Jm weston question

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by jcusey, Mar 14, 2004.

  1. A Harris

    A Harris Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    4,582
    Likes Received:
    12
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2003
    Ultimately, yes. Although I have never seen one detach.
    By the wall they mean the feather. Which is indeed where the welt stitching passes through. From the picture, I think the backing is there to hold the "flap" or "wall" in the upright position. Like this: [​IMG]
     


  2. T4phage

    T4phage Senior member

    Messages:
    6,117
    Likes Received:
    652
    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2003
    Location:
    sage
    Thanks A.Harris for the info.
     


  3. jcusey

    jcusey Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    1,802
    Likes Received:
    46
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2003
    Yes, it's real sharkskin. I think that the buyer assumed that Houstonians would snap it up because sharkskin boots are popular (or at least, not uncommon).

    I don't know if you've seen sharkskin before, but it has a heavily-grained, wavy effect. It's completely different from the texture on the fabric known as sharkskin. That being said, I think your planned ensemble would work very well.
     


  4. jcusey

    jcusey Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    1,802
    Likes Received:
    46
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2003
    I'm skeptical of this claim for two reasons. First, my Weston shoes don't have the dimples along the insole that are supposed to be the telltale sign of a carved feather. Second, I would assume that using a carved feather would be more labor-intensive than using a linen feather. Most Weston shoes that I've seen retail for between $550 and $650. Given that labor isn't exactly cheap in France, I find it hard to believe that they could sell carved-feather shoes in the US for that price. I have no trouble believing that the $1350 Hunt shoe has a carved feather, but I doubt it for run-of-the-mill Westons (not to disparage run-of-the-mill Westons -- they're very nice shoes).

    I certainly could be wrong, however, and I'll cheerfully admit it if someone else has better information.
     


  5. T4phage

    T4phage Senior member

    Messages:
    6,117
    Likes Received:
    652
    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2003
    Location:
    sage
    Originally posted by jcusey:
    Yes, one of my watches has a sharkskin strap. Hmm, maybe something to consider that moccassin.....

    I think you won't find the dimples inside that Bengal-Stripe mentioned because of the construction of the Weston "wall" v.s a true carved "feather", where the feather is carved into the insole thus thinning it, while from A.Harris' excellent diagram, the Weston wall is just peeling it back from the edge of the insole, thus I think you won't feel it inside. Please correct this assumption Bengal-Stripe if it is wrong.
     


  6. jcusey

    jcusey Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    1,802
    Likes Received:
    46
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2003
    Another interesting thing about this article is that it implies that Weston uses vegetable-tanned leather exclusively for their shoes. My understanding was that in most cases, vegetable tannage was limited to the insole, outsole, and welt and that the uppers and linings were usually made using chromium-tanned leather. From the Vass book (p. 93): Most shoe uppers are made of chrome-tanned leather, as it is considerably softer and pleasanter to the touch, lighter, more flexible, more heat-resistant, and easier to dye than alum or vegetable-tanned leather. The uppers on my Weston shoes were very stiff coming out of the box, and they had a completely different smell from most leather shoes that I've had; so I can believe that the uppers were vegetable tannage. Does anyone know for sure?
     


  7. T4phage

    T4phage Senior member

    Messages:
    6,117
    Likes Received:
    652
    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2003
    Location:
    sage
    I would have thought that vegetable tannage would be better, but am clueless about the topic too.

    Style number for the Black Perry Westons is 582 for those who want to know.
     


  8. bengal-stripe

    bengal-stripe Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    4,454
    Likes Received:
    875
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2002
    Location:
    London, UK
    For those who have the book, have a look at page 175 of the Roetzel "Gentleman" book. They illustrate three ways of making the feather: a glued linen strip, a cut feather (the one illustrated is machine-made but the same principle, alas hand-cut, is employed by bespoke shoemakers) and finally a raised feather, which seems to be the method J M Weston uses. Of course everybody will tell you that their method is superior to the others, but I have the suspicion that there is very much of a muchness, as far as you, the wearer are concerned. Once the sole is in place there is no side-pull on the welt and if anything comes undone it will be the stitching between welt and sole, but not the welt inside the shoe.

