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

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

  1. ntempleman

    ntempleman Senior member

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    Yes it is possible, often seen on ladies work where it helps give the impression of narrowness. Why isn't it done on men's shoes more often? Probably because it looks a bit cheap - a well stitched and fudged welt, a well ironed sole edge, these things show the skill and the craft in all its glory. A blind welt doesn't look much different to a shoe that's been glued together. It also has a weird roundness to it, so that the soles look a bit like the hulls of tiny boats.
     
    2 people like this.
  2. Zapasman

    Zapasman Senior member

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    ...and.... I want my uppers and feet to be protected too.
     
  3. chogall

    chogall Senior member

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    Yes, I have a pair.

    Less durable as there will be no protruding welt serving as bumper. Also harder to make; not all outworkers/makers have experiences in making shoes that style.
     
  4. chogall

    chogall Senior member

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    Thanks! Reason I ask is that some makers use both methods when making shoes. So just wondering if there is any rationales behind their choices.

    The bottom one looks to have the same stitching/sewing pattern to 360" welting sans the welt/rand at the heels.
     
  5. shoefan

    shoefan Senior member

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    I don't know that there is any particular rationale, just people doing what they find fastest and/or best (with one exception, as noted below). I've also seen a simple whip-stitch used (a variation on the first method), and two different implementations of the first method -- one using only one thread, the second method using both threads.

    The second method (a continuation of the line of stitching, using a true shoemaker's stitch), which I personally prefer, is also the method that, I believe, would have been used traditionally, when the heels were sewn one, rather than nailed/pegged. The thread used to sew the heel on would have used the outboard line of heel/insole stitching to secure the heel, i.e. the heel thread would loop under the existing thread before going through the heel.
     
  6. ntempleman

    ntempleman Senior member

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    The bottom one is how everyone in the UK does it, or nearly everyone at least. The top one is how the French seem to prefer doing it.

    If a firm seems to use both methods, it's probably because you're looking at the work of two different outworkers rather than any conscious decision to choose one over the other for certain styles.
     
  7. ntempleman

    ntempleman Senior member

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    I hope no one's using nails or pegs to secure an upper to the insole with, because that doesn't sound too good.
     
  8. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    Many manufacturers do use nails to secure the upper to the insole.

    And, sad to say, there are all too many 'bespoke" makers who, taking their cue from the manufacturers and the relatively commonplace-ness of such techniques...and in the absence of instruction in Traditional techniques...also use nails. Esp. in the heel seat. That's what bottom plates on lasts are all about, after all.

    Not telling you anything you don't know but..."we are not alone." :lol:
     
  9. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    Might be just a quick explanation but I'm not sure that is entirely correct. You need to talk to Master Saguto about this. It is my impression that if this method was used (seems to me there was a rand involved), that the stitches were way out at the edge of the insole.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2016
  10. shoefan

    shoefan Senior member

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    Yes, I stand corrected about that detail. IIRC, there is a rand, it is folded over (not 100% sure about that part) the heel is sewn, the rand is hammered to hide the stitches. I've always wanted to see it done, since I've had a hard time entirely understanding/picturing the various descriptions of the method.
     
  11. shoefan

    shoefan Senior member

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    Pelle used to whip-stitch the heel to the insole. Don't know if he learned that from his master or just started it on his own.
     
  12. chogall

    chogall Senior member

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    Interestingly enough both pix came from D Wegan Instagram. Not sure if he did it as a discovery practice or for actual customer delivery. Or it's from some out workers.

    I've also seen a Spanish maker doing both.

    Thus my curiosity.
     
  13. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    Yet, it was in Hasluck's Bootmaking and Mending, 1900, Casell and Company Ltd., Ludgate Hill, London, where I ran across it for the first time.

    And, I may be mistaken but I seem to recall Delos doing it like the bottom photo. [​IMG]
     
  14. ntempleman

    ntempleman Senior member

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    Dimitri Gomez

    [​IMG]

    Delos

    [​IMG]

    I don't doubt for a moment that some makers in England do it that way too, or even that it was done at some point historically, every one I've come across does it the other way though. It's something I've been meaning to try if only for the yuks, I just keep forgetting.
     
  15. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    From what you posted, it's clear that I was mistaken. But I've always admired Delos, so maybe, subliminally, that's one of the reasons why I choose to do it the "French" / Hasluck way.

    I'd like to try the "English" way sometime. But like you, I keep forgetting.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2016
  16. chogall

    chogall Senior member

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    There are some renowned shoemakers that pegs/nails upper to the insole.

    How do you attach rand to heel seat if you don't inseam/welt all the way around? Nails? Pegs?
     
  17. ntempleman

    ntempleman Senior member

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    A split lift (rand) is neither upper nor insole, but it's attached by nails most often in my neck of the woods, sometimes pegs but very seldom. Whether the split lift even comes into contact with the upper depends on what type of waist you intend to make, as a beveled waist has the long sole placed first.

    I wouldn't advocate skipping the job of sewing of the upper to the insole and relying on the nails to do the job, particularly not when you've already gone to the effort of welting. Good luck rebottoming that shoe in a few years time, you'll probably rip the upper away with the sole.
     
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  18. chogall

    chogall Senior member

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    Correct me if I am wrong, but this picture demonstrated what you have described. My question is then, wouldn't the nails/pegs go through the rand and upper and then into the insole? If so, whats the difference between that and securing upper to insole around heels with nails. Thanks!

    [​IMG]
     
  19. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    Here's where we get into deep water with regard to terminology. As Nicholas so correctly points out there is a big difference between securing the uppers to the insole and subsequent operations. Many manufacturers do use nails in lieu of sewing, but few quality or Tradition minded bespoke makers do.

    Beyond that a "rand" or "rhan" is technically not a welt. And it is usually sewn to the upper. After which the the outsole and heel may be sewn to it...as shoefan mentioned... creating what is sometimes called a German Seat. The rand is very often folded leather...not just a strip like a welt. That said, rand and welt have almost become interchangeable but at one time they meant very different things if only in the way they were constructed.

    Most shoemakers either welt all the way around--360-- or add a "U" shaped piece of leather at the heel which is the same thickness as the welt. I call this the "heel seat." I suspect this is what Nicholas is referring to. I peg this on. Some makers...including bespoke makers...nail this piece on. But it is not part of the upper, nor is it part of the insole. Neither is it part of the outsole. It is, a sense a filler. Many bootmakers in the US have dispensed with it altogether, simply because there is no welt in the immediate proximity to create a disconnect of line.

    Again, the salient point is that the upper is sewn to the insole in high quality work...not nailed or pegged.
     
  20. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    What if they do? The handwelted shoe is a entity unto itself once it has been inseamed. The handwelted, bespoke shoe is compleat. It looks and fits as it is intended to look and feel. Little that is done or added will change that. Anything else--from "heel seats" to outsoles to shank covers to heel stacks--is added. And intentionally subject to removal and replacement, as needed.

    And again, the upper is secured to the insole with thread. How these other parts are mounted / secured has no bearing on how the upper is secured (although they may have some effect on the integrity and longevity of the whole).
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2016
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