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Shoemaking Techniques and Traditions--"...these foolish things..." - Page 103

post #1531 of 1710

post #1532 of 1710
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post

 


A sewing machine is a machine...is a machine...is a machine...is a machine. And you never specified "heavy" machines...you simply said "no machines" "never." You'll have to forgive me if I think it a bit hypocritical (or perhaps "dissonant" is the better word) to make that distinction. Now you want to walk it all back...as if you didn't really mean the "never, never" bit.
I will never enter disqualifications and insults, but, as a licensed teacher, I'll define what is a hypocrite:
  It´s a person o people who pretends to be what it is not, either through religion, virtues, characteristics, ideas, feelings, etc.
So insults and disqualifications can be your style but isn´t mine. I limit myself to share my work, better or worse so I´m what I´m, I don´t pretend to be what I´m not, therefore I´m not a hypocrite. Nor have I tried to change the terms, effectively a machine is a machine, but I assume that a sewing machine is most necessary and essential to prepare the cuts.

Almost all the rest of my remarks were about techniques themselves and the reasons why we abandon Traditional techniques and the excuses we make when we abandon them. And what the inevitable and certain consequences of doing that are. None of it was specific to you.


As with other forms of intangible cultural heritage, globalization creates serious obstacles to the survival of traditional forms of craftsmanship. Series production either in large multinational companies or small local craft industries, can often supply goods needed for daily life at a cost of time and less than the manual production money. Many craftspeople struggle to adapt to competition with those companies and industries. Environmental and climate pressures also impact on traditional crafts, and deforestation and land clearing decrease the abundance of the main natural resources. Even when manual craft handicraft industry becomes, the larger scale production can cause environmental damage.

I agree with you, but isn´t my case... that young communities sometimes think that is too demanding the necessary learning.
 And often very long to master the traditional skills, so try to be placed in factories or in the service sector, where work is less strenuous and often better paid. Many craft traditions contain "trade secrets" that should not be disclosed to outsiders. Therefore, if members of the family or community are not interested in learning them, such knowledge may disappear because sharing with strangers would violate tradition.


That said, if we want to get into techniques and their rationales...several points can be made. My age has nothing to do with it (you are a bit high in your lowest guess) but maybe your age is a critical factor. Because the vast majority of people who abandon Traditional techniques (in favor of faster and less skilled and more profitable) are people who haven't the patience or the focus to master the Traditional skills.

The reliance on cement is a good example. Do you think they had neoprene contact cements in 1767? or 1850? Or 1880? The case can be made that the 18th and 19th centuries were the Golden Age of Shoemaking (18th century for women's work, 19th century for men's work). No cement. Yet some of the finest shoes ever made were made using no cement. What would you do if you were suddenly dropped back into the 19th century? I suspect you'd have to find skills and methods that didn't rely on expediencies.

And it is undeniable that cement is an expediency--fundamentally, it is not needed. But it makes things faster (and more profitable) and easier for those without the skills to do without. That's really the only rationale for using cement.

But probably just as important in the larger scheme of things...for me at least (can't speak for you)...I find it very dissonant to use, much less rely, on a product that is both harmful to me and to the environment while at the same time being, objectively and demonstrably, unnecessary. If nothing else, if 12 stitches to the inch is excellent work when no cements are used, it only stops being excellent work when the maker is in too much of a hurry and too reliant on expediencies to bother. Then the definitions change... don't they.?

Of course, I'm old and not as "moderne" and hip as you younger "shoemakers." I've had time...made time...to think about such things and to choose deliberately and mindfully how I want to exist in this world. I'm old enough (and curious enough) to have seen and experienced the work, the results, and the reasons for respecting and learning...and even mastering (to the extent I am capable)...Traditional work.

Younger folks seldom have the time or patience...or the discipline...for such niceties.

 

I have not dependecia glue, I do not care to make a shoe or boot using different procedures or techniques, traditional or modern, even using both together.
 
Maybe you could change your mindset to see how hundreds of disabled persons have improved their quality of life, not by the use of adhesives, but by advancing the research and development of new materials, that is unstoppable.


edited for punctuation and clarity

I almost forgot, you take two plane tickets and come here and sit down next to me, on the workbench and work together ...... I´m sure we ended up being good friends.:fence:
I finished my vacation last Monday, so now....... I don´t have much free time, I'm glad you have all the free time in the world.:cheers: 


Edited by Manuel - 8/28/16 at 11:03am
post #1533 of 1710
I just read an interesting article dissection of three shoe brands. I'll post the link for those who are interested: http://shoegazing.se/english/2016/08/28/in-depth-disassembly-of-shoes/
post #1534 of 1710
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by vmss View Post

I just read an interesting article dissection of three shoe brands. I'll post the link for those who are interested: http://shoegazing.se/english/2016/08/28/in-depth-disassembly-of-shoes/

Pretty well written and revealing...even if, for readers here, there's not much new.

