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

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by DWFII, Aug 23, 2014.

  1. Nick V.

    Nick V. Well-Known Member

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    Then you should admire me even more when I stated in the past it's not a confession, it's a statement of fact that I in no way are ashamed of.
     
  2. Whirling

    Whirling Well-Known Member

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    I should have emphasized the "if" more strongly in my post when talking about the only goal being to make money. I also should have more consistently used "one" instead of the colloquial "you" to refer to a generic third person.

    I was responding to you, but I wasn't specifically talking about you, your drives, or your work. I apologize for implying this. Other than your posts here, which are public, I don't know anything about you, of course.
     
  3. Nick V.

    Nick V. Well-Known Member

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    No apology necessary. Sorry if you thought I was implying you, I wasn't. The person I was implying knows very well who he is.
     
  4. DWFII

    DWFII Well-Known Member

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    That's at the heart of our conflict--your fundamental misunderstanding of what I think about you.

    I don't seek you out, neither to chivvy nor correct you...as you do me. Why? Because fundamentally I don't care what motivates or drives you except when you presume to correct me or qualify my remarks. If you were someone who actually does the work and actually has first hand experience and actually knows something about it, it would be a different story .

    But you don't.

    Let me put it this way for you and chogal and anyone else who might feel entitled to an opinion that they haven't earned ("Lead by example"--that's my motto): If I am really interested, or really and truly curious, I ask for an explanation or insight into the thinking of the person I want to learn from...as I asked j-mac. And then I pay respectful attention to the answer.

    On the off chance I don't respect the knowledge of the person I am about to ask and/or don't want to hear the answer, I don't ask the question. Simple.

    I seek knowledge. If I admit...even if only to myself, much less publicly...that I don't know as much as the person I am talking to (or even anything first hand about a subject), the last thing I want to do is try to tell my old granny how to suck eggs. Or what to do about "mildew" stains around iron nails.

    There are times...esp. when asked...when I will explain what I do. There are even times when I will express a strong opinion about certain techniques and the value of them. My opinion--which...whatever else you want to say about me...I have earned. But, through it all, I seek knowledge.

    You seek confrontation.

    I don't know how you can explain it any other way. You don't know what you are talking about as it relates to shoemaking. Yet like a teenager you want...seem eager...to argue with people who do know what they are talking about.

    If I explain why I do something a certain way, esp. if it is in response to a question directed at me and most esp. if it is a subject I know something about (again from first-hand experience), what's the point of jumping in and contradicting me? You're not adding anything positive. At best...best...you're pretending to knowledge that you haven't earned and don't own.

    Unless it's just argument for the sake of argument? In which case it's teenage snottiness...and I don't care how old you are.

    Beyond that, there is nothing coercive about my remarks. Accept them ...and possibly (?) learn from them...or don't. Your choice. There are no shoe police.

    Again, I invite you to start your own thread and express your undoubtedly profound opinions about how to manage workers doing work that you, yourself, have never done. And I will do my best to stay out of it--let you have your say without the second guessing and the qualification and the belligerence and the conflict that you bring to this thread. Never mind the reminder that you don't have a legitimate basis for an opinion.

    Every time the discussion in this thread is rolling along nicely and graciously, you or chogal jump in and it all goes south. And when I see you lurking I know it won't be long.

    edited for punctuation and clarity
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2016
  5. ecwy

    ecwy Well-Known Member

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    I was having a chat with someone when we were discussing different house styles and different countries makers styles. I am under the impression the classic round toe is an English style whereas my friend had the opinion the English style is more chisel toe.

    Are there any "traditional" last shapes attributable to different makers or countries? For example, I associate elongated chisel toes with Italian style, classic round with English, "Budapester" round toe with high toe box wall with Austria-Hungarian style, Banana lasts with AH and so on...

    Thanks in advance!
     
  6. DWFII

    DWFII Well-Known Member

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    If you define "puckering" as the gathering of excess material into "folds" (as I do...and the dictionary does), I have yet to see an example of the so-called British technique that wasn't puckered...considerably...in the heel. And sometime even in the toe. I'm not sure it can be avoided---there is excess, it has to be dealt with...one way or another.

