The Ultimate Vass (Footwear) Thread (Pictures, reviews, sizing, etc...)

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by luk-cha, Jul 24, 2009.

  1. chogall

    chogall Senior member

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    So the clicking part is mechanized? Makes sense but how much more benefit/accuracy/blemish avoidance do laser cutters have compare to say the very typical leather cutting/pressing machines?

    I do think that for exotic leathers they would still need hand clicker just to make sure they get the right cut of patterns/alignment. No?
     


  2. j ingevaldsson

    j ingevaldsson Senior member

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    Interesting. But they still have to have a clicker who choose where the different parts should be cut on the leather, right? To me it's a bit sad that machines take over more even in fine benchmade products such as Lobbs.
     


  3. mimo

    mimo Pernicious Enabler

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    I think Lobb have used a laser for etching some brogueing on their patterns for a while - a deliberate selling point too I believe. But I agree this sounds a bit like the mass produced clothing industry, with laser cutting to increase consistency and minimise waste.
     


  4. Gauss17

    Gauss17 Senior member

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    In of itself, this is not an issue and may even be preferable to conventional methods. It's consistency is likely far superior. The concern (and this may be what you were getting at) is the slippery slope of cutting costs resulting in a potentially inferior item.
     


  5. RogerP

    RogerP Senior member

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    I agree. I understand the efficiencies and improved consistency, but still don't find it appealing. If a robot were capable of crafting a shoe that was absolutely perfect in ever aspect of its construction, I wouldn't want it. Hand made items appeal to me precisely because they are made by skilled artisans. Making them well takes actual skill. And time. I don't expect perfection in a hand made product, so automation in furtherance of perfection is not a tradeoff that I embrace.
     


  6. gyasih

    gyasih Senior member

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    Thanks.

    To those that spoke about Vibram, thank you too. I definitely want something sleeker, without the rugged ridges.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2013


  7. Ilovelobbs

    Ilovelobbs Senior member

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    Any exotics sticks out like a sore thumb at JL - especially when they retail for over £6K. They only make about 1-2 pairs a week.
    So exotics, MTO, Special wholecuts, Bespoke are still traditionally by handheld knives.

    But we're talking about the 200-300+ RTW and ever increasing shoes they churn out every week. Notice many of their casuals and £800 riding boots no longer say Made In England - It's all made in Italy. The cutting of the classic/prestige range with more components like the quarter heel, vamp; toe cap; inner section are tedius task with lots of overhead. And more of this work can be automated and bought in-house..

    The laser machine is a special machine for JL and by far a big capital investment by JL & Co..it's got the
    whole town talking. My cobbler who repairs all my stitches and sole and does lots of work for JL & EG is already moaning about the limited work coming his way.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2013


  8. NiceToHave

    NiceToHave Active Member

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    Rikod: If you dont mind me asking - why?
     


  9. Ilovelobbs

    Ilovelobbs Senior member

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    Here you go....

    http://www.askandyaboutclothes.com/forum/showthread.php?72949-What-is-a-quot-Storm-Welt-quot

    Hope this helps. My recent pics of the Shell high boots with Goyser stitches is a derivative of storm welt...
    so it's an extra strip of leather above the sole on the shoes and boots to repel the incursion of moisture/water....then again it attracts alot of salt, dirt, dust, sand and what not on your street...
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2013


  10. Roguls

    Roguls Senior member

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    So they bought a laser, contracted their workforce, lessened their need for ancillary work, and still have astronomical prices. All to produce a non-hand made product.

    Grrrrreat.
     


  11. sugarbutch

    sugarbutch Bearded Prick Dubiously Honored

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    If the product is improved or became more consistent—and no one has suggested it hasn't—what's the problem? Their cost per shoe may be down in labor, but they've made a capital investment which needs to be amortized. Why should they lower their price?
     


  12. bboysdontcryy

    bboysdontcryy Senior member

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    It's a luxury good as well and I doubt that getting a laser is so they can transfer the savings and lower the price for customers. They probably want a greater profit margin.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2013


  13. RogerP

    RogerP Senior member

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    Was 'inconsistency' in the way the leather was cut (by hand) a real problem for them prior to getting this fancy new laser?


    What if they got a really cool machine that could completely automate all the stitching to make it more 'consistent' - would you stand up and cheer?
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2013


  14. sugarbutch

    sugarbutch Bearded Prick Dubiously Honored

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    Perhaps. It also sounds like they may want to future-proof their business in the face of labor scarcity. Both, however, are speculation on our part.


    Given how much some here complain about tiny alignment issues with broguing, etc., perhaps consistency is a real problem for them. Dunno. As for the SuperStitcher 5000[​IMG], I wouldn't boo just because it was no longer hand-stitched. If the shoes were made to the same standard or better, it would eventually lead to better quality shoes at a lower price. What's not to love? I do not fear the future.
     


  15. RogerP

    RogerP Senior member

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    What's not to love? Some would prefer a slightly less than absolutely perfect hand-made shoe, to a completely perfect machine-made shoe. I know I would. I do not fear the robo-shoe. I just do not want one.
     


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