shoe construction...behind the veil

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

  1. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    8,272
    Likes Received:
    2,893
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    Location:
    The Highlands of Central Oregon
    

    I touched on this in another thread--that's the big lie. In fact...in actuality...they can never be new again.

    If all we concentrate or focus on is the superficial...on appearance, regardless of how bogus or counterfeit...we deserve all the 'shoddy' that we ultimately get.

    At which point we can stop talking (pretending) about "style" because style and substance (quality) are inextricably connected on some level.

    Even Scarlet O'hara used velvet curtains to make her gown.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2015
  2. traverscao

    traverscao Senior member

    Messages:
    1,437
    Likes Received:
    49
    Joined:
    May 22, 2013
    Location:
    United States
    Gotta LOL at Scarlet O'Hara story, although, looking back at myself, I'm wearing box cloth suspenders.

    I am well aware of this issue about wanting their shoes to look like new after a repair or "recraft". It is a sad humor, because my question would be, why the hell even buy leather shoes when they cannot accept the fact that it will age?

    Even though one must play the game, still, judging a book by its cover is still rather shallow and dumbfounding.
     
  3. vmss

    vmss Senior member

    Messages:
    699
    Likes Received:
    103
    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2015
    Location:
    Curacao, Dutch Caribbean
    It is not my intention to revive the gemming topic. I have read that DWF mentioning it is a matter of "when" and not "if" the gemming slip/fail.
    Now, let's say that my shoes are not in the state yet to get resoled and I am using topy to prolong the longevity of the sole and that means it can take years for a full resole/recraft to take place, as a topy wears 2-3 times longer than leather soles and you can still change replace them, thus further the resole/recraft posibility. If there is gemming slippage and the shoes are intact and topyd would the gemming slippage have any affect on the shoes?

    Mostly all my Blake stitch shoes are topied and because of the Blake stitch, they never lose form. I wonder if gemming would have any affect with Goodyear welting topied shoes that prolong the longevity of the shoes.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2015
  4. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    8,272
    Likes Received:
    2,893
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    Location:
    The Highlands of Central Oregon
    

    First I question whether a topied outsole would last 2-3 time as long as an outsole without...maybe depending on the conditions and the wearer but it's not a given.

    Secondly when topy wears through you have to be there...right now...and deal with it. Because topy is so thin once it wears through it's right into the outsole. A lot of leather can come off the outsole without it being immediately noticeable. And then, to topy back over it is to unbalance the relationship between the thickness of the outsole and the heel and the foot inside the shoe.

    As far as adverse effects of gemming slippage in a shoe where there is no damaged to the outsole, there could be some. Maybe not always, maybe not often, but this photo shows gemming slippage of just this sort (outsole intact) and the arch support is clearly at risk. IMO.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. vmss

    vmss Senior member

    Messages:
    699
    Likes Received:
    103
    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2015
    Location:
    Curacao, Dutch Caribbean
    After asking questions and reading through the forums about gemming; I am still confused what is the purpose of gemming and what role does it play in Goodyear welt shoes.

    it is my understanding that gemming relies on glue. Does this play a role when the shoes is already stitched/constructed and ready to walk. The welt, upper and sole all are connected via stitch. As long as the shoes are not deconstructed or going for a resole the gemming does not play a role in the shoes right? because the upper and sole is connected via stitch using a welt like a moccasin is direct stitched from outsole to upper.

    It is only in affect when you pull out the stitches and outsole that the gemming helps keep the upper intact right to avoid relasting. To make it simple I just want to know the main role of gemming in Goodyear welting.

    Let say you are to resole a Blake shoes and you lose the stitches, the upper also detaches from the insole just like lose gemming and in both shoes construction the upper has to be relasted right? In Goodyear the gemming help prevent to relast and in Blake as soon you lose the stitches you are automatically need to relast the shoes?

    Sorry for the complication of my question, this part of the role of gemming in Goodyear is not clear to me.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2015
  6. traverscao

    traverscao Senior member

    Messages:
    1,437
    Likes Received:
    49
    Joined:
    May 22, 2013
    Location:
    United States
    The needle on the stitching machine does not follow curvy directions the way how a shoemaker would be able to (DW, you can explain this better than me, the way how the shape of the awl does the work). It must align for a straight connection of the excess of the upper, the welt, and the gemming.
     
  7. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    8,272
    Likes Received:
    2,893
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    Location:
    The Highlands of Central Oregon
    

    You're right...the gemming doesn't have any purpose or role in holding the shoe together. But that's the whole point isn't it?

    It is a temporary expedient necessary to hold the various components together while mounting the outsole--like the tacks or nails used during the lasting process--all temporary, all discarded.

    Unlike the holdfast on a handwelted shoe, it is not part of the structural integrity of the shoe. It contributes virtually nothing to the integrity of the shoe.

    In fact, if we look carefully at the inherent strength and integrity of Traditional techniques and materials--how well suited and appropriate they are to the implicit goals--gemming and GY is arguably a fundamental subversion of the integrity of the shoe.

