"The Art and Mysterie..."

Share secrets, compare techniques, discuss the merits of materials--eg. veg vs. chrome--and above all, seek knowledge.
Post Reply
Message
Author
admin
Site Admin
Posts: 406
Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2004 10:00 am
Full Name: Admin
Been Liked: 1 time

"The Art and Mysterie..."

#1 Post by admin » Mon May 06, 2002 6:27 pm

Over 200 messages posted prior to 25 February 2002 have been moved to the first Crispin Colloquy CD Archive. Those interested in obtaining a copy of this searchable CD need to contact admin@thehcc.org

Admin--06 May 2002

Lisa Sorrell

Re: "The Art and Mysterie..."

#2 Post by Lisa Sorrell » Fri Jan 24, 2003 8:43 am

Thanks to everyone who gave advice on my vacuum/air purifier system. I've made some adjustments and improvements and it's working much better.

I did a keywork search for "full wellingtons" and it turned up just prior to this discussion. I'm trying to make my first pair of full wellingtons.

To me, the most frustrating part of learning something new is when something goes wrong, I don't know if it's me or what I'm working with. I came up with a pattern, cut a liner and crimped it. It didn't work as well as I wanted, so I adjusted the pattern, cut another liner and crimped it, and I'm very pleased with it. I used good leather both times, because I didn't think I'd learn too much by using trash--I wanted to see how good leather behaved when I cut it in the direction I thought I should.

So...I had a pattern I thought would work. The boot is supposed to be Australian kangaroo (the leather that Sheridan Leather is carrying). I cut a front right down the middle of a kangaroo skin. I tried to put it on the crimp board, and it is NOT happening. I have some soft calf, so I cut a piece of it from the same pattern and it's crimping beautifully. I noticed D.W. told Matt above NOT to use something soft and stretchy, so maybe that's not a good idea. By the way, why not? It's crimping great, and the customer prefers something soft.

Are some leathers just impossible to crimp full wellington style? Since I can crimp a piece of lining just fine with my pattern, should I look to laying the pattern differently on the kangaroo skin or just assume I've cut the pattern wrong?

And D.W., when is your book on full wellingtons going to be out? I need it now! Image

Lisa

User avatar
dw
Seanachaidh
Posts: 5373
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 1997 10:00 am
Full Name: DWFII
Location: Redmond, OR
Has Liked: 39 times
Been Liked: 3 times
Contact:

Re: "The Art and Mysterie..."

#3 Post by dw » Fri Jan 24, 2003 12:10 pm

Lisa,

The trouble with learning new things...for anyone in this business...is that as much as I can want to help you, we start from some fundamentally different places. Patterns, for example, my techniques work with my patterns and my techniques and my patterns start with some basic assumptions regarding both what I want to see and how to get there. Change any of that...the assumptions, the techniques or the patterns and suddenly you've got a mess on your hands.

Unless you are using a light weight vegetable tanned cow or calf for your lining, I don't think the fact that it went on the board is a reliable predictor of the accuracy or suitability of your patterns...and the patterns also must sync tot he boards, to some extent, as well.

It's true I recommend staying away from the soft leathers. But it's totally up to you and your customer. I will say several things just for you to think about. Like the lining, you can get a soft leather on the board. But what does it tell you? Does it tell you that your patterns are good? No! does it tell you that your crimping methods are on track? No! Does it tell you that your trimming and assembly--where you locate the throatline and the break--are correct? No, again. The soft leather will do just about anything you want it to do..even violate all rules of good patternmaking and bootmaking. What's more, when you're done, what do you have? A soft floppy boot that will not stand up to wear or look good six months down the road. Some of it will even look worse after you've taken it off the board than it did when it was on the board or before it was cut. If you are making high top moccasins, soft leather might be the way to go. But that's just one man's opinion. If you want a "easy' leather to crimp...providing your boards, patterns and techniques are up to snuff...try Greg's French calf. It's beautiful and makes a beautiful full wellington.

