Insole leather

Share secrets, compare techniques, discuss the merits of materials--eg. veg vs. chrome--and above all, seek knowledge.
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sorrell
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Re: Insole leather

#351 Post by sorrell » Mon Mar 12, 2012 1:33 pm

I've been using the Baker leather for my insoles recently. It's lovely! Is it possible to trim the insoles to fit while the leather is still wet or do I need to let it dry completely before trimming the insoles?

Lisa

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Re: Insole leather

#352 Post by paul » Mon Mar 12, 2012 2:53 pm

Lisa,
I can't speak to Bakers, I haven't tried it yet, but I am about to.
However I prefer to wait. I've been disappointed by other insoles shrinking on the last when I wet them to cut the holdfast. I'd think it would be true for any veg tanned leather, insoles or otherwise.
But then I suppose once you knew the leather, you could leave a predictable margin, and go with it in your sequence.
Let us know what you experience.
Paul

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Re: Insole leather

#353 Post by sorrell » Mon Mar 12, 2012 2:58 pm

Paul,
It's absolutely wonderful for channeling and inseaming but it's a little "crunchy" when it's being trimmed. It seems like it would trim beautifully if it were still damp but like you I'm afraid it would shrink. I was hoping someone would get on here and say they always trim it wet and it never shrinks at all.

Lisa

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Re: Insole leather

#354 Post by dw » Mon Mar 12, 2012 3:50 pm

Lisa, Paul,

It has been my experience that if you trim the insole while it is wet or even still a little damp...ie. tempered...it will shrink . If you trim it to absolute size, then it will be below size when dry.

Naturally the trick here is a sharp knife but even then it will be a bit hard until you get past the immediate surface that has seen the fat liquors evaporate along with the moisture.

The problem is the same Baker or not...it just seems worse with the Baker.

On the road again...

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Re: Insole leather

#355 Post by das » Mon Mar 12, 2012 5:54 pm

Lisa,

Having used nothing but Bakers for 20+ years.... "block" it onto the last bottom sopping wet, straining it a little in all directions with your pincers, and tack it (see Hasluck). Hammer it moderately to settle it to the last bottom and around the feather-edge to define the border. Leave it to get bone, freakin', Sahara Desert dry before you trim, or it'll shrink every time.

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Re: Insole leather

#356 Post by sorrell » Tue Mar 13, 2012 7:31 am

Well, you've all told me what I thought you would, just not what I wanted to hear. Image

Thanks for the advice.

Lisa

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Re: Insole leather

#357 Post by athan_chilton » Tue Mar 13, 2012 9:45 am

Hi all, a question I am sure someone here can answer:

I am working on my first "let's try this at home" pair of Packer style boots. Am just about ready to sew my welt. Horween's has just sent me 3 samples of horse butt from which to choose...but I don't know which one to pick! Perhaps someone with greater experience can point me in the right direction.

The boots themselves are relatively lightweight - water buffalo calf and Edelman Scotch grain, neither of which, I believe, is more than 2.5 oz; 12 inches tall, dressy rather than work boot.

Here's what Horween's sent me:
1) 5-7 oz hard, (veg) rolled horsehide strip
2) 9 oz-over, hard or soft "" "" "" ""
3)7-9 oz. etc. etc.

So...5-7 oz hard, or heavier? Hard or soft? My tendency would go for the 5-7 oz, given the relatively lightweight nature of the boots...but they ARE Western boots, even though lace-up rather than pull-on, so I don't want to go "too" lightweight.

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Re: Insole leather

#358 Post by donrwalker » Tue Mar 13, 2012 6:40 pm

I would use the 7-9 hard, but then I don't Goodyear welt my packers, I do a Norwegian storm welt, so what would I know about it.

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Re: Insole leather

#359 Post by corvin » Tue Mar 13, 2012 7:06 pm

7-9 hard is what I've been using. Thickness compares to Barbour pre-made welt. It's denser though, which is nice.

(Message edited by corvin on March 13, 2012)

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Re: Insole leather

#360 Post by athan_chilton » Wed Mar 14, 2012 3:31 am

Dense sounds good, Craig. The lighter weight stuff might not hold up so well, is what I'm thinking - maybe is for really lighter weight women's shoes? These being boots...

Donald, I don't think I know how to do a Goodyear welt. What I do is closest to English welt - taught to me, with variations, by both DWII and Marcell. I'd like to learn the Norwegian welt though.

Thanks, all. I'll be talking to Horween's later today...

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Re: Insole leather

#361 Post by dw » Wed Mar 14, 2012 6:34 am

Technically, I suppose we really should distinguish Goodyear construction from hand-welted.

Goodyear construction involves cementing a canvas rib to an insole...generally a thin and often synthetic insole...to which a machine sews the welt.

Most bespoke shoes and boots are hand welted--hand sewn directly to a relatively firm and thick leather insole.

I am on the road and don't know, exactly what I use for hand-welting although it can vary a little depending on the application. But right now I am using Baker welting strips and they tend to be a little thinner than the 7-9, if I recall correctly.

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Re: Insole leather

#362 Post by donrwalker » Wed Mar 14, 2012 7:09 am

I stand corrected. I was trying to distinguish between what I do and what Athan is doing, but DW is correct in his description of Goodyear welting.

Don

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Re: Insole leather

#363 Post by frank_jones » Wed Mar 14, 2012 10:24 am

All

I agree with DW that “we really should distinguish Goodyear construction from hand-welted.”