I particularly like the bit about 'potato bag stitching."
post #1535 of 1710
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post


Pretty well written and revealing...even if, for readers here, there's not much new.

I particularly like the bit about 'potato bag stitching."

 

Just a quick question DW, there was a statement in the article that stated it was disadvantageous that one of the insoles had "much left of the grain", "which is not to be recommended for an insole since it can crack". 

How is this so?

post #1536 of 1710

^I asked the same question to the blogger.  I have one pair with that problem in the insole (slightly cracked) but I thought it was due to dryness. As far as I have several more pairs of this brand (bought at the same time and with the same extensive wear) I wasn´t sure if that issue  was due to poor leather quality or dryness (bad maintenance) of this pair.  Lately I have been applying B4 in the insole/lining.

post #1537 of 1710
You should scrape or buff away the top ~0.1mm of the surface. That very finely fibred layer is very brittle, so if you leave it there it'll start to crack and these small cracks will spread further down into the meat of the leather - a bit like getting a chip your windscreen.
post #1538 of 1710

^Thanks a lot Nicolas, I will do so.  Should I keep using the conditioner afterwards?

post #1539 of 1710
I mean as part of the shoemaking process, rather than any sort of shoe care regime. It's a bit tricky to do after the shoes are made, but if you have some medium grit sandpaper or wet& dry you can sand the insides down a bit. Cut two smallish squares and glue them together (so your fingers can grip on the back) then give it all a good rub down.
post #1540 of 1710

I will do so with the help of my cobbler.  The affected area is where the insole bends. 

 

 Thanks again for your help.

 

PS.-I just apply B4 on the upper/linning of my shoes once a year.  I thought that the same conditioner could relieve the cracks of this pair, but it seems that is not good solution. 

post #1541 of 1710
Thread Starter 
When a shoe is made...using Traditional techniques at least...the grain side of the insole is, as Nicholas suggested, scraped. Many use a bit of broken glass for such work (there is even a whole mystique that has grown up around how to break glass) although at one time Barnsley offered a range of metal scrapers that functioned in the same way as the glass. See post #1517, middle illustration.

Others will use sandpaper. I can't honestly say it makes much of a difference.

Parenthetically, if you've ever seen a Windsor chair....Traditionally they were made using all hand tools and zero sandpaper--scrapers very similar if not identical to shoemakers scrapers.

A little Bick4, once a blue moon, always goes down good.
post #1542 of 1710
Quote:
Originally Posted by ntempleman View Post

You should scrape or buff away the top ~0.1mm of the surface. That very finely fibred layer is very brittle, so if you leave it there it'll start to crack and these small cracks will spread further down into the meat of the leather - a bit like getting a chip your windscreen.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post

When a shoe is made...using Traditional techniques at least...the grain side of the insole is, as Nicholas suggested, scraped. Many use a bit of broken glass for such work (there is even a whole mystique that has grown up around how to break glass) although at one time Barnsley offered a range of metal scrapers that functioned in the same way as the glass. See post #1517, middle illustration.

Others will use sandpaper. I can't honestly say it makes much of a difference.

Parenthetically, if you've ever seen a Windsor chair....Traditionally they were made using all hand tools and zero sandpaper--scrapers very similar if not identical to shoemakers scrapers.

A little Bick4, once a blue moon, always goes down good.

Thanks once again for your time, input and insight.
Reading the bit about inseaming had gotten me thinking. All those pairs, had machine stitched outsoles and 2 were also machine welted. But the outsoles were lock stitched and the inseaming was chain "potato bag" stitched. One wonders, since both are machine stitched, why not use a lock stitch for the inseaming as well? I understand that it's still a far cry from the strength of a shoemaker's stitch... but is it because the GYW machines just don't have the capability?

I'd also found the bit about the textile / tape reinforcements in between the uppers and lining quite interesting. In traditionally made handwelted shoes, what material would you use and what are the areas that are strategically reinforced? Would this be dependent on the number / placement of seams on the shoes?
post #1543 of 1710
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThunderMarch View Post


Thanks once again for your time, input and insight.
Reading the bit about inseaming had gotten me thinking. All those pairs, had machine stitched outsoles and 2 were also machine welted. But the outsoles were lock stitched and the inseaming was chain "potato bag" stitched. One wonders, since both are machine stitched, why not use a lock stitch for the inseaming as well? I understand that it's still a far cry from the strength of a shoemaker's stitch... but is it because the GYW machines just don't have the capability?