I have a pair of Sheridan kangaroo full cuts on the last. I had no difficulty getting them on the boards although I lost the most minute amount of the finish (this was the red kangaroo from a lot before they changed the finish). And they crimped and lasted beautifully. When treed and finish coated, they'll look like a million bucks.

I have crimped and made full cuts boots from chrome tans from two and a half ounce up to eight ounce and from veg tans from two and a half ounce up to six ounce. And yes....some leathers are not suitable for full cuts...either because the leather is too dry, or too soft, or--and this is the main problem--the finish is too delicate. And, what with environmental regs, there's more of the latter around and less of the good stuff each year.

Lisa, I'll help you all I can. But you'll have to ask the questions and, you'll have to know that sometimes the answers will be less than satisfying.

As for my book, I've got it started and then got diverted in reformatting and re-printing (on CD) my other books. Mostly, I guess I'm cogitating of how to structure the book and, to be quite honest, still refining patterns and techniques. The real problem is that the full wellington book is not for beginners the way my other books are. So it assumes that the reader understands or approaches the subject in a way that resonates with the way I approach the subject. you see...there's those "fundamental assumptions," again. I worry that someone like yourself...skilled in another method and a different philosophy will have to abandon all they know to use my instructions. Most makers can't or won't do that. So it's a bit of a quandary for me.

Anyway, like I said...just ask...I'll help in any way I can.

PS...front blockers should be cut perpendicular to the backbone on calf and hides large enough to do that. They must be cut parallel to the backbone on kangaroo, simply by virtue of necessity.

Tight Stitches
DWFII--Member HCC

Lisa Sorrell

Re: "The Art and Mysterie..."

#4 Post by Lisa Sorrell » Fri Jan 24, 2003 2:32 pm

D.W.,
I understand about different techniques and methods not mixing well. I've integrated several of your techniques into my bootmaking though, while there are other bootmakers who make good looking boots, but NOTHING they do or tell me works with my boots. I guess I'll just jump off the deep end with this boot and hope I can swim. Or talk them into something different if I fail miserably...

Lisa

User avatar
dw
Seanachaidh
Posts: 5373
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 1997 10:00 am
Full Name: DWFII
Location: Redmond, OR
Has Liked: 39 times
Been Liked: 3 times
Contact:

Re: "The Art and Mysterie..."

#5 Post by dw » Fri Jan 24, 2003 5:22 pm

Lisa,

Well, that's encouraging...just the fact that you have tried. And I admire the fact that you are trying to learn something new with the full cuts. But just let me say, anyone can get a pair of full wellingtons together (especially with soft, stretchy leather) but really controlling the boot--how it sits on the last, how the side side seams lay, the tightness of the boot around the top of the cone, etc, while making a boot that will last and look good--is no walk in the park. You have my best wishes.

Again, if you can identify specifically where you are having problems, I'll try to help. But you know me...I tend to get serious about these things and I don't want to bore everyone to death...OR...write the book on line, either.

If you haven't already, check out "The Art and the Mysterie" discussion. And if you are a member of the HCC (info coming) or even if not, there is a video of me crimping some two and a half ounce veg calf liners that was made at AGM a couple of years back. It's available for a small fee from the HCC--a non-profit organization for those who are worrying.

Oh, and by the way...two tips...always crimp your fronts inside out. Full front boots need to be "boned" and "wrinkle chased" extensively and that protects the finish. After they've dried and taken a "set" then re-seat them on the boards, spritzing them liberally, right side out and let them dry out, again, for another couple of days.

Also, (and the video shows this) very often, especially with chrome tans--like the kangaroo--you won't get the leather tight to the board and clear all the wrinkles until almost the last second. My point is just that maybe you gave up on the 'roo a little too soon. Been there, done that, bought the T-shirt.

Image

Tight Stitches
DWFII--Member HCC

tmattimore

Re: "The Art and Mysterie..."

