Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by DWFII, Aug 23, 2014.
FWIW, this photo might make things clearer...
It doesn't have anything to do with "upstarts" or "Japanese" or anything but technique...and results.
In my personal opinion, there are a number of Japanese shoemakers (not shoe repairmen) that are doing better work than any other makers in the world. Work, the likes of which hasn't been seen in the West for a number of decades.
The work we were talking about just isn't on the same level.
And again, and again, and again...until you clean out your ears (metaphorically)...this thread is about Techniques and Traditions.
And shoemaking not shoe repairing.
I am not commenting on the quality of his work.
My point is, no shoemaker should be discredited only because he is hand rewelting a pair of RTW shoes. Nothing wrong with shoemaker doing shoe repairing work, it's part of their job.
That is a clean insole. Do you get insole dimples on the inside with this technique?
You're the one doing the discrediting. You're making it personal. I don't focused my observations or analyses on shoemakers.I'm almost famous for having said, over and over again (as I did above), "I don't know who this is and I don't want to know." It's almost a mantra ...if only to appease the paranoid types who don't see or want to see the distinction between objective inquiry and personal attack.
And for what it's worth you are commenting on the quality of his work. You're making excuses where none was needed or asked for.
Thanks! This picture certainly does help, especially with the earlier explanation you gave.
Interesting! That seems to be a good technique!
Do you re-shape your awl so they can get into the right angle? I would imaging typical awl doesn't have enough angle to pierce through holdfast if insole is carved this way.
Hey, you are the one who said "he doesn't know any better" and called the "dumbing down" of shoemakers despite Japan is probably the most competitive market for bespoke shoemaking let along a market full of shoemakers whom arguably makes better shoes than their traditional UK predecessors.
No, there's no need. What you see there is a "sewing" awl. There are also "heel" awls and "inseaming" awls, etc., and each has a different curve. And then there's "German", aka "sickle", awls.
The photo is pretty old. and the awl more or less untouched. I've been resharpening the points for some years now. Most English awls have a blade point which I think is too likely to cut leather, esp. if wiggled back and forth. So I sharpen to a diamond point more like the German awls.
No one can dumb down a shoemaker...only the individual can do that--to himself. Just as people who don't really know what they're talking about choose ignorance rather than expend the effort and energy to learn. Shoemakers are subject to all the foibles of human kind.
Techniques and standards of quality, on the other hand, can be dumbed down...and all too often by people who should, or say they know better. Mostly through indifference but sometime through sheer perversity.
That is a pretty wide holdfast. Looks to be maybe 10mm. Definitely wider then other pics I have seen. What would you recommend for strength without getting too far into the insole? I assume if the holdfast was really wide, the thread might be felt under the foot or perhaps bother the foot at some point once the insole forms to the foot.
When one stitches the upper/welt to the insole, what SPI do you recommend for strength. 3-5? Or is this dependent on where the stitches are being done? ie. around the toe vs. the sides of the foot.
It may be a little wide...as I said it is an old photo. But I like a wide holdfast (7mm?) and a thicker insole. As I said, I seldom if ever get dimples on the grain surface of the insole. If you see dimples, what prevents you from feeling them? Numb feet? I have customers that can feel a crumb of cement underfoot.
It's also worth remembering that if the shoe is fit correctly, the insole is pretty close to or exactly as wide as the weight bearing surface of the foot is wide--the footprint, IOW. so any width of hold fast is underfoot.
And FWIW, a wider holdfast is stronger...holds stitches better.
I strive for 3-5, yes. One of the "old" books said 3spi is minimum. But it shouldn't depend on location as much as you might think. That 3-5 spi is theoretically at the welt. The outside circumference, IOW. In the channel is where the lengthening or shortening takes place.
There is a photo of a high end, handwelted insole in the other thread, and in the toe area, in the channel there was reinforcing thread--ostensibly to strengthen the shorter stitches.
edited for punctuation and clarity
Thanks for sharing your expert knowledge!
I might add that in my professional opinion, too narrow a holdfast, esp. when combined with the technique of removing a wedge of insole substance to accommodate the awl, creates a "hinge" effect all along the channel and there's a greater risk of the insole failing / breaking in the channel.
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