Originally Posted by Zapasman
A couple of questions about welt finishing.
Do you shoemakers prefer to use dyes or coloured cream/ waxes for the welt and sole edge?. Do you apply the colour on it with that kind of small brush?.
In order to leave the stitching of the outsole with its natural colour (unpainted) on the welt, do you dye/coloured the welt/edges before you start stitching the outsole?. If so, what happens afterwards to the colour of the welt if a welt prick tool is used by the maker?. How is this process carry out in order not to damage the colours of the welt/stitching?. TIA.
I use horse welting. Real horse. But Traditionally welting was cut from the same leather as the outsole or insole, usually in the belly or shoulder, and thinned with a welt mill. The welt I use is already the correct substance, although it must be cut into strips and "channeled," etc.. I use horse because it is dense and strong...although much bovine welting would surely take the imprint of the fudge wheel, and squeeze up into those ornamental ridges, more readily than horse.
Some commercial welting is given a heavy paint on the grain surface--to hide blems, I suppose.
Regardless the source, the grain surface must be scoured in the same way as the insole. This opens up the grain a little and allows the dye to penetrate.
And that allows the welt to be dyed before it is sewn to the shoe. If so desired. Sometimes I leave the welt natural, esp. on boots (it was part of part of the Boot Tradition and the way I was taught).
I don't always leave the welt stitching natural. Sometimes I'll dye the threads after stitching. Sometimes not.
When the threads are to be dyed, usually a shrink wrap covering will have been sewn into the inseam (although I understand white cloth was used in times past and meticulous care was needed). And some makers undoubtedly eschew all such protective measures and just rely on a steady hand and a heaping measure of that meticulous care.
Nowadays a lot of makers use masking tape. Masking tape has changed a lot in the last decade or more but when I first got into the Trade, masking tape was not always benign. Sometimes it would remove finish. I don't use it....not even the blue or green stuff.
Because the dye has soaked into the welt (if dyed beforehand), pricking up the welt won't change or alter the colour of the welt...not even in the deepest part of the pricking. If it does, it was done with too heavy a hand, IMO.edited for punctuation and clarityEdited by DWFII - 9/21/16 at 6:19am