Closing techniques

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farmerfalconer
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Re: Closing techniques

#376 Post by farmerfalconer » Tue May 28, 2013 1:22 pm

Thanks.

One thing is for sure. Cloth is cheapest!

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Re: Closing techniques

#377 Post by Delormea » Wed Aug 14, 2013 9:07 pm

Hi All,
I've posted questions here before (though had to re-register. My mistake.) and been reading through as many posts, books and material as I can. I'm currently working my way through Frank Jones' Pattern making book and thinking ahead to closing. I do have a flatbed machine which will soon have a roller foot and single feed dogs for better closing. As of yet, I'm not happy with the results from the machine and want to hand stitch rather than risk being completely unsatisfied with my sewing. Not sure how many of you still hand stitch the uppers, but any advice would be great. I haven't been able to find much on technique or stitch length etc.
Some specific questions would be;
-Do I close with a standard saddle stitch, much like stitching a sole on? Running stitch? What kind?
-Pretty punch holes (read somewhere that someone used a 1mm punch. Would this leave Roo large a gap around the thread?) Or do I use a thin pricking awl and prick as I go?
-Is it best to use an over stitch wheel or stitch marker to ensure an even spacing, or eyeball it?
-Do the individual pieces of the upper get pasted together prior to stitching?

I know it may be a slow method, but it should be a reliable method that produces am item of quality. Should. Quality is what will show, not speed.

Thanks in advance.
Aaron

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Re: Closing techniques

#378 Post by farmerfalconer » Thu Aug 15, 2013 5:14 am

Aaron,
As for punching your holes there was a discussion on here about 6months ago on wether or not cutting your holes (like with a chisel bladed thonging punch) was strong enough for the side seams of boots. When you use a chisel you are actually cutting fibers in the leather and inherently weakening it but if you use a normal round awl (not sharp on the sides, just a point) you simply spread the fibers and stretch the leather but you still retain the original strength (for the most part.) I beleive this is especially important on the quarter/vamp seams where lots of stress is applied during walking.
So I would say that the round awl and pricking as you go is best.

Hope this answers one of you questions.

Cheers,
Cody

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Re: Closing techniques

#379 Post by farmerfalconer » Thu Aug 15, 2013 6:59 am

maybe someone who know how will send you a link to that discussion. It started here and was then moved to a "great way forward"

I would but I dont know how.

Cody

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Re: Closing techniques

#380 Post by dw » Thu Aug 15, 2013 8:08 am

farmerfalconer wrote:maybe someone who know how will send you a link to that discussion. It started here and was then moved to a "great way forward"

I would but I dont know how.

Cody
If you can find the discussion, go to one of the posts and look in the upper right hand corner of any post--where it says "Posted:(and the date)". To the left of the word "Posted" you will see a tiny folder icon. Right click on that icon. A menu will open. Select "copy link location". This will add the link to your clipboard.

Now come back to this discussion. In a new reply position your cursor and hit ctrl+v on your keyboard (or edit>paste). The link will be copied and when your reply is posted other members will be able to click on that link and they will be taken to the old discussion.
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Re: Closing techniques

#381 Post by farmerfalconer » Thu Aug 15, 2013 8:41 am

Here Goes:

viewtopic.php?p=38867#p38867

Thanks Mr.Frommer, Looks like that did it.

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Re: Closing techniques

#382 Post by dw » Thu Aug 15, 2013 9:18 am

farmerfalconer wrote:Here Goes:

viewtopic.php?p=38867#p38867

Thanks Mr.Frommer, Looks like that did it.
You're welcome...but "Mr. Frommer" was my dad. :uhuh:
:)
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Re: Closing techniques

#383 Post by Delormea » Thu Aug 15, 2013 10:15 pm

Thanks for that link. So now understanding that an awl is preferable to chisel, is a saddle stitch still the desired stitch in this situation?
Aaron

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Re: Closing techniques

#384 Post by dw » Fri Aug 16, 2013 5:03 am

If you're using an awl, a "shoemakers stitch" :cool: is really the only logical approach--two needles or bristles, one bristle through the hole from one direction the other from the other direction. Tighten, repeat.
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Re: Closing techniques

#385 Post by das » Fri Aug 16, 2013 5:49 am

NB--Shoemakers have used our stitch long before horses were domesticated, or saddler's existed :cool:

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Re: Closing techniques

#386 Post by Delormea » Fri Aug 16, 2013 9:58 am

Thanks guys. Now time to practice and get it looking clean and neat.

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Re: Closing techniques

#387 Post by farmerfalconer » Sat Aug 17, 2013 12:37 pm

"You're welcome...but "Mr. Frommer" was my dad."

Got it :)

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Re: Closing techniques

#388 Post by dw » Mon Oct 07, 2013 7:42 am

When I make a full cut oxford I don't like to line it with a pieced lining. This creates a bit of a problem when mounting a tongue.

The solution I've come up with...mind you, it's early days working out this technique...is illustrated in the photo below...

This was done with a very fine sewing awl, one strand of bees waxed Teklon and a 10# monofilament bristle. [The taw needs to be waxed with shoemaker's wax to hold onto the bristle.] If everything is skived nicely, this works a treat with no lumps inside the shoe.
DSCF2577 (640 x 480).jpg
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Re: Closing techniques

#389 Post by dw » Mon Oct 07, 2013 7:55 am

And even though this isn't a full-cut, I used the same technique on this shoe.
DSCF2576 (640 x 480).jpg
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Re: Closing techniques

#390 Post by farmerfalconer » Mon Oct 07, 2013 8:48 am

Is that only sewn to the lining or to you also partially pierce the upper? Kinda like split and lift closing?

