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Shoemaking Techniques and Traditions--"...these foolish things..."

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by DWFII, Aug 23, 2014.

  1. dopey

    dopey Stylish Dinosaur Dubiously Honored

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    By "rucked up" can you explain more precisely what you mean? I think I know and I think I can see the tendency in this shoe, though it hasn't really happened yet: the softness seems to go with a very thin tight "skin" on top of a softer layer, and I can imagine that getting scratched or scraped.
    Incidentally, in the first instagram photo linked, NT described the leather as: "very soft to the touch but also strong in making."
    Of course, I don't really know what "strong in the making means" other than a vague, impressionist guess.
     


  2. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    "Rucked up" means pretty much what you'd expect. Best way to describe it is to give you an example:for instance, there are a half dozen different tip shapes for shoemaking knives, esp. "clicking" knives. It's not just random or what attracts the eye. Some knives will cut certain types of leather, certain weights of leather better than others. Cutting into thin soft leathers, a straight edge tip will gather the leather in small pipes and wrinkles ahead of the cutting edge and when the edge actually passes through those pipes, etc., the result will be a ragged cut. This bunching is called "rucking up."

    Similarly on deerskin...or at least all that I have seen in my career...when bumped, or "scuffed" the grain surface will seem to gather in pipes and wrinkles. It will even ruck up a little ahead of the wheel on a sewing machine

    Deerskin can be very strong (long fibers) and last well.

    Horses for courses, I guess...
     


  3. dopey

    dopey Stylish Dinosaur Dubiously Honored

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    Thank you very much, and lol at ""Rucked up" means pretty much what you'd expect." You would only have an expectation of meaning if the words are familiar. For those of us that are just consumers/hobbyists, we really have no idea without asking.
     


  4. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    I don't consider it "very high quality".

    Kangaroo, on the other hand--I have made many pairs of boots and shoes (dress shoes and boots, in most cases) from kangaroo. It is considered to be the strongest leather in the world for its weight. And its weight is perhaps the only drawback...it is seldom thicker than 2 to 2-1/2 ounce.
     


  5. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    Speaking of deerskin and apropos to why I don't care for it...anyone who has fly-fished and tied flies immediately knows why deer skin is soft and sponge-y and why it rucks up. The deer has many many fibers of underfur per square inch. This leaves so many hair follicles in the epidermis that it cannot be anything but sponge-y.

    Additionally, the deer has a relatively normal coat of guard hairs which are considerably longer and thicker...and hollow.

    For that reason, many flies are tied with deer hair simply because, being hollow, each of those hairs is a tiny flotation device.

    deer hair sedge.jpg

    FWIW...
     


  6. geeboo

    geeboo Well-Known Member

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    I have added something in thread #1900 in case you have not read
    ... a leather seller once tell me given it is the right color you are looking for & of the correct thickness [for a specific use like 1.4mm for dress shoes, 2mm for work boots or 2.5mm for heavy duty bags], IF it is free of imperfections and the hand feel is right, it is a good leather - don't trust in factory names & price tag - Is it true ?

    P.S. I have a piece of camel leather. thicker about 2mm. that from what I read it is very strong too, it is used to make basketball or america football. If shaved to a same thickness of 0.8mm, how is its strength compared with Kangaroo ?

    So, can you kindly briefly teach me the main properties of kangaroo, goat and horse leather [ all are known to be strong] from a maker perspective & what would you choose them for what kind of products please [to further illustrate my question: a shoe made from kangaroo leather is the SAME as made from cow leather IF it had no Special properties. In term of strength, how strong is Kangaroo leather? I have read from "google" it is very strong but have no idea of how strong it is] Tks

    sorry, maybe I have gone too far for this thread :D
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2017


  7. geeboo

    geeboo Well-Known Member

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    I am so delighted I can find this thread.
    This shoe is a beautiful pair from C&J ard 1900's to 1920's [the button shoes] that I want to make a pair myself [by shoemakers]. I tried to modify a last. Please comment how alike the last is now in order to recreate the same shoe profile as this pair, especially the toe box area.