    Whether there is a drawback to such puckering is another question. But it makes me uncomfortable and stirs up enough uncertainties and reservations (again, for me) that I feel no pressing impulse to change. That's why I continue to use the so-called French/Hasluck method.

    edited for punctuation and clarity
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2016
  7. chogall

    chogall Well-Known Member

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    Can't yet comment on if those puckering from "British" style heel seat stitching will actually creates discomfort for the customer. But I've not heard any complaints about it.

    I've seen some makers make crisscross around the heel seat stitching to hold shanks in place. Would that be necessary?
     
  8. chogall

    chogall Well-Known Member

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    I think different shoemaker/house has different house styles, similar to bespoke suit makers. Generally speaking, IMO, English style is either conservative round toe or chisel toe. Italian style leans more towards pointed/narrow toe. Eastern EU has that traditional banana/budapester style. French is slightly narrower round toe. However there are a lot of cross pollination today especially after Internet/iPhone broke down a lot of the barrier of sharing information.

    Offspring makers from different houses tend to retain some of their former workshops aesthetics; i.e., G&G/Fukuda from Cleverley, Delos/Rock from JLP, etc. Of course there are exceptions as well, e.g., @ntempleman 's shoes are sleeker and more elegant than John (B)Lobb St James creations.
     
  9. DWFII

    DWFII Well-Known Member

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    I don't see how it could possibly cause any discomfort for the customer.

    I said I wasn't comfortable...what I meant was that I didn't like the way it looked. I think such puckering works against a tight seam. But again, it is a technique that I don't have a lot of experience with. It may just be a matter of how you define "tight."

    I like to do that, but it has nothing to do with how the heel seat is handled.

    --
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2016
  10. dan'l

    dan'l Well-Known Member

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    This looks really beautiful. The examples of pegged soles I've seen were always with a single row of pegs.

    For my first pair of bespoke shoes, I was deliberating between welted vs. pegged soles. According to my shoemaker, pegged soles are faster to make. Any truth to this? He also said hand-welted soles feel a bit more comfortable while wearing. Not sure if I really understood him on that last point, though.

    Anyways, I went with the hand-welted soles - perhaps next time I will try pegged ones.
     
  11. DWFII

    DWFII Well-Known Member

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    Thank you.

    No, if done correctly, pegged work is not faster...or not significantly faster, at least. Much of the same work must be done in either approach and there are some techniques that are unique to each.

    That said, some makers skip or eliminate certain steps that they feel are unnecessary. Such as that extra row. Or whipping the upper to the insole.

    [​IMG]

    Pegged outsoles will always be a bit stiffer to walk in even if only one row is driven. Pegs are vertical fasteners and their orientation is, by default, in opposition to the bending of the leather during walking.
     
  12. dan'l

    dan'l Well-Known Member

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    Please indulge a noob, but if I understand the above pic clearly, it shoes the upper sewn directly to the insole, which would make future replacement of the sole difficult, correct?

    Oh, this totally makes sense! Thank you for that. Seems like such a simple explanation, but it did not even occur to me when I pondered the differences.
     
  13. DWFII

    DWFII Well-Known Member

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    No worries, we were all noobs at some time.

    Why would it make replacing the outsole difficult?

    Truth to tell, it makes resoling easier. Simply because to replace the outsole, it (the old outsole) has to come off. That's the nature of "replacement."

    If the upper is not stitched to the insole, the only possible alternatives are that it will be either loose, pasted, or cemented. In each of those cases, when the outsole is peeled off, the upper will have a tendency to peel loose with it.

    That's exactly what you want to avoid. Because then you lose fit and shape and integrity...even if only marginally.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2016
  14. dan'l

    dan'l Well-Known Member

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    I was unsure of the pic you posted and played a bit of "Where's Waldo" trying to figure out if something was wrong, especially when it was prefaced by the sentence "Or whipping the upper to the insole." Sorry, I just don't understand what that means!

