**The Official Shoe Care Thread: Tutorials, Photos, etc.**

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Mr. Moo, Feb 28, 2011.

  1. brokeassp

    brokeassp Senior member

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    What is gemming and does Alden use this process?

    Thanks on the edge dauber suggestion!
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2013
  2. MoneyWellSpent

    MoneyWellSpent Senior member

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    Yes, all Goodyear-welted shoes use gemming. They use a canvas "tape" that is stuck to the bottom of the insole which serves as the foundation for stitching the rest of the shoe to. The upper/lining and welt are directly stitched to it, and then the sole is stitched to the welt. So, if the canvas gemming comes loose from the insole, your shoe will have problems.

    The use of this canvas tape is the modern definition for gemming. Originally, gemming was a reinforcement to a thin leather hold-fast that was cut and turned up on the bottom of the insole to serve as the stitching point. The cut and turned leather was relatively thin, so they glued a sheet of canvas to the bottom of the insole to reinforce the leather. As time passed, however, this practice has nearly become extinct in favor of the canvas tape that is now used. The modern canvas tape has a rigid piece of fiber or plastic embedded in it that gives it the standing rib for stitching. JM Weston still uses the original method of gemming on some of their shoes, but I don't know of anyone else who does. See examples in photos below:

    Patent photo:
    [​IMG]


    And here are some photos of it in place:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    This is a photo of insoles using the original method for Goodyear-welted shoes using the cut and turned leather that was reinforced with canvas:

    [​IMG]

    If you are unfamiliar with how Goodyear-welted shoes are made, there are great videos to be found on Youtube.

    The use of gemming is one of the things that makes a hand-welted shoe quite superior to Goodyear-welted shoes. Hand-welted shoes use a carved hold-fast under a very thick leather insole to serve as the stitching point for the inseam rather than stuck-on canvas gemming on a much thinner leather insole.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2013
  3. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    And many times that insole isn't even leather^ :devil:
     
  4. MoneyWellSpent

    MoneyWellSpent Senior member

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    True. Fortunately it's the exception to the rule with "SF approved" brands. AE has increased the number of shoes that use a Poron covered fiberboard insole, but it's easy to tell with simple observation which ones are which.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2013
  5. Crat

    Crat Senior member

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  6. Crat

    Crat Senior member

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    MoneyWellSpent, I wouldn't say that all GY welted shoes have gemming. I know for a fact that Bontoni's hand welted GY construction isn't gemmed, they themselves called it goodyear by hand.
    It might just be a terminology issue though because unless I'm mistaken a shoe can be handwelted using the GY construction. That would make gemmed and non-gemmed shoes different types within the goodyear family.
    See pic below. I think St. Crispins also hand welt their GY constructed shoes, not sure though.



    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2013
  7. Winston S.

    Winston S. Senior member

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    I was under the impression that goodyear welted shoes had to be done with a Goodyear machine.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2013
  8. Crat

    Crat Senior member

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    Just some polish pics.

    [​IMG]

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    [​IMG]
     
  9. Crat

    Crat Senior member

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    I might be wrong here but from what I know a shoe is GY welted when its upper, insole and the welt are stiched together and the outsole is stiched to the welt. Oldskool would be by hand and (modern) industry standard would be with gemming. The basic principle is the same on both though, as opposed to norvegese, blake or bentivegna constructions. Like I said though, I may be wrong and GY might only refer to gemmed, machine made shoes.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2013
  10. benhour

    benhour Senior member

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    Crat beautiful shoes and nice shine at the toe are!!![​IMG]

    btw the shoe trees are lasted or just plain shoe trees? because they are too pointy at the top of the heel causing ecxesive stretch at the top line leading to cracking!(i had the same isue once with a pair)

    i think the leather at the vamp area and at the topline looks a little bit dry!!

    some photos of G.Y (i think a have posted a video too from Barker shoes)
    [​IMG]
    and one Blake-Rapid
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2013
  11. David Copeland

    David Copeland Senior member

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    Nice job, Kirby.
     
  12. JermynStreet

    JermynStreet Senior member

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    I got schooled by DWFII on the very subject of goodyear welting versus hand welting versus goodyear hand welting. Here is the simple answer:

    Goodyear welted shoes only use a canvas ribbing.

    Hand welted shoes may use a canvas ribbing, but will always include a leather lip to which the welting attaches.

    Goodyear, hand welted shoes do not exist. This would be like saying you have an automatic manual transmission in your car; it is not possible to have both.

    On the question of whether a good year machine has to be used, it doesn't. The definition of goodyear welted shoes necessarily includes all shoes which use only a canvas rib to attach to the upper. This can be done by hand, but the construction is what defines the type of shoe, not the use of machines.
     
  13. Ecstasy

    Ecstasy Senior member

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    So well done, I would be afraid to wear those. [​IMG]
     
  14. Crat

    Crat Senior member

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    Thanks Benhour, the trees are indeed lasted. The top part of the heel is fairly narrow but the space widens towards the sole.

    I think, JermynStreet and MoneyWS, that we all mean the same thing in the end. The point made about canvas having to be used seems quite logical tbh. I may have been wrongly informed at the Bontoni trunk show where the differences between "GY by hand and normal GY" were explained to me. Probably just a language issue where they meant hand welted.
     
  15. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I think the issue is people just assume when one is talking about a welt that it is goodyear construction. Bontoni could be using a machine to make a slice and turn a piece of the insole upwards like in one of the pics above and then uses a goodyear machine to stitch the welt to the flap of leather that is turned up. This is just a guess, but this could be non-hand welted goodyear construction, which wouldn't use gemming (only canvass to reinforce the flap of leather that is turned up). Hand welting involves using an awl to poke holes through the bottom of the insole and stitch through the welt, lining and uppers, which is still a superior method of welting due to the strength of the leather holdfast. Making a flap of leather just moves your weakest link from a canvass rib being glued to the insole to a peeled up leather flap that can tear. Handwelting employs more strength because the integrity of the hold fast is more in place then splitting the leather.

    Maybe somebody wants to get DWFII on this post, because I pretentiously think I am on to something here.
     

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