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Shoemaking Techniques and Traditions--"...these foolish things..." - Page 107

post #1591 of 1710
Thread Starter 
Thanks to you both...and to T4phage as well.

Although I'm not horrified by the examples you posted, I can see why it would be a problem for some folks. Esp. when you compare the St. Crispin's and the St. Crispin to the veg tan that Meccareillo is using. That stuff could be an exemplar whether it were veg or chrome!

Wish I knew where to get veg tan like that ...wish it were available in the States.

That might be all I'd use.
post #1592 of 1710
There's a consortium of Italian tanneries working with veg tanned leather, they all sell directly. Might be worth trying them.

http://www.pellealvegetale.it/en/

I was in correspondence with one of their tanneries called Badalassi Carlo, in an attempt to get some samples. It didn't pan out, they wanted me to arrange collection with my freight forwarding agents (which I don't have, and didn't see the point in paying one to get an envelope sent to me when I was happy to pay the tannery themselves for the stamp). If you manage to get anything out of any of them, do let me know. I've been meaning to have a another try, but it's on the to do list along with all the other stuff that's non essential.
post #1593 of 1710
Quote:
Originally Posted by shoefan View Post

The puckering comes from the lasting of the toe -- when you go around the toe, there is excess leather that needs to be 'chased' away from the edge and into the interior of the insole. That can be a fair amount of work and, with a thicker leather, a bit of a challenge, but (obviously) makers know how to do this, as most shoes/boots, including those made from heavier leathers, don't demonstrate this flaw.

More troubling are the visible inseam stitches. This would appear to be the result of two factors -- the length of the stitches and the tightness of each stitch. When you are inseaming around the toe, you have to really crowd the awl holes in the inside portion of the insole, because the stitches get much further apart where they pierce the welt (due to the nature of a curved toe -- the inside curve is much shorter than the outside curve). If you don't do this, the stitches in the welt are long -- in this shoe, I'm guessing the stitches are 1/2 inch long. The best practice is around 1/4" - 1/3". Also, when you inseam, you need to pull the stitches in really hard to tighten the welt and upper down to the insole. Finally, if the toe hasn't been well lasted, there may be a bit of excess material in the toe. All of that combined means it can be a bit challenging to really tighten the welt and upper down while also avoiding tearing through the holdfast.

To me, those grinning stitches makes these shoes unacceptable.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post

@Threeputt, @shoefan

I agree with everything you have said, shoefan. And well said it was, too.

re: the stitch length--this is an issue I just addressed recently in another thread. Inseaming at 2spi is not "best practices" by any definition and certainly not Traditional. And this photo is an excellent example of why it is not best practices.With good insole shoulder a competent maker can inseam at 4 or even 5 spi and it makes for a tighter and better looking and more reliable inseam.

Of course...to underscore your other remark...the stitches have to be pulled really tight to draw the leather into the feather and a good rosin based handwax must be used to prevent slipping of the stitches. All the good handwax I've ever seen, both commercially made and made by respected masters, was black (or technically bronze) from the pitch in the wax. I am always suspicious of white hand wax...I've only seen rare examples of "summer wax" being anywhere near as tacky as winter wax. Of course, the "grinning" of white threads could also be simply a sign of very little, or no, wax.

Some of the "puckering" is residual tool marks from the awl, in my estimation (been there, done that bought the t-shirt), but much of it is, as you say, simply improper lasting.

Some of the hardest leathers to last are the reptiles .Especially around a very narrow toe. The leather is stiff...each "tile" a dense, hard plate... and eliminating the pipes and wrinkles can be very difficult. But it can be done. If the toe is properly "wiped," even shoes or boots with very narrow toes (cockroach corner killers) can be successfully lasted with no sign of the "surplus army goods" that has to be dealt with in the toe.

And on a shoe with a wide round toe...my own personal opinion is that such puckering is not only entirely avoidable but an indication of a shortfall of skill and / or experience. It is not happenstance.

When we look at the issues of stitch length, the wax, and the lasting--three relatively isolated, insignificant techniques--it becomes clear why the Traditions are Traditions and why "Best Practices' make a difference.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zapasman View Post


I had the same "grinning" problem. As DW mentioned to me in a previous post,dust and water can get easily into the shoe so its integrity can be much affected. My HW paír was remaked by the manufacturer without hesitation.