#6 Post by tmattimore » Fri Jan 24, 2003 5:38 pm

While I will never be the bootmaker DW and others on this forum I do make about 100 pair of full wellies a year. The trouble is as DW said that my methods may not be adaptable to your situation. I spent almost two years devolping a system where in my patterns crimping boards and lasts all work together and still have to cut some into sock liners every now and then. As a rule I use only 5.5 to 6 oz veg tanned leather that the tannery mills for me to a medium soft hand. I always cut the front vamp to the spine and down to the belly. I never wet the front for more then it takes for the bubbles to stop. Here is where things get difficult, from experience I know where my pattern fits on my crimping board so I know where to tack it. If the top is set too high it will tear at the heel trying to pull it to the board if set too low you get have to fight the battle of the bulge over the instep. Since my hands have only so much left in them I use 5 crimping screws and the order in which they are pulled makes a major difference. Generally on a 16 high I pull about 4 in down from the top first then down at the instep next then a light pull at the throat and then at the heel. I also chase the wrinkles with a smooth round face hammer or saddlers bouncer trying never to put a wrinkle under tension as this tends to lock them in. As I said earlier this works for me it may not work for any one else but if I can offer any advice I will.
Tmattimore

User avatar
dw
Seanachaidh
Posts: 5373
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 1997 10:00 am
Full Name: DWFII
Location: Redmond, OR
Has Liked: 39 times
Been Liked: 3 times
Contact:

Re: "The Art and Mysterie..."

#7 Post by dw » Fri Jan 24, 2003 8:55 pm

Tom, Lisa,

I'm with you. I've spent nearly twenty years refining my patterns, boards and techniques. In a very real sense, this is an interdependent system, the elements of which cannot be easily swapped out. Far more so than dress wellingtons (cowboy boots).

On my patterns, I know exactly where to cut for a 12 inch top, or a 14 inch top, etc. I do cut the "vamps" substantially oversize, however, and my blocker patterns are wide enough to accommodate all but the beefiest of legs. I've seen patterns, particularly historical patterns, that seemed to be cutting for minimal wastage. But being a custom maker, I don't worry too much about getting the nth degree of efficiency in cutting. Far more important is that "cushion" that cutting oversize gives me...and gives the boot. Most of the damage, both stretch damage and grain damage from pincers, etc., occurs in that margin. It can be cut off and never see the light of day if the "vamps" are cut large enough.

On my boards I know exactly where 12 inches up the leg should be, 14 inches, 16 inches, etc..I also know exactly where the throat line will be, where the break is, and where three inches down from the throat line is.

I use three boards for each boot--two front boards and a back board. I use three irons, max...one under the instep, one at the corner and one just above the break. I also use a "taper stick" ala Mike Ives (my old teacher) to trim the sides of the blocker in a very close approximation of what Golding recommends.

I think the salient thing about full cuts, something we almost never encounter with dress wellingtons, is the distance from the instep to the corner of the "vamp." When we mount a vamp on a top (making dress cuts) we have the ability to 'spring' the vamps and thus (even if unknowingly) provide the needed amount of leather. We don't have that option with FWs and as a result, the degree of "openess" in the boards combined with the way in which we cut the sides of our front blocker becomes almost the critical factor. This is especially true if we want to have a nice tight throat in the boot.

It is possible to cut the tops real wide and achieve (kind of) the same "sit" of the boot on the last. But you'll fall into the boots and, personally I don't like the look or even the idea of doing it that way. I, undoubtedly have a bias in this regard (even though it's not historically correct for FW's) simply because that's the way I was taught and the way I make my dress cuts. And that may be the reason why I've spent so many years refining may patterns, etc.,...because I needed to have them be philosophically consistent with what I knew, or thought I knew, about four piece boots.

Well, there I go again...but for me this is the most interesting aspect of bootmaking...period. And the most interesting subject on the forum.


Tight Stitches
DWFII--Member HCC

Tex Robin

Re: "The Art and Mysterie..."

