all boots and shoes were finished with chimney black--that was generally reserved for what was known as 'waxed calf"-- a vegetable tanned best grade "Best India Kip" that was stuffed with lanolin and cod oil and left to "cure" for up to a year. The flesh was then scrubbed with a lye soap and impregnated with chimney black (pure carbon) and then burnished to a mirror shine with flour paste.

Granted, there was a time when most men's shoes and boots, esp. for utility...were made of such leather. But concurrent with such work, boots and shoes of finer leather were made...esp. for women.

Today there may be no one in the world making this type of waxed flesh leather the way it was Traditionally done. Some tanners/curriers offer facsimiles...reasonable or not. Usually based on veg or veg retanned cowhides, aniline dye, and a solvent based lacquer finish applied over the flesh.

As for "what it would look like," I made my own "waxed calf" at one point using a Traditional recipe for the stuffing...omitting the extended curing time...and using an aniline dye instead of the Traditional chimney black and lye soap. No lacquer.

The results were acceptable...although perhaps not exemplary...although certainly better than the common commercial offering.

post #1445 of 1710

Thanks for the picture DWF-II :) the boots surely look as an exposition piece on historic footwear. 

 

The modern leathers used for bootmaking, how do you treat them? only a few layers of paste and wax, or are there special methods for the first creaming? 

post #1446 of 1710
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikolaus View Post

Thanks for the picture DWF-II smile.gif  the boots surely look as an exposition piece on historic footwear. 

The modern leathers used for bootmaking, how do you treat them? only a few layers of paste and wax, or are there special methods for the first creaming? 

I don't use modern iterations of waxed calf much, but since the finish is generally lacquer based, when I do use them, I just treat the leather like an ordinary finished calf. Keep them clean and occasional applications of Bick4 and occasional cream or paste wax if colour has been lost. And regular, even frequent brushing.

I still have some old-timey waxed calf, bought and paid for by customers. But they don't want the Traditional mirror shine that comes with burnishing the whole boot by hand with wheat paste. So I let them satisfy themselves in that regard...mostly they use something like Montana Pitch Blend and call it a day.
post #1447 of 1710
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post


I don't use modern iterations of waxed calf much, but since the finish is generally lacquer based, when I do use them, I just treat the leather like an ordinary finished calf. Keep them clean and occasional applications of Bick4 and occasional cream or paste wax if colour has been lost. And regular, even frequent brushing.

I still have some old-timey waxed calf, bought and paid for by customers. But they don't want the Traditional mirror shine that comes with burnishing the whole boot by hand with wheat paste. So I let them satisfy themselves in that regard...mostly they use something like Montana Pitch Blend and call it a d

I am not fun at all of mirror shine, but could you please post a pic of that kind of finishing to see how it looks like?

post #1448 of 1710
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zapasman View Post

I am not fun at all of mirror shine, but could you please post a pic of that kind of finishing to see how it looks like?

You'd have to go to a museum or perhaps Colonial Williamsburg to see what it looks like. I've done it but have no photos and as Nikolaus said, it is dirty, dirty work if done from scratch as the Traditional recipes call for. Once upon a time shoemakers were divided into two camps--men's work and women's work. A maker doing man's work--using waxed calf was ne3ver allowed to do women's work , which often involved delicate brocades and silks etc.. The men's work makers had so much chimney black on their tools, under their fingernails, and deeply embedded in their finger prints and their aprons that they would have irreparably soiled any fine work.
post #1449 of 1710

I see. Glad to see things have changed at least in some countries !!. Thanks.

post #1450 of 1710

ohh, and was hoping there were still some hidden recipes for that final stage, when you cream and polish a new made boot for the first time :colgate:

The waxed calf has gone out of favour a century ago; that thing was really, well saying it to the point, the maintenance would scare even Cruella De Ville. 

The only practical aspect of that thing was the scratches issue; the boot was always like new after it was bone-smoothed.

 

The modern French Calf leathers are easy to maintain, however hiding the scratches with layers of shoe paste or other high-resin scratch-hiding paste products is just non effective; so even if boots are a symbol of sturdiness, one has to dance in them like if made of satin (and then you get a scratch from some hard decorative plastic in your car).

I've just put a pair of my black boots through the "renovating" maintenance; Saphir RenoMat to remove the old layers and then 4 coats of Saphir paste; I think I'l have to apply one more layer of cream before putting on the wax (polish). Some work; 1 hour for each coat. And there was this small cut I've got in my city car; grrr. 

 

The worst part of it all is that the art of bootmaking is disappearing. My last boots were made in Germany; now they don't make them anymore; they've even got rid of the equipment. 

Asked the Italians; they warned me, that they would base them on a shoe and that the result might be slightly different from my expectations. 

Now one has to travel to Rome, where there is one master left, or go to England to visit Horace Batten. Practically one has to travel across half Europe for a pair of walking boots (not riding). 

At least Hollywood saved the Western boot in The States. 

post #1451 of 1710
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zapasman View Post
 

Ecwy, that maker uses Original GYW construction for some of their models with a 90º leather flap (made by machine), to wich a canvas strip is glued. I understand that in the Hunt model they do something similar (machine < leather cut without canvas strip) to prepare the insole for the norvegese inseaming. 

 

Here is another clear example from another maker (made by hand?)

 

 

.

 

 

 

http://scontent.cdninstagram.com/t50.2886-16/13347517_762206953921164_156046590_n.mp4

 

Mystery partially solved? Looks like some leather rib of sorts similar to their GYW models?

post #1452 of 1710
post #1453 of 1710

I have been wondering what, if any, part the upper plays in providing arch support. Is support a function of the insole construction or can a narrow waist provide some additional structure to support the inner arch?

post #1454 of 1710

While I am wondering things...

 

Is it possible to relast a handwelted shoe to a narrower or wider width? How about shorter or longer? I ask because conceivably one could keep and wear a pair of shoes for 20 or more years. During the course of that time, the foot may change. Thoughts on this for the uneducated?

 

Calling @DWFII  and other professionals to chime in. Thanks!

post #1455 of 1710
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdavro23 View Post

I have been wondering what, if any, part the upper plays in providing arch support. Is support a function of the insole construction or can a narrow waist provide some additional structure to support the inner arch?

Personally, I think the upper...or at least the way it fits....does have at least a small role to play in foot and arch support.

Of course, if the foot is damaged or just inherently incapable of supporting itself, nothing will help short of a purpose-made arch sup[port.

And esp. in such circumstances, the width of the waist of the insole is almost immaterial.
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