I'd also found the bit about the textile / tape reinforcements in between the uppers and lining quite interesting. In traditionally made handwelted shoes, what material would you use and what are the areas that are strategically reinforced? Would this be dependent on the number / placement of seams on the shoes?

I may be in the minority here but I don't care for textile reinforcement. Along the topline, yes, but I suspect using fabric originated, and is still used today, to compensate for cutting marginal leather. Certainly if you cut a vamp close to the backbone, and if it is aligned correctly relative to the lines of stretch, fabric reinforcement is pretty much beside the point. But in such cases...almost entirely restricted to bespoke makers...you don't get but one or maybe at the outside, two pairs of shoes from a calf skin (depending on the size of the skin and the definition of "calf").

If, as in most factories...and two of the shoes were factory made... cutting is done to get the greatest yield from a hide and maybe a lower grade of hide is used as well, then every component is probably going to be suspect for temper and stretch and density. Fabric backing is one way to compensate although the type of adhesive plays a critical role in how well the shoe breathes and creases and resists anomalous stretch. Trade-offs are inevitable and certain.

I approve of, and use, side liners (leather reinforcing pieces) as well as leather facing bolsters (which I didn't see on any of the shoes above). And I think there is a large and significant difference in leather stiffeners and leatherboard stiffeners.

I am not sure why a chain stitch is used although I suspect (maybe even pretty sure) it has to do with the fact that the gemming is fabric and a hook and eye mechanism would hang up on the warp and weft of the gemming and tear it up. Similar conditions / constraints govern sewing up potato sacks.

edited for punctuation and clarity
Edited by DWFII - 8/29/16 at 6:11pm
post #1544 of 1710
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post


I may be in the minority here but I don't care for textile reinforcement. Along the topline, yes, but I suspect using fabric originated, and is still used today, to compensate for cutting marginal leather. Certainly if you cut a vamp close to the backbone, and if it is aligned correctly relative to the lines of stretch, fabric reinforcement is pretty much beside the point. But in such cases...almost entirely restricted to bespoke makers...you don't get but one or maybe at the outside, two pairs of shoes from a calf skin (depending on the size of the skin and the definition of "calf").

If, as in most factories...and two of the shoes were factory made... cutting is done to get the greatest yield from a hide and maybe a lower grade of hide is used as well, then every component is probably going to be suspect for temper and stretch and density. Fabric backing is one way to compensate although the type of adhesive plays a critical role in how ell the shoe breaths and creases and resists anomalous stretch. Trade-offs are inevitable.

I approve of, and use, side liners (leather reinforcing pieces) as well as leather facing bolsters (which I didn't see on any of the shoes above). And I think there is a large and significant difference in leather stiffeners and leatherboard stiffeners.

I am not sure why a chain stitch is used although I suspect (maybe even pretty sure) it has to do with the fact that the gemming is fabric and a hook and eye mechanism would hang up on the warp and weft of the gemming and tear it up. Similar conditions / constraints govern sewing up potato sacks.

 

Thanks DW. Appreciate the time. 

Pardon my ignorance of this, but what are side liners and leather facing bolsters? Whereabouts in the shoe are they placed?

 

Makes sense with regards to the fabric gemming issue. It's sad, how one decision (to use a fabric strip), had given rise to so many other problems / limitations down the road in the construction of the shoe. 

post #1545 of 1710
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThunderMarch View Post

Thanks DW. Appreciate the time. 
Pardon my ignorance of this, but what are side liners and leather facing bolsters? Whereabouts in the shoe are they placed?

Side liners are pieces of leather that are sandwiched between the liner and the vamp running from the end of the heel stiffener to the beginning of the toe stiffener. They run along the sides of the shoe and get incorporated into the inseam to help maintain structure and to minimize creasing and cracking. Think of them as extensions of the heel stiffener. You can see those pieces in the deconstructed HW shoe in the link above. Sixth photo from the bottom right hand side of the photo.

Facing bolsters are leather pieces that get sandwiched in-between the lining and the quarters and sit behind the facings to reinforce the eyes of the shoe.
Quote:
Makes sense with regards to the fabric gemming issue. It's sad, how one decision (to use a fabric strip), had given rise to so many other problems / limitations down the road in the construction of the shoe. 

What I've been saying all along and for ages--it's a decision tree and it starts with the decision whether to make shoes or make money. Everything follows as surely as day follows night.
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