#8 Post by Tex Robin » Fri Jan 24, 2003 9:04 pm

tmattimore,

Is this a typo or what? You say you make 100 wellingtons per year. If you make 100 of anything in a year you are a very acconmplished bootmaker and should be an authority on something. 100 pair.....????....TR

tmattimore

Re: "The Art and Mysterie..."

#9 Post by tmattimore » Fri Jan 24, 2003 9:30 pm

Tex not a typo. DW I am not to sure of your nomenclature as to springing the vamps but I think you mean the angle of the leg to vamp part of the crimping board. I found that I had to adjust this angle to better fit the last and still provide enough leather in the pattern for what I call a counter draft. I thought at first that when you cut the pattern from the crimped front you built in the draft but if that angle you crimped at was too shallow the boot would tend to lean foward and the side seam curve since I use only one style of last I found a shape that works and have stuck with it. If I were to change to a higher heel I belive I would need new boards.
Tom Mattimore

User avatar
dw
Seanachaidh
Posts: 5373
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 1997 10:00 am
Full Name: DWFII
Location: Redmond, OR
Has Liked: 39 times
Been Liked: 3 times
Contact:

Re: "The Art and Mysterie..."

#10 Post by dw » Sat Jan 25, 2003 6:25 am

Tom,

That's pretty much correct. But we're still a bit at odds with terms, I think. My experience is that if the angle of the "vamp," relative to the leg, is too shallow the boot will never settle on the last...and it will lean *backward* not forward. Too shallow and the throat gets choked...it will never cup the heel of the last properly, the sideseam will tend to slide forward, and you almost always end up with a certain amount of truly intractable "bridging." It mat be that we are talking about the same thing just using contrary terminology.

In any case, I fought this for years. Moved my break spot up and down the crimped blocker and never made much headway. Then I tried what I call more "open" boards--boards where the front of the board more nearly approaches 90 degrees relative to the "leg." I call them more "open" because the result is a blocker that is somewhat "overcrimped" and as a consequence the vamp is more "open"...with more substance in that critical "instep to sideseam-at-the-insole" area.

But trimming the blocker is important at this point. Many of the old patterns--the tin or brass pattern sets--have a pattern for trimming the crimped blocker (there's a name for that pattern but old age and lack of breakfast conspire to rob me of my memory just now...Al? ). Oh!! It's the "castor" pattern. But from what I've seen, many of them incorporate the ability to change the way the side of the "vamp" is trimmed--the angle. Maybe for different heel heights...who knows what they were thinking? But again, such adjustments in where you trim, affect that instep to sideseam parameter.

I think (with some experience with varying heel heights to back it up) that right there--at the sideseam--is where we can "spring" the vamps...insofar as we are ever going to spring them. But I've made FW's at various heel heights (from 7/8" to 2 1/4" ) and the theory seems to work.

Are you taking notes, Lisa? Image I sure wish a couple of FW fanatics had had this kind of rambling discussion in my hearing years ago. I might not have put myself through this torture Image

Tight Stitches
DWFII--Member HCC

tmattimore

Re: "The Art and Mysterie..."

#11 Post by tmattimore » Sat Jan 25, 2003 7:14 am

DW I too saw the light on that one after a freind found one of those patterns at an antique store. I came at it from the other end and started with my boards at too close to 90 deg and had to drop them to match my lasts. I suppose if I had to change heel heights it would be more of a difficulty. Lisa when I first started doing these all I could find on the subject was Ree's I hope our esoterica helps. I do not have any way too scan but when I get thru this afternoon I will try to explain how I make the patterns
Tom Mattimore

Lisa Sorrell

Re: "The Art and Mysterie..."

#12 Post by Lisa Sorrell » Sat Jan 25, 2003 10:36 am

D.W. and Tom,
Some of your ramblings make sense now, and the other bits probably won't make sense until I get in a wreck making these boots!

My crimp boards have almost a 90 degree angle on them. I "inherited" this style of board, so initially I just used them because that's the way I was trained. I've come to love them though, because that sharp angle gives me a definite point of reference for everything I do. I had already decided that if I achieve any degree of success at all with these boots, it will be because of the style of crimp boards I use. I'd be lost without that point of reference.

