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Hand-Made Shoes - Hand Butted...

well-kept

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Just acquired a very old pair of of J&M hand made shoes. On the closed-channel sole they are stamped "hand butted". Does anyone know what it refers to?

DWF? Bengal? Rider?
 

luk-cha

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Originally Posted by well-kept
Just acquired a very old pair of of J&M hand made shoes. On the closed-channel sole they are stamped "hand butted". Does anyone know what it refers to?

DWF? Bengal?


pictures might help
 

upnorth

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It just means that when the poor beast was alive, instead of whipping it, the farmers smack its butt as hard as possible with the palm of their hand. This does the job of softening the leather down the road since whipping them tends to scar the animals' skins and devalue its worth as leather.
 

mack11211

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Perhaps it means that some pieces were joined together by hand.

From dictionary.com:

-verb (used with object)
7.
to position or fasten an end (of something).
8.
to place or join the ends (of two things) together; set end-to-end.
 

well-kept

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^
I think you're correct.

From "Footwear of the Middle Ages - a glossary of terms"

"Butted Seams
A modern term for a variety of seams in the uppers where the edges of adjoining sections are butted together and joined. In medieval shoes, this closing was almost exclusively what is called in archaeological circles, an edge/flesh seam (q.v.).
Joining made by placing the two edges together and sewing from the leather's surface through the thickness of the edges and through to the surface on the adjoining leather, often known its being sewn edge/flesh (split closing); the seam is invisible on the reverse side. "

The shoes are wholecut bluchers and the facings appear to be sewn from the underside.
 

DWFII

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Originally Posted by mack11211
Perhaps it means that some pieces were joined together by hand.
I, myself, would like to know what it means. I've never seen or heard the term before, although I can think of several techniques that might be implicated. That said, I don't know that it indicates anything exceptional or unusual. If the shoe is hand hand lasted and hand welted, then it nearly goes without saying that whatever is being "hand butted" would, as a matter of course, be hand done. If it's a GY welted shoe or more extensively machine made then "hand butted"...regardless of the reference...seems a little disingenuous to me. Or perhaps the better term might be "beside the point." Why stamp something like that on the bottom of the outsole? I suspect it's a bit of "faint praise"--like stamping " genuine leather outsole, upper man-made" on a shoe (I've seen that.)
 

DWFII

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Originally Posted by well-kept
^ I think you're correct. From "Footwear of the Middle Ages - a glossary of terms" "Butted Seams A modern term for a variety of seams in the uppers where the edges of adjoining sections are butted together and joined. In medieval shoes, this closing was almost exclusively what is called in archaeological circles, an edge/flesh seam (q.v.). Joining made by placing the two edges together and sewing from the leather's surface through the thickness of the edges and through to the surface on the adjoining leather, often known its being sewn edge/flesh (split closing); the seam is invisible on the reverse side. " The shoes are wholecut bluchers and the facings appear to be sewn from the underside.
You surely need photos here. I would be very surprised to see a pair of Johnson & Murphy that were round closed. The technique you're referring to is sometimes called "split and lift" and involves piercing the surface of the leather...historically, most often from the flesh side...with a small sewing awl ("sewing awl" references a very particular shape of curve and point in hand stitching awls) piercing only half the thickness of the leather and emerging in the edge of the leather. Then the awl proceeds to pierce the edge of the piece to be joined and emerges on the surface of the leather. Bristles, trailing a waxed linen yarn, are then fed into the holes from each direction and the stitch is made. It is very exacting, very time consuming, not all leathers will accept it without tearing out, all hand work with awls that are very small and hard to acquire, and seldom seen since the turn of the 20th century (although recently there were some G&G shoes posted here that had some very small sections round closed.) Here is a close-up photo of "split and lift" done with the stitching on the outside of the shoe. (Historically the "flesh side of the leather was usually turned to the outside) Parenthetically, round closing is considered one of the strongest seams that can be made.
Now that's "hand butted"...although no self-respecting shoemaker would call it that.
 

well-kept

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Yes, that's the appearance of the seam, no thread showing, only a very fine, slightly wavering line.

I'll have someone here on Saturday with a lens that can take a shot close enough and try to post after that. These J&M are probably 50 years old or more, hand-numbered inside, all leather heel, closed-channel sole. No resemblance at all to recent production.
 

DWFII

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Originally Posted by well-kept
Yes, that's the appearance of the seam, no thread showing, only a very fine, slightly wavering line. I'll have someone here on Saturday with a lens that can take a shot close enough and try to post after that. These J&M are probably 50 years old or more, hand-numbered inside, all leather heel, closed-channel sole. No resemblance at all to recent production.
Well, if they really are round closed, and are in decent shape overall, they are a find. I am not familiar with J&M's line from that long ago (so it may have been more commonplace than I thought) but from the viewpoint of a shoemaker, good round closing is something that is especially to be admired. One of those delightful techniques that no machine can duplicate. I will look forward to the photos. I still can't figure "hand butted" though.
(although Carlson does identify it as a "modern term.")
 

pebblegrain

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butting in the manufacturing world means joining pieces which are intentionally various thicknesses. for example, a sheet of metal is thicker where it will be welded to another sheet, but thinner away from the weld in order to save weight (or to make the seam reinforced, however you prefer to think about it)
 

fritzl

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Originally Posted by upnorth
It just means that when the poor beast was alive, instead of whipping it, the farmers smack its butt as hard as possible with the palm of their hand. This does the job of softening the leather down the road since whipping them tends to scar the animals' skins and devalue its worth as leather.


 

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