Goodyear Welted footwear is footwear made using the machinery which was perfected and promoted by Charles Goodyear during the last thirty years of the 19th century. My understanding is that Charles Goodyear was the son of the man who was the first to make what we call vulcanised rubber, naming the process after the Greek God of fire - Vulcan.

In terms of the actual difference to hand welted, the main element is the fact that the welt sewing machine uses a single thread which produces a chain stitch.

The biggest concentration of Goodyear Welted factories in the world is in Northamptonshire, England - some 17 factories, all within a circle of about twenty miles. They all make men’s high grade, mostly leather sole footwear and about 75% of production is exported. I am almost certain that they all use leather insoles.

They all now use a canvas rib which is cemented to the insole, as DW says. However, the original Goodyear Welted process did not use a rib. Charles Goodyear used a machine which cut two channels back to back on the flesh side of the insole. The channels were very similar to a channel that many hand shoemakers use to cover the outstitching on a sole. The channels on the insole were opened and stuck up against each other providing a holdfast onto which the upper and welt were sewn.

So we cannot blame Charles Goodyear for the use of canvas ribbed insoles. They only became widely used in the 1940’s and 50’s. The main reason they became so common is because it enabled shoemakers to use thinner insoles, which are still leather. This became very important when customers’ preference moved towards lightweight shoes, which are more flexible. I doubt that the canvas rib could have been used earlier because it was not until after the Second World war that we got the really strong, flexible adhesives to hold the rib in place.

Frank Jones
frank.jones@noblefootwear.com

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Re: Insole leather

#364 Post by janne_melkersson » Wed Mar 14, 2012 11:49 am

Here are a photo of how to sew the welt on by machine the old Goodyear welted way without the canvas rib. A stage before the canvas rib was to reinforce the holdfast with canvas the next step was the rib.
14467.jpg



(Message edited by janne melkersson on March 14, 2012)

(Message edited by janne melkersson on March 14, 2012)

xenon

Re: Insole leather

#365 Post by xenon » Thu Sep 06, 2012 6:50 am

Hello everyone,

newbie question regarding sole/insole leather.

Does anyone have a conversion formula or a definition of the term "iron"? I was looking for this term on the web and nothing came up. For instance I was going under the assumption that 10 iron was roughly 5mm but I really just don't know for sure. This is compounded by the variability quoted for the leathers which gives a range and not a single number.

Is iron really a measure of thickness or is it a weight unit instead?

thanks in advance for any response

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Re: Insole leather

#366 Post by leech77 » Thu Sep 06, 2012 7:30 am

Hi Patrice,
The iron, archaic as it may be, is a unit of measurent. It equals one fourty-eighth of an inch. Hope this helps.
-Eric-

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Re: Insole leather

#367 Post by kevin_l » Thu Sep 06, 2012 7:54 am

Patrice: If you GOOGLE "measure leather thickness" one choice is an E-Bay source "review". This site has a chart in OUNCE,MM,IRON,%INCH, and Decimal.

That should help you. Sorry I am not computer literate enough to publish here.

Kevin

xenon

Re: Insole leather

#368 Post by xenon » Thu Sep 06, 2012 8:00 am

Eric and Kevin, thank you very much

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Re: Insole leather

#369 Post by kemosabi » Thu Sep 06, 2012 8:57 am

This one works good:

online conversion

Pick "Iron" from the list on the left, then pick whatever you want to convert it to on the right.

Cheers,
-Nat

chuck_deats

Re: Insole leather

#370 Post by chuck_deats » Fri Sep 07, 2012 6:05 am

I had the same issue and made a small Excel table that shows leather thickness in ounces, irons, decimal, fractions, millimeters,etc. Would be glad to E-mail it to any one that wants it. chasdeats@ yahoo dot com

Fix the E-mai address. Will be out of town next week.
Chuck

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Re: Insole leather

#371 Post by paul » Fri Sep 07, 2012 8:00 pm

I keep a resized/reduced copy of a chart like this I copied from Shop Talk Magazine hanging from my tool rack. Amazing how often I look at it for one reason or another. Lately I've been thinking I need to do one to keep around of European/American sizes.
Just too much for a head with holes in it.
Paul

xenon

Re: Insole leather

#372 Post by xenon » Sat Sep 08, 2012 8:22 am

thanks guys

I actually made a conversion table using the formula "1 iron = 1/48 inch" and "1 inch = 25.4mm" and everything matches up perfectly with the table on ebay. I included ounces as well (but not formula based). I'll post the excel table here if that is OK on Monday (file is at work)

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Re: Insole leather

#373 Post by random512 » Fri Dec 12, 2014 6:43 pm

Hello, I couldn't find the perfect matching forum category for the following question and this forum seemed to be the closest. Is there a particular type of leather used for shoe liners? Any particular animal, hide area, thickness, treatment, finish, etc? Seems like breathability and moisture management would be important factors. Seems like the leather liner should have some different characteristics than the leather upper because it serves a different purpose.

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Re: Insole leather

#374 Post by dw » Fri Dec 12, 2014 6:59 pm

A good 2+ ounce veg lining calf or lining kip is what I use.

http://www.waterhouseleather.com/kip_to ... eather.htm

Or for boots maybe this

http://www.waterhouseleather.com/SoftMi ... erHide.htm
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Re: Insole leather

#375 Post by Herr_Leeb » Sat Sep 05, 2015 7:23 am

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?

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