I am VERY interested in the line of discussion about how to cut the side draft and how that will affect the instep and how the boot sets on the last. I'm fortunate to have inherited a system that works when I follow it. I'm just beginning to understand why and how it works. I need to understand it more so I'll know how to apply it to these boots. (And sometimes it doesn't matter if you use a different system--when you explain what you do and how it affects the boot, I can see how what I do affects the boot as well.)

Lisa

User avatar
dw
Seanachaidh
Posts: 5373
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 1997 10:00 am
Full Name: DWFII
Location: Redmond, OR
Has Liked: 39 times
Been Liked: 3 times
Contact:

Re: "The Art and Mysterie..."

#13 Post by dw » Sat Jan 25, 2003 2:07 pm

Lisa,

One thing to be careful of is boards that are too close to 90 degrees. You'll never get all the pipes and wrinkles out of the break area. Again, look at the "Art and the Mysterie" discussion. The photographs there of my "cruel' boards represent just about as severe an angle as you can get and still get blockers tight to the wood. And I've never been able to get a pair of blockers on that board without putting them on the lower board first.

Well, I'm a pretty good "explainer" but as you would expect, over the course of 20 years fooling with this system, a certain amount of it is trial and error. But I started re-reading Golding's section on "long work," and then, like I said, I added some theories derived from looking at old patterns, plus lots of minor (and major) blow-out and the results seems to work...giving me a very "modern" fitting boot (tight in the throat) and a a lot of control (knock on wood) over the important styling factors such as the way the boot leans or doesn't lean, straightness of side seam, the ability to do most kinds of leather given that they are quality, etc..

We've talked about the side draft before so you know that the side draft I use starts out with plugging in the short heel minus a half inch (no seam allowance needed) at the throat line . From my observations, that's a lot in comparison to many other makers. But that fact right there influences a whole host of things such as how much angle you need on the board, as well as how you trim your side draft.

I also use a "banana" counter...which as I indicated, necessitates a back board. But it also builds in a bit of "ease just above the insole line where the last is fullest around the heel. This also affects the way we trim the side draft.

Re: patterns...my blocker pattern is essentially a standard "jumbo size" vamp pattern grafted onto a wide top pattern. It is 13 inches wide at the corners and if you draw a line from corner to corner the "throat line" is roughly 2 inches above that and a 12 inch top line would be 10 inches further. The pattern gently curves from about 5 inches above the throat line to the corners. I also cut the point off the end of the "vamp" to make crimping easier.

The taper stick I use is really just a modified castor pattern. But I never simply lay the stick on the side of the crimped blocker and cut both sides at once (as was done historically). I actually make up a top pattern just as I would with a dress wellington, position it, on the crimped blocker when the blocker top is laying flat, according to where the throat line falls on the crimped blocker and then use the taper stick to cut each side separately. This only makes sense because if you simply use a castor pattern and try to cut both side lines at the same time you get one result with kangaroo and another result with waxed calf and never anything consistent.

The essential theory behind it, however, is that when trimming below the throat line, the more "flare" that is introduced, the more "spring" is imparted to the "vamp." The less flare the less spring. There's a limit to the effectiveness of this especially in the direction of adding more spring, but theoretically (and in practice) if the vamp is sufficiently overcrimped you can reduce the spring (the over-crimping, in practical terms) by reducing the flare. The resulting blocker becomes more suitable for a high heel. And vice versa. Flare at the side seam augments the spring. And at the extreme, 7/8 inch heel can be accommodated.

Worked on the FW book today...all this conversation has inspired me some. Helps me to see how to present it, if nothing else. I thank you for that.

Tight Stitches
DWFII--Member HCC

tmattimore

Re: "The Art and Mysterie..."

