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

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

  1. Luigi_M

    Luigi_M Senior Member

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    I hope no one will take offence: I'm not trying to vulgarize a noble craft but only seeking advice.

    I got a pair of sample Alfred Sargent shoes for what seems to me a very good price.
    Since they are samples - I guess - they seem somehow rough on the heels and the side of soles.
    Here are some photos
    the shoes ...
    IMG_20180112_202534.jpg

    the heels ...
    IMG_20180112_201827.jpg
    IMG_20180112_202037.jpg

    Is there anything I could try to do to to refine them?
    Of course I'm totally ignorant about theory and practice of shoemaking and finishing, nor I dare to think I might even get near to any level of craftmanship.
    I just have some manual skills, e.g. I like to french polish furniture, getting passable results.
    Any suggestion or advice, even on the harsh side (es.: "don't even think to try, you would just manage to slay yourself") would be gladly welcomed.
    Kind regards, Luigi
     


  2. wurger

    wurger Distinguished Member

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  3. EnglishShoes

    EnglishShoes Senior Member

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    Nice shoes!

    Buy some fine sand paper and edge dressing (Saphor Renovatrice Cream for example). The sand paper will smooth ther surface but will change the colour back to raw leather. Then use the edge dressing to get the colour back.

    Make sure you don't catch the leather uppers with the sand paper.
     


  4. FlyingHorker

    FlyingHorker Senior Member

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    Realistically, how often does gemming failure occur in GYW?

    I've read this is a weak point
     


  5. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    How often does the gun fire when you're playing Russian Roulette?

    How much do you want to pay for something that is billed as top quality but is objectively and inherently flawed?
     


  6. Nick V.

    Nick V. Distinguished Member Dubiously Honored

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    Rarely and, it can be corrected in most cases.
     


  7. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    A recent discussion I came across suggested that one piece quarters (no back seam) were a fairly recent innovation.

    In fact, the idea of no backseam goes back to the middle ages. And open tabbed, one piece quarters were relatively common after the early 19th century. The "Blucher" adopted during the Napoleonic Wars is one such example.

    (Thanks to master Al Saguto--one of the foremost shoe historians in the world--for that information and timeline.)
     


  8. Luigi_M

    Luigi_M Senior Member

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    DWFII, I'm not sure I fully understand your terminology, so please take a look at these pics:
    This is a quarter, isn't it?
    IMG_20180113_164031.jpg

    Is this a back seam, in the sense you are speaking about?
    IMG_20180113_164143.jpg
    And, other than confirm or correct my understanding, would you mind to explain the relevance of the matter from a technical point of view?
    Thank you, Luigi.
     


  9. Luigi_M

    Luigi_M Senior Member

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  10. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    @Luigi_M,

    No, the heel piece is a "counter".The counter sits on top of the quarters.

    The quarters are the piece(s) of leather that extends from the facings to the rear, sometime all the way to the very back of the shoe, sometimes only as far as a counter. Mostly as applied to derbies, bluchers and some ankle boots, in the case of a seamless one-piece quarters, this one piece lies over the vamp and incorporates the tabs and facings with no piecing or breaks.

    The seam you show is a backseam of sorts but not a full backseam.

    Any seam on a shoe is essentially a weak spot if only for the potential to allow moisture and dirt into the shoe (or between layers).

    So a seamless wholecut is potentially the most perfect shoe because it has no seams. But of course it is a much more difficult make up because one of the purposes of a seam is not only to join pieces but to remove surplus in the patterns. The seam in your photo above is essentially a "dart." It allows the back of the shoe to form around the bottom of the last without the shoemaker having to deal with a lot of excess.

    By extension, a seamless quarter has no weakness at the back of the shoe, but it is not shaped either. So like the seamless wholecut, that excess material has to be lasted out and off the surface of the last.

    It's a nice look but somewhat more difficult.

    This is a one piece, seamless quarter:
    DSCF3164.JPG
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2018 at 9:22 AM


  11. EnglishShoes

    EnglishShoes Senior Member

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    Ooh, can I play?

    Heel 1.jpg
    Gaziano & Girling Bespoke beauties
     


  12. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    Your work?
     


  13. EnglishShoes

    EnglishShoes Senior Member

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    No, but my shoes.

    Can you only show examples on here if you have made them yourself?
     


  14. willyto

    willyto Member

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    I'm really surprised to see people paying premium prices that are higher than those from hand welted quality shoes (To name an example: Vass) for just Ready to Wear GYW shoes that use gemming. What bothers me a bit is that when you watch videos of the factories you are barely allow to see the gemming on screen but it's definitely there.

    I don't quite undertand it because you're basically buying for twice the price sometimes something that has a worse construction and compromises in quality.

    Since I started learning about shoemaking tecniques I'm always on the lookout for hand welted shoes and although I can't afford bespoke I do try to look for the best offers or deals on hand welted shoes and I'm starting to abandon GYW shoes with gemming (Recently I got a pair of seconds Meermin Linea Maestro, they're not the best quality leather compared to the top brands maybe but in construction HW beats GYW. Also got a pair of Vass loafers)
     


  15. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    Not at all...just wondering.
     


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