    What I can tell it is a round toe [I reckon it be a mix of round toe and blunt chisel - more to the round toe side] , a very slim and low toe box, a semi-sharp side edge, a fairly low feather line. I have also elongated the last by about 6-7mm in order to get the right "Edwardian" style look as well. What could be further improved ?

    That is the only 2 pics about this particular pair I can cap on web [no sole photo]. The 3rd one may be a "similar" last which can show the curves of the instep side, for reference/ guess.
    I know it is very difficult to get it just by looking at pictures. Your kind suggestion is sought.

    C&J3.jpg C&J2.jpg C&J1.jpg 20171228_073458_1.jpg 20171228_073458_2.jpg 20171228_073520_1.jpg 20171228_073528_1.jpg 20171228_073555_1.jpg 20171228_073624_1.jpg 20171228_073652_1.jpg 20171228_073703_1.jpg C&J3.jpg C&J2.jpg C&J1.jpg 20171228_073458_1.jpg 20171228_073458_2.jpg 20171228_073520_1.jpg 20171228_073528_1.jpg 20171228_073555_1.jpg 20171228_073624_1.jpg 20171228_073652_1.jpg 20171228_073703_1.jpg
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2017


  8. DapperPhysician

    DapperPhysician Active Member

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    Hello DWFII I was wondering about the differences between good tan, chrome or retan in a shoe.

    I also wanted to ask about exotic leathers in boots such as hippo, elephant, kangaroo as well as gator or croc.
     


  9. deez shoes

    deez shoes Senior Member

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    I recently made an observation but I wonder if it's just a coincidence. I've noticed that the toe area on some of my GYW shoes are curling skyward! It's like an elf shoe effect. I use shoe trees on all of my shoes but I haven't seen this effect on my HW shoes. Is this a real thing or just a coincidence?
     


  10. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    Well, compare the density and structural integrity of a leather insole thick enough to be inseamed with one probably half (or even less) as thick) or even an all too common on GYW leatherboard (sometimes paperboard) insole and I think the answer is obvious.
     


  11. deez shoes

    deez shoes Senior Member

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    Man, one more reason to not like GYW shoes.:plain:
     


  12. ThunderMarch

    ThunderMarch Distinguished Member

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    DW.
    But, even if the insoles on a pair of GYW shoes may be thinner, wouldn't this upward curling effect be resisted by the outsole, which usually is a similar thicknesspiece of leather (compared to handwelted shoes)?
     


  13. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    Not saying you're wrong but there are several additional factors that come into play. In the end it's simply a matter of superior/inferior techniques and materials.

    First, a handwelted insole becomes part of a solid "gestalt" in a way that a GYW insole never can--there is a solidity that results from the inseaming.

    Second, because it is hand welted the insole is, by default, thicker than a GYW insole and because it is leather it begins to compress from the first day it is worn. This cannot happen...or only minimally...with a two or three millimeter insole and not at all with leatherboard or paperboard. It is not a question simply of conforming to the plantar surface of the foot, it actually compresses--gets denser and stiffer. And tends to stay that way...which means that it holds its shape, or wants to.

    Even the leather that GYW manufacturers use is problematic--it is not only significantly thinner it is cut from a different part of the hide so it is less able...unable, IMO...to make a footbed.

    Having said all that, I am not asserting that the GYW shoe will always (or even often) turn up at the toe. I don't make GYW shoes, I don't deal with them any more than I have to.

    What I am saying is that if you are looking for reasons why a GYW shoe might curl up...you need look no further. The techniques, the materials, make a difference in all kinds of ways.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2018


  14. Luigi_M

    Luigi_M Senior Member

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  15. ThunderMarch

    ThunderMarch Distinguished Member

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    Thank you DW, your input, as usual, is very insightful and useful.
     


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