Thank you all!
post #1594 of 1710
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ntempleman View Post

There's a consortium of Italian tanneries working with veg tanned leather, they all sell directly. Might be worth trying them.

http://www.pellealvegetale.it/en/

I was in correspondence with one of their tanneries called Badalassi Carlo, in an attempt to get some samples. It didn't pan out, they wanted me to arrange collection with my freight forwarding agents (which I don't have, and didn't see the point in paying one to get an envelope sent to me when I was happy to pay the tannery themselves for the stamp). If you manage to get anything out of any of them, do let me know. I've been meaning to have a another try, but it's on the to do list along with all the other stuff that's non essential.

I am not sanguine about it as I have been told that the majority of those involved in that consortium are primarily tanners of insole and outsole leather.

I will keep you in mind if I run across anything promising, however.

On that score there is a company in the US by the name of Pergamena. They started out doing parchment and lightweight veg tans for book binding purposes. But they sent me several samples of a veg calf leather that was roughly 4 ounce, struck through and would, with neutral cream or wax, shine up and deepen in colour beautifully. Sadly, I haven't had the opportunity to try their leathers (odd reasons) but I very much would like to.
post #1595 of 1710
What about vegtan leathers from this tannery? http://www.tarnsjogarveri.com/wip/en/leather/selection/toolingsides/


I have a wingtip shoes made of this veg tan leather





Edited by vmss - 9/4/16 at 7:56pm
post #1596 of 1710

Sorry, pardon me for derailing the thread somewhat.

I am aware I probably should have posted the initial questions on the leather thread instead. 

That being said, I think the recent discussion has been really good. Have definitely picked up a thing or two. 

Since we do have a little context, and the issue of leather creasing has come up, I do have a question here. 

Recently I'd bought a couple of pairs of shoes from maker X. Specifically, each pair is the same in every aspect except for the colour. 

I will attach pictures here: 

 

 

 

 

 

Same design, same last, same size, same soles, same construction. 

Yes, the shoes are RTW, but this last fits pretty well, and is snug across the vamp, toe box and waist.

The only other variable possibly being they were made at different times (few mths apart), so there might have been a difference in batches of leather used? I'm not sure. 

 

Thing is, the brown pair creased noticeably "worse" than the black pair. The creases formed seemed much more "coarse" and deep / prominent, compared to the black pair, which seemed to form finer creases.

They were worn exactly the same number of times (once), for approximately the same duration (11 hours), with the same distance walked, and in the same terrain. 

I haven't gained any weight, haven't had any new feet problems / swelling, and haven't sustained any injuries that would cause a change in gait. 

 

The only difference that may seem ostensible is the difference in leather. 

While I know that creasing is seen as a very normal thing, I could see why someone might be disturbed by very prominent creasing. 

While it is easy to tell differences in quality between corrected grain and full grain leather, what about between different full grained leathers?

Apart from visibly loose grain on say, leather that has been clicked from nearer the belly, or obvious defects / scars, or "veininess" in the hide, that can be seen on the shoes, what are some of the very objective ways a consumer can discern whether the leather used on his pair of shoes is of "good quality"?

It seems like .... based on the discussion, thickness may not be a very good, or fair indicator of quality. Tannage, maybe to some extent....?

What of creasing? Would you ever use it as a (fair) indicator of quality? 

post #1597 of 1710
You can't really compare two different colour leathers, even if the shoes are from the same maker the leathers might come from different tanneries. Ideally you want a pair of shoes to come from the same hide, but the higher you scale your factory output the more likely you'll have a few hundred vamps from a few dozen skins piled up, which the closer will pick at random for assembly. Each skin, even from the same batch from the same tannery, will be unique - and when the lasting machine pulls the leather over the last it doesn't "feel" the leather like a human hand will. So all the uppers are lasted to the same tension, while some bits of leather will be stretchier than others. Even if you're avoiding the scrag ends when you click the uppers, that difference in tension will play a part in how the shoe wears and creases, even how it feels because the leather naturally springs back a little after pulling the last and can leave one shoe tighter than the other.
post #1598 of 1710
Quote:
Originally Posted by T4phage View Post

i too was doubtful
about veg tanned
in terms of
hassle in maintaining
teh shoe..

so meccareillo sent
me a pic of a shoe
he made for
teh ready to wear
line of rubinacci back in
2000s
and the client went
to see him in jan of
this year to greet him
wearing teh shoe

2upp8qg.jpg

 

That leather really looks great, in many ways! On another note, really love that pattern, so great. Didn't know he made it for Rubinacci as well before the Kiton one. 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by vmss View Post

What about vegtan leathers from this tannery? http://www.tarnsjogarveri.com/wip/en/leather/selection/toolingsides/


I have a wingtip shoes made of this veg tan leather

 

Tärnsjö's leather is fine IMO, have one pair in their thinner Upholstery leather (1,1-1,3 mm), but it's one of all those veg tanned leather suppliers whose products are a bit more rugged and more suited for casual shoes. Not smooth and shiny like the leather Meccariello used above.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ThunderMarch View Post
 

Sorry, pardon me for derailing the thread somewhat.