#14 Post by tmattimore » Sat Jan 25, 2003 2:42 pm

For the patterns I use I will explain that they are based on experience with my lasts, cutting methods,etc. Also based on a 3/4 lasting allowance . DW and I have had this disscussion before what I call the long heel he calls the short heel I belive we both measure in the same place so whats in a name? Assuming that this is the narrowest you want to make your measure. I strike a line vertical and then make a series of lines perpendicular to it. At 1.5 inches,3.75 inches, 4.25 inches, 5.5,10, and at the top of the boot plus lasting allowance. Starting at the bottom and working up (sh=shortheel) on either side of the vertical line. A. 1/4 sh +.5 in, B. 1/4 sh C.1/4 sh D. 1/4 sh + .25 in E. 1/4 calf measure + .5 inches and ditto at the top of the boot. This does not include any side seam allowance, on some really strecthy leather I don't add any, but normally I do. The leg may sound large but most of mine are worn over heavy wool pants. Then connect the dots and scallop the top to desgin. on the very bottom when closing from line b thru line a to the bottom of the paper I let the line flare out since my lasts have a pronounced heel.
When I cut the front after crimping from practice I know where line b and c should be. I suggest as a starting place right at the top of the curve from vamp to leg. As DW did I have moved this (the pass line) up and down to find a straight boot and side seam. Only experince can bring you to this on your equipment. I mark and cut my fronts folded laying out from the front crease. I belive DW opens his and lays out on the flat. I hope this enlightens rather then confuse.
Tom Mattimore

tmattimore

Re: "The Art and Mysterie..."

#15 Post by tmattimore » Sat Jan 25, 2003 5:57 pm

DW I was rereading your last post and I can see why you lay out and cut on the flat. I am more like the ford version of wellies you can have it it any color as long as it is black and any leather as long as it is 6oz veg tan. Any system of manufacture is only as good as the variables thrown at it. If I was to crimp $7 a sq. leather I would certainly consider crimping inside out and then turning it. That would definetly save the finish from the rigors of chasing wrinkles. I am also intriqued by your cutting the throat at sh-.5 in. this would certianly make a closer fitting boot does it also reduce sag wrinkles on the shaft in later wear? I am not sure of trying it due to my clients use of heavy wool pants. Maybe DA or others might know if pegging of trousers was common in the 1800's for those who wore tall riding boots? An old friend who joined the U.S. Cav in 1939 said that they even pegged their fatiques to wear under their 16" lace ups.
Tom Mattimore

User avatar
dw
Seanachaidh
Posts: 5373
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 1997 10:00 am
Full Name: DWFII
Location: Redmond, OR
Has Liked: 39 times
Been Liked: 3 times
Contact:

Re: "The Art and Mysterie..."

#16 Post by dw » Sat Jan 25, 2003 6:59 pm

Tom,

You know I don't think we've ever talked about how we each trimmed our sides, before. I certainly didn't mean any criticism. I know what you are doing--pretty historical reproductions. And your way of trimming the sides is far more historically accurate than mine. If it weren't there would never have been castor patterns in the first place.

As for the throat measurement...chuckle...I don't know how many times I've been told that you can't make boots that way. But that's what I was taught. And when I went to make full cuts, I just couldn't accept that I had to change my way of thinking about patterns and fit to make them. So I found a way. Same thing goes for my "Hollywood" style boots. It would have been a lot easier to have three different methods/philosophies...but not easier on my head. Image

The front of my full wellingtons (all my boots) lay flat against the shin of the leg for a considerable distance up the leg, despite the break of the boot hitting the last at the high instep. Does it reduce sags and wrinkles? You bet. And that's good for the look of the boots six months down the line. But they are probably a bit harder to break in fully. You know a boot doesn't really start gripping the heel of the foot until three things happen: One, the foot has to seat itself within the shell of the boot. Two, the sole and insole have to break in sufficiently that the rear part of the boot will travel with the foot when it flexes. And three, the tops need to develop an inverted "V" shaped crease in the front (and back) of the boot just above the throat.

But your boots are historically accurate...I've just never had that objective with mine. I've always seen the full wellington as the most elegant of boots. And I like a trim profile, for that very reason. As I get older my vision of an elegant boot becomes more and more minimalistic. I keep coming back to the clean lines of the full wellington and letting the leather speak.

