Insole leather

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eck
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Re: Insole leather

#301 Post by eck » Tue Jan 13, 2009 3:10 pm

I have just received this email from JFJ Baker regarding pricing:
quote:

‘’Insole shoulders 7 iron (@ 7-8lbs) @ £8.40 per lb

Sole bends 10/11 iron (@ 11 lb) @ £8.40 per lb
Sole bends 8/9iron (@ 9-10lb) @ £8.80 per lb
Stiffener shoulders (@ 10 sq ft) £66.50 each
Toe puff shoulders (@ 10 sq ft) £65 each
Shaved lifting bends £80.50 each
Cut welts 1.25" x 22" £3.97 per pair

These prices are for the leather to be cut into soles, insoles, toe puffs and stiffeners, and are ex tannery. ‘’
Up to now I have been using pre-cut leather. I am thinking of also giving it a go to buy whole bends and shoulders but I am not sure how many insoles and soles I can get out of each (hence how many to order)?
Furthermore, I am a bit confused by ‘prices are ex tannery’. Last January DW posted some prices which were a bit cheaper (£ 7.82lb to be exact) but included tannery.
Cheers
Eck

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Re: Insole leather

#302 Post by lancepryor » Tue Jan 13, 2009 6:36 pm

Eck:

"Ex-Tannery" I believe means essentially at the front door of the tannery, i.e. you are also responsible for all freight expenses. It may be that the price that DW quoted was excluding VAT (value added tax), which adds something like 15% to the cost, and the VAT may be included in the your quoted prices, whereas product that is exported is -- depending on destination -- exempt from VAT. Or, Bakers may have had a price increase.

If you are only going to order a limited amount of the leather, you might want to look into getting the precut strips, because those perhaps could be shipped via something like the Royal Post, whereas the oversized shoulders require shipment by boat or plane (i.e. freight-type carriage), which I think may be very expensive for small volumes of product.

My impression is that you can expect to get something around 11 to 13 pairs of soles per bend, but that is assuming you can use all of the bend for the soles -- obviously, quality will vary a little bit dependent on where on the bend you are cutting. Perhaps Al and others can give more insight into this topic.

Lance

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Re: Insole leather

#303 Post by tmattimore » Tue Jan 13, 2009 8:25 pm

I have never seen a Baker bend but I have cut a lot of Westfield , Howes and Argentine bends It would be exceptional to get 11 to 13 pair. I count on about 8 to 10 along with some half soles, insoles and heel stock.
Tom

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Re: Insole leather

#304 Post by das » Wed Jan 14, 2009 4:45 am

Eckart,

(Your name puts me to mind of Meister Eckhart, a German medieval-shoemaker-cum-Christian mystic and prolific writer--look him up).

But to your questions at hand. First, it's strictly taboo to post or compare prices for commercial goods and services on the Forum, so don't get "the Admin" on your case. Fair enough to suppose Baker's has had a price increase, suffice it to say--everybody has it seems. "Ex-tannery" in UK parlance is like "F.O.B." (freight onboard) in US parlance, and as Lance explains, this simple means the price quoted does not include any shipping charges from the tannery's door or loading dock. They will, however, estimate "carriage" after you order and they know the quantity and which way they are going to ship you the leather.

Being 100% Bakers leather users at the downtown shop at the museum, I can agree with Tom, you'll be lucky to get 9-10 pairs of medium-large size outsoles from a bend if you cut ranges or cut them whole and do not piece the seats (cut them short and graft on a "piece sole" at the back). If you're very careful trenching them out, and piece them, you might squeeze out 12 pairs, but do not bank on it. Bakers insole shoulders consistently yield me 9 pairs of book-matched insoles, but I rough cut these at once in a generic size, and avoid cutting over or across the spine (the spine strip is useful for shank pieces--nothing is wasted). If you cut them a pair at a time, as needed, only to sizes you might get a slightly larger yield.

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Re: Insole leather

#305 Post by fishball » Wed Jan 14, 2009 7:58 pm

When I studied theology and philosphy in college, I read Meister Eckhart's book once, but I didn't notice he was a shoemaker, interesting! A shoemaker mystic.

