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Japanese Shoes: Bespoke & RTW Super Thread

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by nutcracker, Apr 4, 2013.

  1. Fiddler

    Fiddler Senior member

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    ^^ Holy shit...that stitching is just perfect!
     
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  2. j ingevaldsson

    j ingevaldsson Senior member

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    +1

    Almost ridicoulously perfect, like the pictures are made in a computer. I could just look at that third row of sticthing on the inside of the facing for hours.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2014
  3. VRaivio

    VRaivio Senior member

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    Just as I read that these green oxs are by TYE, I thought about stitching...and sure enough, the maker doesn't fail. I wonder if they have found same rare Victorian machine that's the last of its kind, stitching away cleaner and tighter than all others.
     
  4. nutcracker

    nutcracker Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Ohno san said he try to make those look like miniscule gimping. It`s now like a signature TYE detail.



    The guy who does the upper at TYE (Ohno`s partner) is simply amazing. The funny thing is, Ohno-san`s wife is also a talented artisan in her own right, and she makes the uppers / stiching for Clematis and Ortus (but not TYE).
     
  5. Odd I/O

    Odd I/O Senior member

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    That contrast stitching really takes the shoes to another level. And that's a lovely green. Reminds me more of an apple than an olive green.
     
  6. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    No Victorian sewing machine is significantly better than a more modern, say, 20th century one.

    More likely, it's the Victorian sensibilities of the sewing machine operator.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2014
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  7. Journeyman

    Journeyman Senior member

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    It is excellent, isn't it?

    The stitching on my Santoni FAMs and some of my other Italian shoes is also very, very good, with a high number of stitches per cm and very neat lines.

    For some reason, Italian shoemakers and shirtmakers seem to be better at fine, high stitch count stitching than their English counterparts, and looking at that stitching, Japanese shoemakers seem to take after the Italians.
     
  8. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    I apologize for dampening anyone's enthusiasm, but while the stitching is very neat and the choice of thread colour harmonious and the shoes very nice looking, the stitching is not particularly fine (in the sense of individual stitches being close together...more stitches per inch)

    It's hard to tell from a photo but I seriously doubt that the stitching is finer than roughly 12spi. The only way to know for sure would be to count them but I estimate the above photo of the back of the shoe to be about 30% larger than life. I count 8-9spi along the top line.

    In Traditional English work 18-22 spi would be good (not exceptional) work. You can even see such frequency in vintage American manufactured shoes. And there are examples in museums of stitch counts as high as 64spi (of course that was done by hand and strictly for show).

    FWIW...
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2014
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  9. bengal-stripe

    bengal-stripe Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Judging by the picture, it appears to me the closer has used a different stitch length and a different needle to do the top line and the main body of the shoe.


    The stitches along the top line are slanted and sit piggy-back on top of the next one (same effect asyou get in fine hand stitching using a lance shaped awl). To get that look in machine stitching, you use a "narrow wedge point" needle, I would guess the stitch length is maybe 10-11/inch.



    The main closing work seams to be done with a round needle. Here the stitches line up to a straight line, so the 'head' of one stitch line up perfectly to the 'tail' of the previous one. I would guess the stitches are somewhat smaller (about 14/inch) than the top line ones. Also notice how carefully the tension has been adjusted so every stitch sits on his own like a little pearl.

    Any closer who is willing to change needle and settings within a single pair of shoes has my absolute admiration.
     
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  10. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    I agree.

    Maybe not so deliberate, however. For instance, I have two flatbed machines set up generally with round or what is known as "tri-tip" needle points. But my post machines...which are a must for topline and closing...are, by default, set up with narrow-reverse-twist needles.

    How wide do you think the "stay" stitch at the bottom of the facing is? I'd bet it's real close to half an inch wide. Compare it to the machine stitching just below it. I count 6+ machine stitches which would make 14spi a little optimistic.

    Anyway, not to take anything away from the shoes, or the workmanship...just putting things into perspective and noting that although we don't see such work coming out of the manufacturies, it's pretty much Traditional British bespoke work that sets the standards. Makes us notice and admire fine needle work.

    On edit...BTW, for anyone interested there is a fine (and accurate) webpage about needle points and their effect on seams, here. Of particular interest is page 2 through 4 and the "highlights" comments. I've been using Schmetz (and, alternately, Lammertz and/or Groz-Beckert) needles for forever and have always considered this information critical.

    --
     
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  11. nutcracker

    nutcracker Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Talkin` about fine stitches, here are some by Marquess. For this pair, Shoji-san says he wanted to give the bulgy, coarse (tactile) feel to his stitches (like on older English shoes). Quite different from, say Yohei Fukuda, who I think he favours fine, precisional look.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2014
  12. nutcracker

    nutcracker Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Some interesting stitch work by Takano-san @ Clematis

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  13. bengal-stripe

    bengal-stripe Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Short of contacting the closer and asking him/her whether the choice of different needles was based on design or convenience, we'll never find out. :D



    I based my estimate of 14 stitches/inch on the toe cap seam and presumed that the toe cap 'plateau' is about 3" wide. As that row of stitching you refer to is supposed to resemble very fine gimping, it might be possible the closer did increase the stitch length at this point.



    Currently the standard of British bespoke closing is somewhere between 14-16 stitches/inch. I'm not even sure if those 48 or 64 stitches/inch would bring anything to the party as the stitches will come so close together, they won't look like a row of tiny beads (which I find aesthetically very pleasing) but like a continuous straight line (as drawn with a ruler).
     
  14. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    Count the stitches...as compared to the "stay" stitch...on the vamp then--the double line. Same frequency from what I can see.

    I find the "string of pearls" look attractive myownself, esp. on the welt.

    That said, I don't know about you but I see individual stitches here. And IIRC, that's supposed to be 50spi.

    [​IMG]

    I suspect, 14-16spi is pretty much a standard for most bespoke makers anywhere. I don't see 14-16 on many, if any RTW shoes, however.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2014
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  15. VRaivio

    VRaivio Senior member

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    Very well. I presumed this as I've read that factories like Crockett&Jones have sought and bought old shoemaking machines instead of taking on modern ones. There must be a reason, apart from economics and romanticism alone, for favouring machines of yore.
     
  16. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    Hard to establish a reference but that right there is some fine stitching. I'd guess 16spi at least. Might even be pushing 18spi.
     
  17. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    Most of my machines are early second quarter 20th century. Aside from finding parts and needles that work with machines older than mine (and even with mine it's problematic), the alloys weren't as good. And long usage often put grooves into critical parts--take-up levers and springs, etc..

    You know me I have utmost respect for Traditions and own and cherish tools that are purportedly as much as 300 years old. Despite that, sewing machines fall into two categories, IMO--too old or too new. :D
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2014
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  18. nutcracker

    nutcracker Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Hmmm... digging for more Clematis (with interesting stitchwork) from my photos :)

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  19. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    Nutcracker,

    I wish you had posted those first. Those are really good. The leather in post #2792 isn't as firm ...or as suited to fine stitching...as the leather in this shoe. It's excellent work--the spi is very close, but so is the spacing of the individual lines of stitching. The faux toe cap is three lines!
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2014
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  20. nutcracker

    nutcracker Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Glad to be at your service!

    As for the #2792 one, I thought it was neat how a row of coarse stitches was sandwiched by rows of fine stitches.
    [​IMG]
     
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