    If it weren't for the nails holding the heel seat and the heel to the shoe--nails which are driven through the insole and "clinched," it probably would take very little effort to rip the insole out of a GY welted shoe.

    And what would be the import/consequence of doing that? Well, since the insole is theoretically and Traditionally the functional equivalent (in best practices) of the spine of a shoe, the shoe will be destroyed whether it is outwardly intact or not.

    Is that a good thing? Is it fulfilling your expectations? Is any of this desirable considering what you're paying for a shoe?

    Food for thought.

    edited for punctuation and clarity
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2015
  8. vmss

    vmss Senior member

    Messages:
    699
    Likes Received:
    103
    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2015
    Location:
    Curacao, Dutch Caribbean
    Gemming function for Goodyear is like cement lasting for Blake and glue shoes eight?
     
  9. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    8,272
    Likes Received:
    2,893
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    Location:
    The Highlands of Central Oregon
    

    Like cement shoes, certainly. But Blake ties everything together --the insole, the upper and the outsole--with thread. GY doesn't do that.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2015
  10. vmss

    vmss Senior member

    Messages:
    699
    Likes Received:
    103
    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2015
    Location:
    Curacao, Dutch Caribbean
    I have read people mentioning PVC welting. Are these plastic welt rather than leather welt?

    Which low-mid tier GY shoes using PVC welt?
     
  11. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    8,272
    Likes Received:
    2,893
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    Location:
    The Highlands of Central Oregon
    

    Yes, plastic. Poly-vinyl-chlorate(?) chloride(?)
     
  12. jaywhyy

    jaywhyy Senior member

    Messages:
    791
    Likes Received:
    241
    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2013
  13. vmss

    vmss Senior member

    Messages:
    699
    Likes Received:
    103
    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2015
    Location:
    Curacao, Dutch Caribbean
    "It is a temporary expedient necessary to hold the various components together while mounting the outsole--like the tacks or nails used during the lasting process--all temporary, all discarded.

    Unlike the holdfast on a handwelted shoe, it is not part of the structural integrity of the shoe. It contributes virtually nothing to the integrity of the shoe.

    In fact, if we look carefully at the inherent strength and integrity of Traditional techniques and materials--how well suited and appropriate they are to the implicit goals--gemming and GY is arguably a fundamental subversion of the integrity of the shoe.

    If it weren't for the nails holding the heel seat and the heel to the shoe--nails which are driven through the insole and "clinched," it probably would take very little effort to rip the insole out of a GY welted shoe."

    I just finished reading a debate you had regarding gemming topic in 2009 on http://www.askandyaboutclothes.com/...tes-Crocket-amp-Jones-from-Edward-Green/page7

    The role of gemming on good year construction is now very clear to me.

    Now regarding Blake resole, how do you hold the components intact together while attaching the outsole for a Blake shoes since it is cement lasted ? Will the upper also lose its shape like gemming failure?

    Also just out of curiosity, you mentioned between pages 4-7 in the abovementioned website you were very interested in purchasing the McKay stitch machine. Why did you have an interest in the machine since you are a purist when it comes to hand welting.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2015
  14. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    8,272
    Likes Received:
    2,893
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    Location:
    The Highlands of Central Oregon
    

    Well, I'm not going to rehash that old debate unless someone really wants to get into it. That said, just the few old posts I read, I was struck at how consistent I was...esp. with regard to my recent postings here. Perhaps that just reflects a lifetime of intimate knowledge and experience, but sometimes people change over the course of the years. I certainly have have but the knowledge doesn't.

    Which brings me to the issue of the McKay machine....that was then this is now. I had a different shop to run in 2009...one in which I might have done a little repair on the side and perhaps thought it might be useful to be able to repair a Blake shoe now and again.

    Maybe more importantly, as I've gotten older I've come to value the Traditional ways more. It's a combination of seeing the shortcomings of modern methods and the challenge the older skills represent.

    "Now regarding Blake resole"...it's catch-as-catch-can.

    When I channel stitch a shoe, I sew the upper to the insole. So if I wanted to resole, I could rip the old outsole off and the shoe would remain intact.

    [​IMG]

    But modern Blake and Blake-Rapid rely on cement to hold everything together. They have to--the sewing I do is all hand done and the insole I use is thick enough to support the stitching. Neither of those apply to manufactured shoes whether they be Blake, Blake-Rapid or GY. So if the old outsole on a Blaked shoe needs to be replaced, the shoe will be in jeopardy as the outsole is removed. Sometimes the cement will loosen substantially and without the original last getting the upper back into place is problematic. Sometimes the cement will only loosen a little or not at all and then it's just a matter of re-cementing a new outsole in place and McKaying it on.

    edited for punctuation and clarity
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2015
  15. vmss

    vmss Senior member

    Messages:
    699
    Likes Received:
    103
    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2015
    Location:
    Curacao, Dutch Caribbean
    Thanks again for sharing your wisdom.

    yes, it was a joy full read. You were very sharp and consistent in your debate. It shows really your dedication and character for what you believe in.
     

Share This Page

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by