Tight Stitches
DWFII--Member HCC

tjburr

Re: "The Art and Mysterie..."

#17 Post by tjburr » Sat Jan 25, 2003 9:29 pm

Tom, DW,
If pictures from the 1800's are looked at and a few boots I have observed myself, it is evident that the boots usually had wrinkles near the ankle. In fact I seem to remember a comment in a book I have read that indicated it was unfashionable to not have the correct amount of wrinkling at the ankle. I am trying to remember where I have read this and will look through my library to find it. So this might explain why older patterns were not as tight in this area.

This has been a rather interesting conversation. I have been following it, but I am not exactly ready to make a pair of wellingtons. My area of expertise has always been in pre 1500 shoes, but I have recently made a few much more modern shoes. I may post my latest in the gallery, they are not perfect but I was pretty happy with them.

Just a member of the audience!
Terry Burress
tjburr@attbi.com

D.A. Saguto--HCC

Re: "The Art and Mysterie..."

#18 Post by D.A. Saguto--HCC » Sun Jan 26, 2003 5:24 am

Tom,

Sorry. I've got nothing on "pegging", or altering 19th c. trouser legs to fit inside of boots. As far as I know, the Brits started the fashion for Jodhpur breeches, tailored tight in the calf with laces to wear inside boots, as well as to wrap with puttees, and that's pre-1900, but exactly when? You got me. Before that it's knee-breeches for riding--or "pantaloons"--that end just below the knee [above the boot] or mid-calf length.

The 19th c. American art and photography I've seen, tends to make me think they were just stuffing their wide trouser legs down into loose-fitting boot-legs.

The way I managed this comfortably was to pull the trouser leg smooth to the front of the shin by grabbing both side seams of the trouser, and folding the "flaps" of loose material forward equally on both sides, then pulling the socks up over them to hold the folds in place. Obviously if you just shove all that pant leg into your boot willy-nilly, it bunches-up and leaves lumps inside, especially at the ankle *ouch*

tmattimore

Re: "The Art and Mysterie..."

#19 Post by tmattimore » Sun Jan 26, 2003 5:57 am

DW I have always thought that the true art and mystery was not just in the basic but complex skills of the hand but in the method of thought that guides those hands into a finished product. That is why these writings may help someone to see the different paths they have before them. Like you I am an admirer of the simple two piece but it is often the most simple that is hardest to make.
Tom Mattimore

User avatar
dw
Seanachaidh
Posts: 5373
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 1997 10:00 am
Full Name: DWFII
Location: Redmond, OR
Has Liked: 39 times
Been Liked: 3 times
Contact:

Re: "The Art and Mysterie..."

#20 Post by dw » Thu Jan 30, 2003 7:30 am

Lisa,

Just a couple of quick "out takes" on making full wellingtons--kind of a follow-up to the discussion over in "Seeking Knowledge..." I've been writing in the book fairly regularly lately and trying to catalogue tips, tricks, and "things that can go wrong." Anyway...

It has been my experience that, especially with chrome tanned leathers, it is important to let the blockers--both front *and* back (if you crimp the backs)--sit for several days...maybe up to a week...after the blockers have come off the boards. This allows the leather to relax and draw in a bit. Nothing comes as a greater surprise than to cut your freshly crimped blockers in preparation to assembly and closing, get diverted on other projects (perhaps while you crimp up the liners) and then come back and find that the blockers have shrunk. That's what happened to me recently on my first go-round with some of that red kangaroo. I must have lost an eighth inch on either side of the fronts and maybe as much as a quarter inch in height.

It's important to remember that while crimping takes some stretch ( a little or, in the case of full cuts, maybe even a lot) out of the leather, stretching the leather is not the primary purpose of crimping. Imparting a shape to the leather is the real purpose. This is as true with dress cuts as it is with full cuts. But chrome tanned leather has a "memory." Far more so than vegetable tanned leather. It will stretch further and draw up more. So when the tension is off it, the chrome blocker will tend to want to draw up. Let it. The shape will not be lost...at least not to the point where it will make any difference. But you'll never regain that size simply because no method of lasting, no amount of straining and "chousing" can reproduce the stretch that the crimping irons imparted to the leathers.