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Re: Insole leather

#306 Post by das » Thu Jan 15, 2009 5:31 am

Alexander,

Eckhart's (b.1260 d. c. 1328) writings fill more than one book on my shelves, so look out for more, especially sermons. He's cited in one or two 'Lives of Famous Shoemakers' books as having started out as a shoemaker or at least growing up in a shoemaking household. In one of his missives he uses familiar shoemaking methods as an analogy:

"At the beginning of a good life, however, fear is useful. It is love's gateway. A punch or an awl makes a hole for the thread with which a shoe is sewed...and a bristle is put on the thread to get it through the hole, but when the thread does bind the shoe together, the bristle is out. So fear leads love at first and when love has bound us to God fear is done away."

Hans Sachs, "The Nightingale of the Reformation" was another shoemaker-cum-philosopher/theologian, but there were many if you look, including a pope, and George Fox the founder of the Society of Friends (Quakers) !

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Re: Insole leather

#307 Post by eck » Mon Jan 19, 2009 2:47 pm

Everyone, thanks for the info. You're right it just means excluding shipping (and taxes). And sorry for ‘breaking’ the rules. Will not repeat.

Das, I looked him up and you're right. Not related though (as far as I know). hehe.

Eck

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Re: Insole leather

#308 Post by das » Tue Jan 20, 2009 4:32 am

Eck,

No "rules" broken that time with a passing mention, it's just dangerous ground where even angels tread with caution Image

I thought you'd enjoy reading more about your name-sake, a shoemaker-cum-mystic, how cool it that? Of course I think what we all need to read about these days are shoemakers who became wealthy philanthropists.

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Re: Insole leather

#309 Post by dw » Tue Jan 20, 2009 7:58 am

Al,
I think what we all need to read about these days are shoemakers who became wealthy philanthropists.


Geez!! I'm guessing the list of that reading material wouldn't last an evening in front of the fire, in that case. Image

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Re: Insole leather

#310 Post by dearbone » Thu Jan 22, 2009 2:03 pm

Al,

Years ago i read a book called the "illustrious shoemakers" and i wish i own a copy, there were some shoe makers that became well known mystics,but if i remember correctly, their fame was based on their knowledge and intellect, i don't know many that became wealthy philanthropist except maybe Bata, or some mid 19c factory owners who treated their workers badly,not to mention child labour,I also read in some Northampton museum publications about the hardship and misery of those shoe makers that struggled,Their stories are more fun to read.
I heard a story of a few floors shoe factory building and the owner had kept his shoe bench in the elevator, going up and down checking on the workers in different floors,it might requires a very ambitious and rigid personality.

Nasser

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Re: Insole leather

#311 Post by das » Thu Jan 22, 2009 2:25 pm

Nasser,

Sad to admit that I fear what I was seeking to hear was indeed from the realm of fairy-tales Image

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Re: Insole leather

#312 Post by admin » Wed Feb 18, 2009 8:02 am

Discussion regarding leathers for 18th century shoes moved

Here

Emmett

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Re: Insole leather

#313 Post by alexander » Thu Apr 23, 2009 4:50 am

I order my insole leather from a french company, Fages&Aiglon, www.fages-aiglon.fr (They als have a large catalogue of upper leathers and bucles). It is nice to work with and very souple but not stetchy, about 5mm thick, and yelowish-light brown colour and above all... well greased. I assume it it tanned by tannerie Garat&fils and i think also used by Weston (as it is of the same colour and substance) for there goodyear welted shoes, one of the last factories using cut and not glued insole ribs.

Alexander

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Re: Insole leather

#314 Post by johnl » Thu Apr 22, 2010 8:42 pm

DW
I have heard about treating the insoles with tallow prior to using your awl on them. Would you be good enough to describe how this is done, methods, time etc?
Thanks
John Lewis

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Re: Insole leather

#315 Post by romango » Thu Apr 22, 2010 9:01 pm

I don't think it's an issue of 'prior to the awl'. It's about loading the insole with tallow as a reservoir of fat to give the insole longevity in use so that it doesn't dry out prematurely and crack under heavy use.

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Re: Insole leather

#316 Post by janne_melkersson » Fri Apr 23, 2010 1:27 am

The tannery Alexander mentioned, Garat & fils, make wonderful bottom leather. It is used by probably all French bespoke makers and they offer all needed for bottom work.