    I think I need to do some more research about shoemaking. It seems each time I see pictures or read descriptions about the various steps, it is hard for me to visualize the exact steps of creating the holdfast, welting, etc. I wonder if anyone has ever made a time-elapsed film of the shoemaking process, complete with subtitles to describe each step. Now that would be very educational!
     
  15. DWFII

    DWFII Well-Known Member

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    I apologize..."whipping" is just short-hand for "whip stitched"--a simple but effective stitch in situations where welting is not required or wanted. You had it right when you said that the upper was stitched to the insole.

    Of course, in the above example the upper, and upper lining (as well as the stiffeners) are pasted to each other and then pasted to the insole before the whip-stitching is begun. It's a fairly solid construct.

    There are probably an infinite number of videos on YouTube depicting various techniques...some are good, some not so much (probably more of the latter by a wide margin). But some techniques go missing simply because they are too obvious, or conversely, too difficult or too Traditional and there aren't a lot of makers (esp. those enamoured with modernity and speed) conversant with strictly Traditional techniques.

    I made a video some years back...when the Crispin Colloquy was new (and we didn't know whether we could access videos through the forum software)....illustrating hand welting and the rather unique series of hand movement that I was taught to tighten a stitch. I was roundly criticized (and probably rightfully so) for dropping my threads between each stitch. As I recall I did that to clear the view of extraneous wraps, etc., so as to better illustrate the technique. But, in retrospect I have to admit it was an example of one of those "not-so-much" videos.

    Then too, many makers are jealous of their methods--every maker, esp. the best, has his unspoken compendium of "crans" (shoemaking tricks/secrets) that he is unwilling to share willy-nilly with the "unwashed." :cool:

    edited for punctuation and clarity
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2016
  16. chogall

    chogall Well-Known Member

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    Whip stitching vs. "French" whip stitching. What's the difference? The French style being tighter/more secure if both are "done properly"? And why use the "French" style if both are as secure if "done properly"?

    Whip stitching attaching upper to insole at the heel.
    [​IMG]

    "French" style whip stitching attaching upper to insole at the heel.
    [​IMG]
     
  17. DWFII

    DWFII Well-Known Member

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    In the absence of someone whose answers you might like better...

    In my estimation, there is no fundamental difference in terms of security or tightness or even appropriateness to purpose.

    That said, when inseaming, there are two working ends of the thread that are constantly in play and used to make the stitches. The Hasluck technique continues that approach with the surplus lengths left over from inseaming--both ends are employed to make each individual stitch. When done, both ends of the thread have been forwarded to the same spot and may be easily tied off. (Or, as in the case of the photo you posted, the heel seat is sewn first and then the inseaming just picks up and continues with the two ends in the proper position to go forward.)

    A simple whip stitch only uses one end...forcing the other end to be...what? cut off, knotted or, in some circumstances, used in another manner such as is illustrated in the photo below.

    Ultimately, however, there is something to be said for neatness and clean work. It bespeaks an orderly mind and a precise and, maybe more importantly, an engaged approach to problems. As a maker, if I can make the work "pretty" as well as functional...even, maybe especially, where it won't be seen...well, let me put it this way--it's part and parcel of the "craftsman" mind set. That fussiness, that obsessiveness, that attention to detail.

    And having said that, even a simple whip stitch can be done with grace...

    [​IMG]

    --
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2016
  18. medie2005

    medie2005 Member

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    How this stitching(cap,vamp) do?

    [​IMG]
     
  19. bengal-stripe

    bengal-stripe Well-Known Member

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    You place the toe cap over the vamp - grain to grain (face to face) - so the toe cap points in the "wrong" direction. Place a seam within the stitching allowance and fold the toe cap back, so the stitching will be underneath the toe cap and hidden from view of the finished shoe.

    Same method used also for the curved 'vamp-line' seam.
     
    2 people like this.
  20. DWFII

    DWFII Well-Known Member

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    Where will the nails go?

    [​IMG]
     
    1 person likes this.

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