Oh, and be sure to leave the blockers on the boards for *at least* a week after they've dried and before taking them off. This allows the leathers to "cure' on the boards...with all the stretch and shape in place...and helps to minimize the draw-up that occurs after they've come off the boards.

Tight Stitches
DWFII--Member HCC

andrea

Re: "The Art and Mysterie..."

#21 Post by andrea » Wed May 21, 2003 8:26 pm

Folks - I've been spending the evening cruising around the Victoria and Albert images collection and just came across "opera boots" - full wellingtons with the most darling (!) little bows attached. I've never seen these before.

I'll just bet you get asked to whip up a pair of these on a regular basis! Image

Andrea

das
Seanachaidh
Posts: 1293
Joined: Wed Apr 26, 2000 9:00 am
Full Name: D.A. Saguto--HCC
Has Liked: 1 time
Been Liked: 7 times

Re: "The Art and Mysterie..."

#22 Post by das » Thu May 22, 2003 4:13 am

Andrea,

You lucky devil, roaming the V&A, or are you just viewing images on-line?

In all events, those 19th c. Opera boots are a hoot, aren't they? Northampton Central Museum & Art Gallery [N'ton, UK] has a few wild ones too, wellingtons made to look like a man's silk stocking going into a very long, low, pump. I guess some gentlemen were so wedded to their wellington boots, they couldn't even wear proper pumps for formal dress to go to the opera. Says a lot doesn't it.

Maybe somebody'll make a cowboy boot that looks like a stocking leg going into a wing-tip Oxford shoe for "the office" Image

andrea

Re: "The Art and Mysterie..."

#23 Post by andrea » Thu May 22, 2003 5:53 am

Al - no, I'm not so lucky to be there in person, but somebody from a costuming board posted a link to the V&A's images site, so I was having a very nice virtual visit there. The quality of the images is very good, and they also have a wickedly tempting "Purchase Image" button next to each picture.

Some of the shoes are wonderful - I myself aspire to a pair of half boots made in striped silk!

I think probably the full name for the boots should be "The wife made me go to the opera boots" [but she ain't gonna make me wear them little slippers]

Then for a westerner mis-located to say, Kennebunkport or Martha's Vineyard, you could have a cowboy boot that looked like Top-Siders going into...um, well, bare skin, actually. Image

Andrea

Tex Robin

Re: "The Art and Mysterie..."

#24 Post by Tex Robin » Mon Jun 23, 2003 7:03 am

DW et All,

The question has recently popped up on another forum and I am curious about it. I would like info about the Sandhill style of boot. It has been said it was originated by the Blucher boot Co. I see an example of the style on your web page but with the vamp being slightly higher than the so called Sandhill Boot. Can you shed any light about the origin of the high cut vamp and counter?......TR

User avatar
dw
Seanachaidh
Posts: 5373
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 1997 10:00 am
Full Name: DWFII
Location: Redmond, OR
Has Liked: 39 times
Been Liked: 3 times
Contact:

Re: "The Art and Mysterie..."

#25 Post by dw » Mon Jun 23, 2003 11:03 am

Tex,

I'm not sure what you are referring to as the Sandhill Boot. Is it a packer (I've heard of Sandhill Packers)? A pull on?

Is it the black full wellington with the white stars? That one has the high cut vamp and countercover. If so, I can tell you that Hyer Boot Company had boots with that high tongue and counter cover at least as far back as 1926. And I'm making another pair of those right now. In principle, they are full wellingtons. In other words, they have to be approached/made as a full wellington. And I made my first pair for a customer who came in with a sketch of boots that he claimed were circa 1930's.

Tight Stitches
DWFII--Member HCC

Post Reply