    It might well be, that the traditional cut feather was the only way possible in an age when there was neither machinery nor modern adhesives and the only reason today, for bespoke cobbler, to stick with it is just tradition.

    I don't know Weston shoes well enough to pass any comment about their standard of craftsmanship. (I've only seen the odd, used pair in a thrift shop, as they are not available in the UK.)

    As far as the vegetal vs. chromium tanning goes, it is quite possible that William Kissel did not distinguish between the leathers used for the uppers and for the bottom. He also writes about the leather being used for the soles, which would always be vegetal, at least in good shoes. Shell cordovan is vegetable tanned and, I believe there are also methods where the leather is part vegetable and part chrome tanned. But as a general rule, soft, leather that can be draped is chrome-tanned and stiff leather (for cases) is vegetable-tanned. But, probably, every tannery has their own secret recipe that, just like Coca Cola, they do not divulge. (By the way, the lining should be vegetal as it absorbs moisture better.)

    I believe the two of you, jcusey and t4phage, are customers of the Cleverley firm and shoefan has contacts in the world of bespoke shoes. What about inviting a real cobbler to contribute to this forum and answer questions of a technical nature? (Oh, we allow them to blow their own trumpet, just a bit.)
     


  9. shoefan

    shoefan Senior member

    Messages:
    853
    Likes Received:
    193
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2003
    My general impression is that most people in the trade are fairly elderly, and many don't use computers. Moreover, it seems like many in the trade don't really have a 360 degree view of the business; in other words, a bespoke "maker" probably knows little about the various types of leather, nor are most of them particularly well-versed in the way RTW shoes are made and the consequent trade-offs associated therewith. They make shoes they way they were taught, and that's that. Certainly there are those such as Terry Moore who have a pretty thorough knowledge of most of these matters, but he's semi-retired. Even if he has a computer, he is now more interested in woodworking than shoemaking [which you can't begrudge him after 55 years in shoemaking]. For bootmaking information, much of which has some relevance to shoemaking, you can visit this site: The Crispin Colloquy for Bootmaking
     


  10. jcusey

    jcusey Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    1,802
    Likes Received:
    46
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2003
    I once was lost, but now I'm found; was blind, but now I see.

    Thanks, bengal-stripe.
     


  11. jcusey

    jcusey Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    1,802
    Likes Received:
    46
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2003
    Well, I'll mention the forum when I have my fitting. Who knows, maybe Mr. Glasgow is a Web junkie. Perhaps A Harris can recruit Eva Vass and somebody who has tried Edward Green's bespoke service can recruit Tony Gaziano.
     


  12. T4phage

    T4phage Senior member

    Messages:
    6,117
    Likes Received:
    652
    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2003
    Location:
    sage
    Originally posted by Bengal-Stripe:
    I did mention it last year, but then again, Mr. Glasgow is getting up there in age and is not too computer inclined.
     


  13. T4phage

    T4phage Senior member

    Messages:
    6,117
    Likes Received:
    652
    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2003
    Location:
    sage
    Bengal-Stripe, have you heard of a shoe cream/polish by Collini? It's German and made with almond oil. How good is it?
     


  14. bengal-stripe

    bengal-stripe Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    4,454
    Likes Received:
    875
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2002
    Location:
    London, UK
    Not all at once. We don't want to be overrun here with professionals.

    It was more a tongue-in-cheek suggestion but Mr Kabbasz has certainly made some valuable contributions to this forum.
     


  15. bengal-stripe

    bengal-stripe Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    4,454
    Likes Received:
    875
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2002
    Location:
    London, UK
    I have heard of it, but never used it. There is also a French range of products that is highly regarded: "Saphire".

    If you can get hold of it without difficulties, try it out and report back.
     


Share This Page

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by