Insole leather

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dw
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Re: Insole leather

#376 Post by dw » Sat Sep 05, 2015 8:04 am

Herr_Leeb » Sat Sep 05, 2015 7:23 am wrote:To my horror I have to read that real shoemakers use "insole leather"

Until now I have made all my shoes with precut sole leather from the only source I have, my local cobbler supply store.

My shoes feel very comfortable to me, I don't suffer from excessive footsweat, have no customers to please and
since I have not had the opportunity to get some good quality JR or Baker outsoles, I don't mind a little extra rigidity. The toughest environment my shoes are exposed to is the Costco parking lot.

Is there something fundamentaly wrong with using precut outsole leather for insoles (other than pissing off St. Crispin) or can I continue using it without creating problems I am not aware of?
Insole shoulder is less dense and longer fibered than bend...as a consequence it makes a better footbed. It's also more flexible and breathes better than outsole leather.

But more importantly it is easier to channel and feather and will hold the inseaming stitches better even when they are tightened prodigiously. That means you can stitch closer and tighter (spi) without risking blown holdfasts and fit more stitches into the inseam around tight corners such as the toe.

The closer you get to the prime areas of a hide the more the leather is short fibered...so while denser and perhaps longer wearing on pavement, etc., outsole is not as tensile-ly strong.

Additionally, outsole leather is "rolled"--sometimes two and three times--each rolling compressing and stiffening (hardening) the leather more. The results are akin to what early shoemakers would have done by "hammer-jacking on a lap iron...before rolling was invented.

I used insoles cut from outsoling for a number of years. My own experience was that they cracked and remained stiff throughout their lives. But they were at least minimally functional.

Bottom line, not "best practices", however.
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Re: Insole leather

#377 Post by dw » Sat Sep 05, 2015 8:08 am

PS...it's "insole shoulder" Lots of manufacturers use "insole leather" which turns out to be just parts of bends that may not have been first quality and have not been rolled. As a consequence, real insole shoulder is not always easily sourced as most tanneries, esp. in the US, cater almost exclusively to the manufacturers and seldom, if ever, the Trade.

But once you used it, channeled, holed and inseamed with it...you'll never go back.
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Re: Insole leather

#378 Post by Herr_Leeb » Sat Sep 05, 2015 9:32 am

The holdfast / spi problems are not really an issue for me. I usually get the thickest leather I can find and cut pretty deep channels. However, I do understand now why on videos master shoemakers sail through welting and I am slaving for hours just to prepoke the holes :)

I will definitely try to get some insole shoulder now.

At least I know I am not going to burn in shoemaker's hell for using outsole leather for insoles.

Thanks, dw !
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Re: Insole leather

#379 Post by dw » Sat Sep 05, 2015 10:29 am

Your channeling and feathering looks good to my eye..although the feather looks to be a tad wide. The stitches might be a bit long as well--the "standard" is three to the inch at the longest, and four to the inch is better. Sometimes I do five to the inch.

Of course these are subjective and according to personal preference but that's what I was taught. Up to a certain...and reasonable...degree, closer is always better.
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Re: Insole leather

#380 Post by dw » Sat Sep 05, 2015 10:34 am

BTW, I use (roughly) 9-10 iron for insole. But IIRC, das...who admittedly does historical work (with very different and stricter standards and a somewhat different technique for preparing the insole)...uses 6 iron insoling.
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Re: Insole leather

#381 Post by Herr_Leeb » Sun Sep 06, 2015 7:31 am

dw,
you got me there....guess I got a bit lazy with my stitches :)
When I started making shoes I measured the stitches and made them every 5 mm, then, after reading Lazlo Vass' book I moved on to 6 mm. But I have to admit that my stitches did get a bit wider over time, the one in the pictures average out to 3 spi. Considering the pointed toes that means that some are pretty wide.

So, I guess for my next project I will go back to tighter stitches again which should be way easier now if I can find some proper material for my insoles

But what is "The Feather"?