I don't know if they ship to the US but I think they would.

Check them out here http://www.tannerie-garat.com/

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Re: Insole leather

#317 Post by dw » Fri Apr 23, 2010 5:32 am

John,

Rick has it right in one. It is an old technique not used much anymore but I got it from Al Saguto who told me, IIRC, that it once was commonplace to do this.

What I do is wet the insole and block it to the last. When it is dry, I brush warm...not too hot but hot enough to be clear liquid...beef or sheep tallow onto the grain surface of the insole. I do this after blocking the insole because I think that blocking opens the pores some.

The brushed-on tallow will be absorbed into the leather...mostly. If there is any residual, you can use a hair dryer held at about 12 inches from the surface of the leather to remelt the excess and drive it into the leather. I may repeat this process three or four times.

Any excess at the end, when everything has had time to cool and dry, should be thoroughly wiped off.

This can be a tricky business...understand that oils or fats--the tallow---hold heat better than water. If you get the fat too hot you risk damaging the leather.

But when everything comes together just so, you get an insole that looks little different than if it were not tallowed but, as Rick mentioned, has a reservoir of fats embedded in the fibers that will counter perspiration (salt water) and dust, etc..

It may help...minimally...with holing, but that is not the reason to tallow. And if your insole is so flinty and stiff that you're having trouble holing then you need to locate a better source. DAMHIKT. Image

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Re: Insole leather

#318 Post by lancepryor » Fri Apr 23, 2010 5:57 am

Alexander:

Interesting information.

I believe Weston makes their own insole and outsole leather. They purchased a tannery, Tannerie Bastin, in 1981.

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Re: Insole leather

#319 Post by johnl » Fri Apr 23, 2010 6:04 am

Thanks everyone for the information. Sounds like it might just be something worth doing.
John Lewis

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Re: Insole leather

#320 Post by dw » Fri Apr 23, 2010 6:36 am

Lance,

Weston? Are they in the US? How to contact them?

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Re: Insole leather

#321 Post by lancepryor » Fri Apr 23, 2010 6:59 am

DW:

JM Weston, the leading French maker of RTW shoes. The company name comes from Weston, Massachusetts, where the son of the company founder spend some time about 100 years ago.

http://www.jmweston.com/

You may note that they still make at least some of their shoes in the original goodyear method, i.e. the cut and turned insole lip. Also, if you go to the 'know how' section, there is a short video with a few interesting things -- 'ironing' the upper, and sealing the sole channel with hot wax.

Lance

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Re: Insole leather

#322 Post by dw » Fri Apr 23, 2010 8:03 pm

Lance,

Thanks. I thought that there was a Weston Tannery or Shoe company (?) in Weston MA. If there was there doesn't seem to be now...

I was hoping against hope to find a domestic source of insole shoulder. [sigh]

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Re: Insole leather

#323 Post by fishball » Fri Apr 23, 2010 8:14 pm

DW,

How to get the tallow? Could i just slow cook the beef fat to get it?

Alexander

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Re: Insole leather

#324 Post by johnl » Fri Apr 23, 2010 9:48 pm

There are instructions on the web for doing it, but being a little lazy and not much time, I bought mine from a place that sells supplies to make homemade soap. http://www.essentialdepot.com/servlet/the-37/beef-tallow/Detail
John Lewis

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Re: Insole leather

#325 Post by amuckart » Sat Apr 24, 2010 3:23 am

You render tallow from suet, which is un-cooked organ fat. Cooked fat is dripping and tends to come from muscle fat which is softer than organ fat. It also smells. Mutton tallow is harder than beef tallow. Kidney fat from sheep makes the best tallow of all.


I couldn't find tallow, but I could get suet so I rendered 5kg of suet into about 4kg of tallow some time ago and took photos as I went.

http://wherearetheelves.blogspot.com/2007/09/rendering-tallow.html

It isn't very difficult, but it is messy and you'll go through a lot of dishwashing detergent since you do not want that fat going down the drain unless it's properly emulsified. I used nearly a whole bottle.

The cakes of tallow were slightly yellow when I first rendered them but have oxidised to a very clean white all the way through.

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