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Japanese Shoes: Bespoke & RTW Super Thread

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

  1. BespokeMakers

    BespokeMakers Senior member

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  2. wurger

    wurger Senior member

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    thank you for your explanation, can you elaborate on tunnel stitching?
     
  3. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    More or less like this (side view with the thread following the white "tunnel"):

    [​IMG]

    I generally do this with a very tiny curved sewing awl (IIRC they were called cricket awls) and a bristled 3 cord linen (or dacron) thread waxed with a neutral hand wax or beeswax.

    [​IMG]

    I've done it from both sides--from the fleshside so that the thread is not exposed (as in the toe of the shoe you posted) and from the grainside so that it is (as in the following photo) .

    [​IMG]

    The oldtimers call this "split and lift" and it was done on a curved block that was held to the knee with a stirrup.

    --
     
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  4. wurger

    wurger Senior member

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    wow, the threads go in between the leather! didn't know that, and that explains the bulging in the leather around the apron.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    Yes, and on the toe too.

    And if the leather is good enough quality and thick enough relative to the thread and the hole...and all other things being equal...skin stitching, or split and lift, is the strongest method of joining two pieces of leather known.

    [Parenthetically, hand welted inseams are very similar and with some types of hand welted inseams, identical. IOW, the diagram above represents the path of the thread for inseaming as well. Did I mention "strongest method of joining two pieces of leather"?]
     
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  6. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    "I couldn't live like that."

    Hopefully, I will have "caught the bus" before that becomes commonplace.
     
  7. bengal-stripe

    bengal-stripe Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    What!?! - 3D print only the leather parts? - You soon will be able to 3D print the entire shoe. You set-up your printer at night time, in the morning you have a new pair of shoes.

    All that welting stuff will be redundant! :)
     
  8. shoefan

    shoefan Senior member

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    Two comments regarding the 'tunnel stitch.' First, the apron seam as shown is what, I believe, the old-timers would call the split and lift. The toe seam (and DW's illustration) show what I believe is called a round stitch, or a round-closed seam. In the apron stitch shown, only one side of the stitch features the 'tunnel' element -- the other side of the stitch penetrates the full thickness of the leather (on the vamp/sole-side piece of leather).

    I also believe that, traditionally, the round stitch was used on a side seam of riding boots; in addition to its strength, it was done for comfort -- there is no thread penetrating through to the inside of the leather (it was done on the exterior of the boot/leather), so there was no exposed thread to irritate the foot when the side of the foot is rubbing the horse's flank; further, because the seam has a bit of a ridge or mound of leather (see the photo of DW's shoe featuring that seam), the thread doesn't get rubbed by the horse's side (nor by the spur if being used), as the raised ridge of leather absorbs the friction.

    It does seem, at first blush, hard to understand how this (a round stitch) seam would be stronger than that made by stitching through the full thickness of the leather, but I guess if done correctly there is more leather in the stitch than in a sewing machine-type stitch (i.e. a stabbed stitch).
     
  9. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    The nomenclature...as well as the instructions of how to do it...came from one of, if not the, foremost shoe historians in the world--D. A. Saguto. We have been colleagues and friends for many years and he has taught me a lot....but I could have misunderstood.

    The stitch on the shoe is an old one--a replica of work done in the 18th century (and earlier). It was used on shoes (as with this shoe) as often as...perhaps more often...than on boots where riding was a factor.

    I have seen side-seamed boots from across many centuries and more than one or two cultures, and I have never seen a "round stitched" side seam. Not saying they're not out there but...I'm from Missouri.

    Esp. in situations where stirrups are used, side seams get a lot of wear--it's one of the first places a side-seamed riding boot will wear through...not because of the seam (which is turned inward and thus ultimately protected) but because of the way the leather of the tops tends to create large pipes at, and above, the ankle (something that doesn't happen so much with closely fitted back-seamed boots). A "round seamed" side seam would wear through quickly.

    Side seam boots with the seam turned inward seldom (if ever) rub the foot or leg if fit properly.

    In my initial remarks (post #3095), I addressed the issue of the apron being "tunnel stitched" on only one side:

    And, BTW just to set the record straight, you're right about the names of the types of stitches.

    --
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2015
  10. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    For anyone interested in this technique there is a good..and unimpeachable...essay on the subject here (I would quote it but it is long and contains at least one photo).
     
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  11. shoefan

    shoefan Senior member

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    I was just reviewing that post myself! To any/all interested, the linked post is very interesting. (Perhaps this conversation belongs in the shoemaking thread, as opposed to this Japanese shoes thread.)
     
  12. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    I agree. :D

    Look there.

    --
     
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  13. BespokeMakers

    BespokeMakers Senior member

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  14. BespokeMakers

    BespokeMakers Senior member

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  15. BespokeMakers

    BespokeMakers Senior member

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  16. ThinkDerm

    ThinkDerm Senior member

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    the heel counter is too small
     
  17. jerrybrowne

    jerrybrowne Senior member

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    +1 although it is a nice boot. Would also prefer it without the strap at the instep....
     
  18. Odd I/O

    Odd I/O Senior member

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    Reverse calf, is that just ordinary shoe leather but with the flesh/nappy side out? What's the advantage/dis-advantage of this type of suede versus the regular split stuff? What's the nap like?
     
  19. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    Pretty much yes. But of course ideally it's still a prime shoe leather as opposed to "ordinary."

    Reverse calf the top grain turned fleshside out.

    Splits are a layer below the top grain. A split is what's left (if they choose to process it) after the top grain has been sold. So, in a sense a split is always a "'second." A split has no grain surface and the fiber mat is coarser that the top grain.

    Personally I think that good calf turned flesh-side out is a finer, better looking, and better quality than a split suede. The only caveat...at least for me...is that the leather be "struck through." Meaning that the dye penetrates uniformly from the grain to the flesh. Not many high end leathers are done like that.

    Here are a pair of boots made from reverse "French Calf."

    [​IMG]
     
  20. striker

    striker Senior member

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    Is reverse calf also called nubuck?
     

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