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

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

  1. ecwy

    ecwy Senior member

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    Thanks both again. The reason I ask is I have read that roo is much stronger though thinner than calf hence wondering if it is more suitable to be manipulated.

    Another maker once told me they would only recommend roo for casual shoes though I have come across articles that mention that roo was used more extensively in the past for formal shoes.
     


  2. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    Theoretically, kangaroo has the greatest tensile strength, ounce for ounce of any known leather. But esp. when cut along the lines of tight there's not much left to stretch over an odd shape and in multiple directions. Any leather when taken to its limits will tear and because 'roo is so thin, it's always a crap-shoot when blocking it.

    And as with any leather, it depends on the tannage. This is particularly important with regard to usage...casual or dress. A lot of 'roo is scarred because the animals fight, so it isn't given the attention or the finish that a piece of calf or even unscarred 'roo would get.

    I used to get a aniline kangaroo out of France some years ago. Never saw a prettier leather. For dress shoes, if the tannage is right and the skin unscarred it makes a beautiful shoe.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2016


  3. bdavro23

    bdavro23 Senior member

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    Back in the day when I was first starting to play soccer, most of the high end shoes were made out of Kangaroo leather due to the high strength and low weight. Many of the shoes are made out of synthetic leather these days, but I remember very clearly the loving attention I would give to cleaning, conditioning and polishing my boots weekly. It is what began my love of shoes.
     


  4. Zapasman

    Zapasman Senior member

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    +1 with my Patrick Kevin Keegan super lightweight kangaroo upper leather football boots when I was a teenager, lol. Excellent boots.
     


  5. marcodalondra

    marcodalondra Senior member

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  6. chogall

    chogall Senior member

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    Why are you surprised?

    It's most likely a repair job where client requested a re-welt. I have video on my channel of other cobblers doing the same thing.

    Shoemakers have to earn money one way or the other. Providing repair service is one of them.

    Now I know manufacturers that does hand welting with gemming. Why? Because they can. And preparing feathered insole is much tougher work to fit into a production line than replacing GYW line with HW
     


  7. OzzyJones

    OzzyJones Senior member

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    Dunno about a re-welt repair, that insole looks brand new
     


  8. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    Hard to tell, it doesn't appear to be very worn. The insole looks, from this distance, to be leatherboard and the printing looks fresh so the insole may be new. There are no traces of cork or footbed or anything that would suggest previous use despite the ...what is it?... cement residual?

    But in my professional opinion, it makes little sense. I suspect the cobbler(?) shoemaker(?) just doesn't know any better. Standards of quality and the knowledge and skills to do a decent job (repair or not) have gone missing or been dumbed down for so long, the worker may not even know how to create a proper holdfast or that good shoes usually have leather insoles.

    I wouldn't even be surprised if the photo came from a YouTube tutorial on "How to Become a Master Shoemaker in Five Easy Steps."

    edited for punctuation and clarity
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2016


  9. marcodalondra

    marcodalondra Senior member

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    You are right, it is tagged as a repair job, however if I was the customer, I would prefer a new insole rather then a genmed reinforcement.
     


  10. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    Since the photo carries the caption "handmade_shoemaker" it begs the question: "Is the use of the word 'shoemaker' another dumbing down? Equating shoemaking to shoe repair?"

    And how sad is it that standards of quality (and workmanship and pride even) have so fallen that "handmade" now equals copying machines and machine processes?

    A niggling point, FWIW....the gemming is not "reinforcing" the insole. "Reinforcement" ain't in it. It doesn't add an iota of strength or stability to the insole. It doesn't even reinforce the shoe as a whole.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2016


  11. chogall

    chogall Senior member

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    That's a lot of shit talking coming from a shoemaker/cobbler towards another shoemaker/cobbler.

    What's the point in descrediting other shoemakers? How does that benefit you?

    AFAIK, you been doing repair work in addition to making bespoke shoes. And this guy is doing the same thing...

    p.s, there are other renowned shoemakers in Japan that has separate cobbler shops that does hand sewn re-welting, hand carved feather or gemming
     


  12. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    Just my "professional" opinion...as opposed to??

    A shoe repairman is not a shoemaker. Any more than an supply clerk is an infantryman.

    Repairing a shoe is not making a shoe.

    There is little equivalency and to think otherwise is to betray an appalling mental confusion if not ignorance.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2016


  13. chogall

    chogall Senior member

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    Which part of doing shoe repairing work to supplement bespoke shoemaking income do you not understand?

    Or if any shoemaker takes shoe repairing work disqualify himself be called as a shoemaker?

    Your professional opinion, as a shoemaker, about other shoemakers is worth as much as the success of your former student/apprentice. That says how much you have done to further the craft.

    And now you are dissing other up and coming shoemakers from your ivory tower. Damn.

    Are you here to promote shoemaking or are you here to swing your decades of experience and calling everyone else shit?
     


  14. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    Unlike yourself, I understand...actually, intimately understand and know....both--because I have actually done both.

    No, certainly not. But I repeat, shoe repair is not shoemaking. And a cobbler is not a shoemaker.

    You appear to have a bee in your bonnet and intend to parade your ignorance at every opportunity possible.

    But I started this thread also. It is about shoemaking, not shoe repairing. It is about Traditions and techniques of shoemaking. It is not about shoe repair techniques.

    Or machine techniques. Or people who have so little respect for shoemaking traditions and techniques that they would rather emulate a machine than be a shoemaker or apply the skills of a shoemaker.

    If it is a good way to make money...great! But that doesn't make it shoemaking nor does pretending it is make it an appropriate subject for this thread.

    I'm not a moderator nor is it my intent to police the the discussions here. But, again, I started this thread. I have a vested interest in it and in seeing to it that misinformation from clueless wannabes is corrected, at the very least. I want...I intend...that this thread (and the other) be ones where people can get objective, knowledgeable, and professional advice and information.

    I started this thread and I am here and I'm gonna be here. And I'm gonna oppose and point out every instance of pretense and baseless, clueless, unsubstantiated, "personal experience" (but really no experience), opinionating.

    --
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2016


  15. marcodalondra

    marcodalondra Senior member

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    Just to clarify: The guy is a bespoke shoemaker, making full shoes. He posted the above picture with the tag #repair, and it caught my eye for the gemming...
    Another picture from his Instagram :
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2016


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