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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    And you asked "why?" And I gave you my professional opinion. Because that is the question--why?

    The response to my answer (post #611) was just contentious misdirection and beside the point. At some level if he's a shoemaker and doing a repair with techniques that are for repair purposes only and / or not part of the Traditional "lexicon," he's not making shoes.

    Nor is he functioning as a shoemaker, really--and that's personal opinion...(albeit with decades of experience and knowledge to back it up. Take it for what it's worth).

    And FWIW, I don't know who the "maker" in question is, nor do I want to know. I am speaking about a technique--it is / was an analysis in response to your "why." .
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2016


  2. Trqmaster

    Trqmaster Senior member

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    DW, When you cut the holdfast, do you cut a slit and then push the leather open and sew? Then when your are finished sewing, you push the leather back together so you have a relatively flat surface? Or do you you cut a V channel so you have room to sew. I saw some videos where the maker made a slit in the leather then used a V shaped tool to remove leather so there was room to sew.
     


  3. chogall

    chogall Senior member

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    Are you a bespoke shoemakers who doesn't help your customers resole or repair their shoes because cobbler is a lowly job?

    How do hand sewn outsole or hand sewn welt differently done by cobbler and shoemakers aside from what they called themselves?

    And specifically in this example, what is wrong of his ability to rewelt a pair of RTW shoes?

    You don't have to like me. But don't bring your grumpy old wrath on the info I've correctly commented. For example, calling other shoemakers shit only because they repair shoes, discrediting the French guild/apprentice system, or dissing Tricker's terminology when it's been making shoes several decades before the invention of GYW.
     


  4. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    Both ways are pretty well entrenched and considered acceptable.

    For myself, I don't actually cut a "slit" per se...at least I don't like to think of it that way. I cut a vertical "channel." After I finish inseaming, yes, I close the channel...much like on outsoles, and for much the same reason--to protect the stitches.

    Beyond that, it is my personal and professional opinion that removing substance (as you saw in the videos) is both unnecessary and even a little destructive. That's a hollow in the insole (a "buffalo wallow" ) and unless deliberately filled with leather--more work--it will always be a hollow and a weak spot. And , again it is not necessary. i inseam just fine...no hassle...without "cheaters."

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


  5. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    You used the word "shit" I didn't. I didn't characterize him (or any other shoemaker) at all except to say it wasn't shoemaking and that it didn't make sense...in my professional opinion.

    As for how I repair ...esp. if I needed to replace the whole welt, I would replace the insole as well. With leather instead of leatherboard. How much effort is that?

    And I would cut a holdfast and hole it. Yes, that's more work but that's what this shoemaker would do. The gemming solution is an expediency and nothing else--the easy way out.

    And if someone wants to rewelt the shoe with gemming that's their business but it still isn't shoemaking.

    Finally, it doesn't have anything to do with liking you or not liking you...that's too personal. I just don't like pretense.

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


  6. shoefan

    shoefan Senior member

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    It is not at all clear whether he is making hand welted shoes; there are no pictures that I can see of a prepared insole (with feather and holdfast), nor any of sewing of an inseam. So, he might be doing hand welted, or he might be doing hand sewn goodyear (as in the repair picture), or he might be doing glued construction. Seems impossible to say from what I've seen (though I would guess he's not doing true hand welted construction, as I would expect to see pictures if it were being done).
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2016


  7. chogall

    chogall Senior member

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    Hard to tell for sure. He started his shop last year as well.

    There are a few shoemakers whom were briefly ex station workers/outworkers for big name UK/EU guys whom opened shop in Japan. Not sure if he's one of them. Quite a few complaints about those guys online too.
     


  8. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    All the more reason to suspect...as I suggested above...that he didn't know any other way.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2016


  9. marcodalondra

    marcodalondra Senior member

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    DWFII

    Please note that I was not arguing with you, I just added other details about the guy as I first posted about him and there was a debate about him being just a repair man.

    I guess the answer I was looking for was the below:

    And as shoefan said, he does not show pictures of handwelting on his blog, just some lasting and finishing.
     


  10. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    No worries. I understood. And even if you were, it is possible...although some apparently don't understand...to disagree without being disagreeable.
     


  11. ThunderMarch

    ThunderMarch Senior member

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    @DWFII

    Could I just ask, I understand what a holdfast is, but what is a "feather" and what does it do?
     


  12. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    Around the forepart of most lasts there is an edge...a "corner", if you will. Often times it will discontinue in the waist and then around the base of the heel this edge begins again. That edge / corner is known as the "feather edge."

    It really has no known physiological function simply because feet themselves do not have and edge, although there are highly respected lasts from the first part of the 20th century (maybe even older but mine are from the '30's, I think) that have a rounded bottom more like a foot, esp. in the heel seat area.

    In any case, the only function of the feather edge is that after the insole has been blocked to the bottom of the last and allowed to dry, it is trimmed to that edge. I have heard shoemakers call the edge of the insole the "feather" on occasion but I suspect that is a pretty old usage.

    When the trimmed insole is prepared for inseaming, a "rabbet" or notch is cut into the edge of the insole. This notch is commonly called the "feather" although some may call it the "outside channel" (a usage that I suspect is derived from the original GY welting process). The feather allows the upper and the welt to be drawn under the edge of the insole slightly as the inseaming thread is pulled tight, to protect it.

    So, the inseaming thread goes from the inside channel through the holdfast, out the feather, through the lining and upper, and out the welt.

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


  13. ThunderMarch

    ThunderMarch Senior member

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    Once again, thank you for your detailed explanation.
    You have an uncanny ability of describing and explaining processes in a very clear, easy to understand manner.
     


  14. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    :fonz:

    Yr. Hmb. Svt.
     


  15. chogall

    chogall Senior member

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    What happens to giving upstarts benefit of the doubts? On one hand you are saying there are upstart HW shoemakers in the US making good shoes at low prices, in the other hand you won't even give benefits of the doubt to upstart Japanese shoemakers.

    And what's easier for hand welting bespoke shoes? Getting insoles to block and carve holdfast, getting/finding machinery to adhere gemming, or buying off the shelf insole with gemming attached?

    I know for sure the latter two is definitely easier for shoe manufacturers but this guy doesn't seem to be working in a factory...
     


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