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Re: Insole leather

#382 Post by dw » Sun Sep 06, 2015 8:06 am

Herr_Leeb » Sun Sep 06, 2015 7:31 am wrote:dw,
you got me there....guess I got a bit lazy with my stitches :)
When I started making shoes I measured the stitches and made them every 5 mm, then, after reading Lazlo Vass' book I moved on to 6 mm. But I have to admit that my stitches did get a bit wider over time, the one in the pictures average out to 3 spi. Considering the pointed toes that means that some are pretty wide.

So, I guess for my next project I will go back to tighter stitches again which should be way easier now if I can find some proper material for my insoles

But what is "The Feather"?
No worries...not criticizing...just objective (hopefully) analysis.

The "feather" is the rabbeted "notch" you've cut around the edge of the insole. On the last, the "corner" all around the forepart (and heel) is called the "featherline." So the notch on the edge of the insole is called the "feather"...because it is cut along the featherline.

And +1 on the insole shoulder ("proper material")
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Re: Insole leather

#383 Post by Herr_Leeb » Sun Sep 06, 2015 8:58 am

Thanks dw,

I will eventually learn the lingo :)

The feather on these shoes is wide on purpose. I have seen a picture of insoles made by Anthony Delos which have an even wider feather (in the waist, though)
Funny enough I am wearing the shoes of which I took the pictures of the insole today, so I took a few pictures to show what I mean.
I like to make the feather wide sometimes because that enables me to stitch on the outsole very tight inside the welt. That way the stitching of the outsole almost disappears, specially if you look from above. When taking the pics I had a hard time to show the stitches at all. I like the look, the challenge is to avoid toolmarks from the awl. I do that by putting a piece of tough plastic between awl and upper when I stitch the outsole.
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Re: Insole leather

#384 Post by dw » Sun Sep 06, 2015 9:30 am

Herr_Leeb » Sun Sep 06, 2015 8:58 am wrote:Thanks dw,

I will eventually learn the lingo :)

The feather on these shoes is wide on purpose. I have seen a picture of insoles made by Anthony Delos which have an even wider feather (in the waist, though)
Funny enough I am wearing the shoes of which I took the pictures of the insole today, so I took a few pictures to show what I mean.
I like to make the feather wide sometimes because that enables me to stitch on the outsole very tight inside the welt. That way the stitching of the outsole almost disappears, specially if you look from above. When taking the pics I had a hard time to show the stitches at all. I like the look, the challenge is to avoid toolmarks from the awl. I do that by putting a piece of tough plastic between awl and upper when I stitch the outsole.

Sound reasoning.

That said, leaving the welt proud does serve a function--it acts as a "bumper" (on an automobile) to protect the upper.

The Delos example is feathered deeply in the waist because he is intending to make a fiddleback and beveled waist. And the reasoning is the same as yours--he wants to tuck the welt under the insole so that it and the stitching are not seen.

The waist is not as vulnerable as the forepart, however.

IMO, (opinion) tucking the welt up under that insole in the forepart leaves the shoe looking like, and at the same risk, as a cement construction.

Some people like that look (although cement construction is not "best practices" by any means) but it does have its drawbacks.

YMMV...
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Re: Insole leather

#385 Post by Herr_Leeb » Sun Sep 06, 2015 10:26 am

dw,
You are certainly making some good points here, and some of my shoes do sport "bumpers" :)
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Since I make my shoes just for fun and for myself only, I like to experiment with different designs and techniques. Have to admit, that the majority of my experiments went straight into the trash or were recycled though...

Personally I do like the look of cemented shoes (as long as they are not actually cemented), specially when trying to make them look sleek or elegant. And if they really get scuffed or look unsightly, I have a wonderful excuse for making myself another pair :)

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Re: Insole leather

#386 Post by dw » Sun Sep 06, 2015 11:38 am

^

:beers:
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