I am aware I probably should have posted the initial questions on the leather thread instead. 

That being said, I think the recent discussion has been really good. Have definitely picked up a thing or two. 

Since we do have a little context, and the issue of leather creasing has come up, I do have a question here. 

Recently I'd bought a couple of pairs of shoes from maker X. Specifically, each pair is the same in every aspect except for the colour. 

I will attach pictures here: 

 

 

 

Same design, same last, same size, same soles, same construction. 

Yes, the shoes are RTW, but this last fits pretty well, and is snug across the vamp, toe box and waist.

The only other variable possibly being they were made at different times (few mths apart), so there might have been a difference in batches of leather used? I'm not sure. 

 

Thing is, the brown pair creased noticeably "worse" than the black pair. The creases formed seemed much more "coarse" and deep / prominent, compared to the black pair, which seemed to form finer creases.

They were worn exactly the same number of times (once), for approximately the same duration (11 hours), with the same distance walked, and in the same terrain. 

I haven't gained any weight, haven't had any new feet problems / swelling, and haven't sustained any injuries that would cause a change in gait. 

 

The only difference that may seem ostensible is the difference in leather. 

While I know that creasing is seen as a very normal thing, I could see why someone might be disturbed by very prominent creasing. 

While it is easy to tell differences in quality between corrected grain and full grain leather, what about between different full grained leathers?

Apart from visibly loose grain on say, leather that has been clicked from nearer the belly, or obvious defects / scars, or "veininess" in the hide, that can be seen on the shoes, what are some of the very objective ways a consumer can discern whether the leather used on his pair of shoes is of "good quality"?

It seems like .... based on the discussion, thickness may not be a very good, or fair indicator of quality. Tannage, maybe to some extent....?

What of creasing? Would you ever use it as a (fair) indicator of quality? 

 

Nichoas already said most. IMO, looking at those shoes, it's only the left shoe of the brown pair that has a bit sub-par leather (especially considering the price of those), all others are fine. I've got several pairs where one shoe is fine, the other shoe has some less nice leather making it look a bit so so, can be annoying. It's different when you come up in price, but for budget to midrange shoes it's quite common.

 

Not really directly related here, but something I've noticed is that in general, I experience it as that black calf leather in general has a better quality overall than calf leather in any other colour. I'm not sure if it has to do with the fact that the demand for black calf is higher in general (taking into account all who buys from these tanneries, I believe this to be the case) so more is produced, or if it's easier to produce fine black calf. 


Edited by j ingevaldsson - 9/5/16 at 1:40am
post #1599 of 1710
Funny you should say that, because at this end of the market good black box calf is one of the hardest leathers to get.
post #1600 of 1710
Quote:
Originally Posted by ntempleman View Post

Funny you should say that, because at this end of the market good black box calf is one of the hardest leathers to get.

 

Ha, yeah that's interesting, not the experience I have with the brand I work for (who source most leathers through a wholesaler in Marche, who has Annonay, Weinheimer etc) and when I look at the shoes out in the market. In the last area I might very well be wrong though, hard to judge.

post #1601 of 1710
Quote:
Originally Posted by T4phage View Post



2upp8qg.jpg

2zoyxjc.jpg

Beautiful leather, although I do not think those shoes have much wear. If that is not the case, I have never seen such a leather before.

 

This is one of the best leather upper I own, thick and firm (I believe is chromed calf).  They have a lot of wear and you can see very small and fine wrinkles.  Maccariello leather seems to be much above this pair.

 

 

 

Is there a way shoemakers can distinguish a crome from a veg tanned leather just inspecting the shoes on your hands.

post #1602 of 1710
Quote:
Originally Posted by j ingevaldsson View Post

......black calf leather in general has a better quality overall than calf leather in any other colour. I'm not sure if it has to do with the fact that the demand for black calf is higher in general (taking into account all who buys from these tanneries, I believe this to be the case) so more is produced, or if it's easier to produce fine black calf. 

