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shoe construction...behind the veil

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by DWFII, Jul 24, 2010.

  1. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    Well, 64spi has been recorded....

    Just the fact of doing 64spi is not, in and of itself, going to rip the leather. But such fine work was almost always done on boots or shoes made strictly for show and not intended to be worn.

    Beyond that...and of considerable significance, is the fact that leather is not as strong as it was when this work was being done regularly. June Swan, past curator of the Shoe Collection at the Northampton Shoe Museum (and one of the people who has recorded 64spi) has said that only kangaroo comes close to the kind of quality that was available in the past. It's worth noting that Duncan is working with kangaroo in the above video. He has done upwards of 30+spi , IIRC, and, in photo essays on the Crispin Colloquy, shown that it is remarkably strong.
     


  2. Luigi_M

    Luigi_M Senior Member

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    Thanks DWFII, as always I truly appreciate your knowledge and willingness to share.
    So my grandpa was right when he said "things are not as good as once were ...".
    What makes me think is that, as a young guy, I thought he was an old grumpy, and now I ever so often find myself thinking the same...
    Fond regards, Luigi.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2017


  3. duncanbootmaker

    duncanbootmaker Well-Known Member

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    Thanks DW, and, yes, Luigi it's possible, with the right leather (Veg. tanned Kangaroo :) ) and hand sewing the seam, to get crazy high spi. The example DW cited was two layers of 'roo that I had shaved down to 1/4mm thick, then hand sewed with a single ply linen thread. The seam was a single inch in length and contained 48 stitches, and I was able to hang 14kg off it before the clamp I was using lost it's grip and pulled from one end, tearing 1/3 of the stitches (so, 14kg being brought to bear on the end of a seam, the thread of which was less than 0.5mm thick and the total thickness of the two pieces of 'roo being 0.5mm). It took about 3/4 hour to sew that one inch, but makes regular sewing seem huge by comparison :)
    One of the main reasons hand sewing can be so strong is due to hand rolling the linen threads, to whatever ply you need, so that both ends of the thread have a beautiful taper to them to which you attach a pig's bristle. This means that the ends of your threads are the finest part, so you only have to make small holes in the leather (unlike a sewing machine). The rest of the thread is larger than the hole (and is dressed in a mixture of bee's wax and pine resin, or similar) so completely fills the hole and makes it water tight and it's impossible for the seam to 'run' when damaged.
    Sorry long post (though I abbreviated myself :) ), but I hope interesting.
    Cheers
    Duncan
     


  4. Luigi_M

    Luigi_M Senior Member

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    Duncan, really interesting Sir!
    You have been able to give, though a little hint on the complexity of your Craft, the idea that there's a lot more about it, that those not in the Craft could hardly imagine.
    It's like through a hole one might see a whole world: and these are great pictorial skills.:)
    I like your bottom line too: I myself (even maybe not at a craftsman's level) always trust that doing something is possible, until I slammed my head against repeated evidence that it's not ...
    Ciao!
    Luigi
     


  5. Dd1101

    Dd1101 Senior Member

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    Thoughts on the grinning. I know this happens but will this effect the integrity of the shoe?

    F16556E2-6441-459D-8899-0ADF7E728EBF.png
     


  6. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    It's hard to say...I've seen worse.

    Usually a shoemaker hammers the inseam so that it seats itself close to the upper. And of course this could simply be the result of not pulling the stitches sufficiently tight (which seems very likely). Without seeing the technique used (or the shoe before the out sole was put on) there is no way to know what the real problem is.

    Safe to say it is a bit unsightly (from the photo I suspect it is not a very high end shoe) but chances are that it will all close up a bit with wear and walking.
     


  7. Dd1101

    Dd1101 Senior Member

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    From far you can’t see it. The shoes are shell Cordovan strands
     


  8. MoneyWellSpent

    MoneyWellSpent Distinguished Member

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    Recent image from the refurbishment department at the John Lobb factory:

    DSC02412.jpg
     


  9. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    @MoneyWellSpent Given enough time, the default state for...even seldom or lightly used... gemming :deadhorse: And this was the wide stuff too! :confused2::puzzled:
     


  10. willyto

    willyto Well-Known Member

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    It's also important to note that the caption for that picture says as found in the blog post: http://shoegazing.se/english/2018/02/25/report-john-lobb-paris-factory/

    These are the pictures of new pairs:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    I've ben always curious about that plastic film they use, they're basically leaving plastic inside the construction of the shoes.

    Also I still scratch my head at the price point of some of these shoes and why they don't decide to handwelt the shoes and make them better constructed. Is it a matter of not having enough number of trained people or just compromise in order to make more profit?
     


  11. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    Profit is the raison d'etre of the factory...no matter what they do or where they cut cost, it is not a "compromise" ...
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2018


  12. MoneyWellSpent

    MoneyWellSpent Distinguished Member

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    Even within the realm of Goodyear-welted shoes, there are brands that make a slightly better product for less money in my opinion. I know that is a fully subjective opinion. But, if you ask me, this brand is probably the most over priced, for the product, of any in this category.
     


  13. wurger

    wurger Distinguished Member

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    With their laser cutting machine, they will need only one person to inspect the leather, and one person to lay out the patterns on a cad program for the laser cutter.
     


  14. MoneyWellSpent

    MoneyWellSpent Distinguished Member

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    They embrace technology that most other manufacturers at this price point shy away from.

    I don't really know what to think about laser clicking leather.

    But, John Lobb seems keenly interested in being the "modern" luxury shoe, where the other brands at this price point try to go the route of appealing to tradition (as far as one can take that in a factory setting).

    For John Lobb it seems that it is all about clean, minimalist, and simple.
     


  15. Luigi_M

    Luigi_M Senior Member

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    Thank you @MoneyWellSpent and @DWFII for bringing back once more this issue. Let me explain why.
    I was already aware about limitations and dangers of GY construction, thanks to the info gathered here.
    But then, last saturday, I went to Big Town near where I live and in a nice shop I saw a beautiful pair of EG shoes, lazily lying like Odalisques on a stand for their own. From 999 euros, they came for 770. Luckily I hadn't money right then and as I went back home I saw MWS post and there I found the strenght to resist to the Syrens' song.
    Many considerations arise to mind, but one over all: the shop bought the shoes from the factory (paying full VAT) and then is able to lower their selling price of almost 1/4 and, I guess, still make a profit.
    How much is the margin on a high brand pair of shoes for the factory?
    I would like to hear the answer from some informed Gentleman, and would welcome any consideration, to be even better educated about this matter.
    Thanks again, Luigi.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2018


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