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

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

  1. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    Sole leather can and is used for shank covers but never for forepart filler. Sometimes...as my teacher did and I also did, early in my career...scrap upper lining can be used. But this is only appropriate if the shoe is handwelted and done well enough that the forepart cavity (what there is of it / such as it is) is almost nonexistent.

    But leather needs to be cemented in to prevent creaking, and the cement is occlusive. This...as with using cork as a forepart filler...is an issue that those who are not makers and / or do not understand the fundamental properties of the materials they are working with, tend to dismiss. But a good maker--one who is entirely engaged--will not take such consideration slightly.

    About the only good thing you can say about cork filler is that it is lightweight. Leather of any kind, as a filler, adds unnecessary weight, as far as I'm concerned.

    Felt is really the best solution.

    edited for punctuation and clarity
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2015


  2. meister

    meister Senior member

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  3. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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  4. Chanklebury

    Chanklebury Senior member

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    On the subject of Tony Slinger I mentioned him back in this thread although as yet I haven't seen on here someone who's had a pair made by him.

    There's a gallery page here of his work - http://www.tslingerfootwearltd.co.uk/process_gallery.html
     


  5. Organika

    Organika Senior member

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    That is interesting. If you don't mind me asking, back when you had your boot shop I believe you did a lot of repairs as well? If this was the case and the customer brought in a pair of gyw boots for resoling, was felt used often for a filler?
     


  6. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    For the repair job? No. I have always had this notion that the essence of good repair is to return the shoe as close as possible to it's original state. I used cork.

    It's one of the reasons I quit doing repair...:lol:
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2015


  7. Organika

    Organika Senior member

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    haha...understood.
     


  8. Zapasman

    Zapasman Senior member

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    [​IMG]


    I inserted some examples of seam/seamless heel shoes to illustrate my questions. I would like to know the following:

    1.-Is a seamless heel shoe (1º from the left) more difficult to make than the one with a seam heel (2º from the left)?.
    2.-Is a "dog tail" seam the best to be used to make a seam heel wholecut (4º from the left)? .
    3.-Does any of this seams are hand stiched?.
    4.-Are all this seams technically named in different ways?.

    We have discussed before some apron and toe stiching techniques but I would like to know more about the different seams at the shoe heel. Thanks!!.
     


  9. chogall

    chogall Senior member

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    1. Yes. More difficult to last, more wastage due to larger piece of leather.

    2. No. There are many ways to piece a heel, including dog tail, unpatched, top patched, top to bottom patched, side seam, bottom only seam, additional heel counter piece, etc. They are just different methods and some depends on the rest of the upper style, e.g., Florsheim long wing bluchers close back seam using a top to bottom patch because it makes the most sense and would be very difficult to do seamless heel.

    3. No. Most of not all makers close using stitching machines.

    4. Yes.
     


  10. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    1. Not really. I don't believe there is any more wastage on a seamless heel / counter than on a seamed heel. Yes, a maker can probably get more efficient cutting with a seam but that doesn't necessarily equate to wastage--if you cut the components from marginal leather in order to maximize cutting efficiency, you build weaknesses into the shoe even if you throw away less scraps. It is more difficult to last a seamless heel / counter but any shoemaker worth his salt can do it without much problem.
     


  11. chogall

    chogall Senior member

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    Larger pieces equates to lower yield from a manufacturing perspective.

    At least it's true for semiconductors, solar panels, LCD panels, glasses, etc.
     


  12. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    No, that's true.

    Of course, cutting to maximize yield will nearly always result in components being cut in poor quality leather (and used, despite that) and / or in opposition to considerations of "lines of stretch," etc..

    As a bespoke maker, I don't share...or believe in...the "manufacturing perspective."

    edited for punctuation and clarity
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2015


  13. Zapasman

    Zapasman Senior member

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    Thanks Chogall and DW. Very interesting[​IMG]
     


  14. bengal-stripe

    bengal-stripe Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I think that "seamless heel" is a bit of a misnomer. Both shoes on the left sport a (heel) counter, one without and the other one with a "dart". (A dart is a short seam taking out fullness, for example in tailoring on the front of a jacket or on the back of a shirt.). I wouldn't call either heel seamless, as one centre seam has been replaced with two seams more sideways. In a whole-cut you can put the seam where-ever you like, so an asymmetric cut and a side-seam is an alternative. 3) "Back-strap which is popular on the continent but not in England (for shoes, although popular with boots). 4) "Dog's tail. (English shoemaker's favourite method of reinforcement). 5) Back seam "open" (stitched from the inside). 6) Back seam "open and stitched-down" (additional stitching to left and right of the open seam provide reinforcement). If you want to eliminate a back- or side-seam completely, you can cut both quarters in a single piece, like in this "blind" full-brogue by Marquess (Shoji and Yuriko Kawaguchi). [​IMG] A conventional full-brogue consists of five main pieces, here they are down to two. (The smaller the pattern pieces are, the easier you can cut around flaws). Then you really enter the realm of "wasteful cutting". https://instagram.com/marquess_shoemaker/
     


  15. chogall

    chogall Senior member

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    Technically its down to three if tongue is included. But then a lot of seamless wholecuts don't count that additional cuts of leather for tongues or side gusset pieces...
     


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