If you have a look through the Weinheimer catalogue, you'll find that virtually all leathers are chrome tanned with an additional veg re-tan, but not the classic black box calf. This is solely chrome tanned with a casein finish and albumin glazed (not sure what casein and albumin bring to the party).

http://weinheimer-leder.com/en/products/classic/box-calf/


Maybe chrome tanning isn't that bad after all. biggrin.gif
post #1603 of 1710
Quote:
Originally Posted by bengal-stripe View Post


If you have a look through the Weinheimer catalogue, you'll find that virtually all leathers are chrome tanned with an additional veg re-tan, but not the classic black box calf. This is solely chrome tanned with a casein finish and albumin glazed (not sure what casein and albumin bring to the party).

http://weinheimer-leder.com/en/products/classic/box-calf/


Maybe chrome tanning isn't that bad after all. biggrin.gif

 

Yeah, both their box calf and box saints (which comes in other colours as well) are solely chrome tanned. Those are the most common smooth leathers of their offerings, and the only ones I've had experience with. 

post #1604 of 1710
Thread Starter 
The thing people forget in all this is that leather has a history that goes back long before it becomes your shoes. Even if two vamps are cut directly across the backbone from each other, the temper and even the thickness can be noticeably, if not critically different. And RTW makers are notorious for cutting from marginal parts of the hide. Life happens and things that happen in life affect the way the animal grows and and develops and the way the skin moves and / or doesn't move.

And personally, although I cannot codify it, simply because I have not experimented enough, I think the way a vamp is cut relative to lines of stretch and tight can have an effect on the way the leather responds to flexion.

Then too...feet have a history. They are not the same. They have developed different patterns of flexing and movement as they have grown and encountered the world. Small injuries can affect movement temporarily but also permanently.

Beyond that, almost no one has two feet that are exactly the same length or width. That alone will significantly affect where, and the way, a shoe creases. This is esp. true in the case of RTW ...no two feet are the same but both shoes are as-near-as-nevermind the same. How does that make sense?

And really the heel to ball measurement determines where and how a foot flexes, so if we don't take that factor into careful, exacting, consideration the chances of uniform creasing of the shoe are just about nil.

The foot itself and the way it is fit plays at least as much, if not more, of a part in how a shoe creases than the leather can or ever will. The leather is static. It is taut over the last. It only changes when the foot enters into the shoe and begins using it. It is the foot that creases the shoe...the shoe cannot do it by itself. The leather doesn't crease itself. "The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars but in ourselves."

Because of that, the first wearing of a shoe can also be critical. The way the leather breaks the first time a shoe is worn pretty much sets the creases...for good or ill. There are ways to mitigate and control that initial creasing but no one...not even bespoke makers in all too many cases...bothers.

Thing is leather isn't plastic...yet we all (myself included) seem to want it to be. Uniform in appearance and function across all situations, waterproof, durable to the point of forgetfulness, and....please God...eternally smooth and shiny.

Best way to achieve that is to not wear your shoes.

edited for punctuation and clarity
Edited by DWFII - 9/5/16 at 6:45am
post #1605 of 1710
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThunderMarch View Post

Sorry, pardon me for derailing the thread somewhat.
I am aware I probably should have posted the initial questions on the leather thread instead. 
That being said, I think the recent discussion has been really good. Have definitely picked up a thing or two. 
Since we do have a little context, and the issue of leather creasing has come up, I do have a question here. 
Recently I'd bought a couple of pairs of shoes from maker X. Specifically, each pair is the same in every aspect except for the colour. 
I will attach pictures here: 













Same design, same last, same size, same soles, same construction. 
Yes, the shoes are RTW, but this last fits pretty well, and is snug across the vamp, toe box and waist.
The only other variable possibly being they were made at different times (few mths apart), so there might have been a difference in batches of leather used? I'm not sure. 

Thing is, the brown pair creased noticeably "worse" than the black pair. The creases formed seemed much more "coarse" and deep / prominent, compared to the black pair, which seemed to form finer creases.
They were worn exactly the same number of times (once), for approximately the same duration (11 hours), with the same distance walked, and in the same terrain. 
I haven't gained any weight, haven't had any new feet problems / swelling, and haven't sustained any injuries that would cause a change in gait. 

The only difference that may seem ostensible is the difference in leather. 
While I know that creasing is seen as a very normal thing, I could see why someone might be disturbed by very prominent creasing. 
While it is easy to tell differences in quality between corrected grain and full grain leather, what about between different full grained leathers?
Apart from visibly loose grain on say, leather that has been clicked from nearer the belly, or obvious defects / scars, or "veininess" in the hide, that can be seen on the shoes, what are some of the very objective ways a consumer can discern whether the leather used on his pair of shoes is of "good quality"?
It seems like .... based on the discussion, thickness may not be a very good, or fair indicator of quality. Tannage, maybe to some extent....?
What of creasing? Would you ever use it as a (fair) indicator of quality? 
great question. I have the same trouble with the leather that the maker uses. I have a wholecuts from the same maker that has veins and prominent creases after just trying them on.


Edited by vmss - 9/5/16 at 6:43am
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