Thanks,
Cody

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Re: Closing techniques

#391 Post by dw » Wed Oct 09, 2013 5:53 pm

Just to the lining--as it would be in any other method of lining an oxford..
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Re: Closing techniques

#392 Post by danfreeman » Wed Oct 09, 2013 6:55 pm

DW:

Interesting, if compulsive, method of attaching the tongue. I never fail to be amazed by your ingenuity, even if I don't often espouse your methods.

I admit, there's sometimes trouble with tongues in bal or wholecut oxfords: frail attachment, and "wandering tongue" are the most frequent. In these cases, I sew the well-skived tongue to the lining, but always catch it with another seam--either one row of the vamp/quarter seam, or, with wholecuts, the root of the lacing opening. Done well, this looks smooth, and serves well (and doesn't take too long); your method may look better.

Dan

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Re: Closing techniques

#393 Post by dw » Wed Oct 09, 2013 7:42 pm

danfreeman wrote:DW:

Interesting, if compulsive, method of attaching the tongue. I never fail to be amazed by your ingenuity, even if I don't often espouse your methods.

I admit, there's sometimes trouble with tongues in bal or wholecut oxfords: frail attachment, and "wandering tongue" are the most frequent. In these cases, I sew the well-skived tongue to the lining, but always catch it with another seam--either one row of the vamp/quarter seam, or, with wholecuts, the root of the lacing opening. Done well, this looks smooth, and serves well (and doesn't take too long); your method may look better.

Dan
Dan,

Thanks... I think.

You can see that technique (emphasized in your quote above) on both the lining side of the wholecut tongue and the vamp side of the alligator bals pictured above. I'm of a mind that that stitch alone is almost all you need especially since it does go through the facings and the quarterliners and the tongue and tongue liner. And especially since it is done with relatively so much heavier thread than the rest of the shoe is sewn with.

But the little cross stitches prevent the skived edge of the tongue from being pulled back by the withdrawing foot. :greatnotion:
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Re: Closing techniques

#394 Post by danfreeman » Thu Oct 10, 2013 6:13 am

DW

A worthwhile consideration: that "flap" is very unprofessional, especially when commented upon by customers! Though I've always been able to cure it with a dab of Barge, it's not really permanent.

Dan

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Re: Closing techniques

#395 Post by dw » Thu Oct 10, 2013 8:10 am

danfreeman wrote:DW

A worthwhile consideration: that "flap" is very unprofessional, especially when commented upon by customers! Though I've always been able to cure it with a dab of Barge, it's not really permanent.

Dan
Exactly!! But as I said I line almost all my oxfords with a full (non-pieced) lining. Simpler that way and less worry about seams rubbing the foot.

I mentioned the little hand-stitch at the end of the facings (again on all oxfords), might be visible here:
DSCF2576_altered.jpg
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Re: Closing techniques

#396 Post by Delormea » Tue Oct 22, 2013 8:46 pm

Another question for all of you!
One element I've observed in many of the beautiful shoes I see on this site, is that when closed, the topline stitching does not contrast with the liner. That is to say, if the upper is of a dark brown or even black leather and the liner is a natural color, the topline stitching appears black on the outer and blends as well with the natural leather on the inner side. Are most doing this by loading their machine with different colored threads top and bottom? Is there something I'm missing?
On that note, and curiosity sake, I've noticed that on my practice pieces the thread seems quite...heavy? And the holes made by the needle almost too large. At least they are left looking large in certain leathers. I am able to bone the closed sometimes, not always. What weight of needle and thread do you like to use? And while we're at it... stitches per inch on the topline/upper (though I see this can vary quite a lot.)
All together, the elements of thread weight and SPI can really change the look of a line of stitching. I've noticed that many shoes have quite delicate looking stitching. Fine stitching, that blends well with the leather. Mine, is not at that level, and I'm excited to keep working at it to get it there.
Thanks for helping this beginner with these simple questions.
Aaron

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Re: Closing techniques

#397 Post by jon_g » Wed Oct 23, 2013 5:03 am

Hi Aaron,

Yes it's as simple as using a bobbin thread that matches your lining.

I use a size 16 or 18 needle and 69 or 33 thread. To be honest I don't know what units those numbers refer to. As far as stitches per inch, no idea, I always run a test piece of my upper/lining combination through the machine to double check the tension and check the stitch length looks good, so eyeball it.

Good luck

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Re: Closing techniques

#398 Post by dw » Wed Oct 23, 2013 5:31 am

I can't add much to what Jon said except my own inclinations...I have probably close to fifty spools of thread in different colours available to choose from depending on what I want in the way of ornamentation or matching to leather colour.

All in size 46 bonded nylon, a though I do have some 33 and 69 not included in the @50 spools just mentioned. I almost always use a size 14 needle, but will drop down to a 12 or go up to a 16 if using the 33 or 69 threads.

Like Jon, I mostly eyeball stitch length but I think 18-20spi is probably a reasonable place to start. Most of the old machines...such as the 31 class singer...that are commonly used for upper work don't have a calibrated stitch length selector, so you have to eyeball it whether you like it or not. The only reason I have any idea what spi I'm using is that one of my machines is gear driven and the gears are marked.
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Re: Closing techniques

#399 Post by lancepryor » Wed Oct 23, 2013 6:32 am

I believe something in the 12 to 14 spi is typical for closing. A few years ago I measured some of my relatively high-end factory shoes (Alden, Allen Edmonds, Crockett & Jones, Edward Green, Grenson) and some UK-sourced bespoke uppers, plus my bespoke shoes made in my visit with Marcell/Koronya in Budapest, and their stitch lengths were somewhere between 12 and 14spi; the highest I found was from an old pair of Johnson & Murphy 'Handmade' (truly handwelted and perhaps hand-outsole stitched), which was up around 16 spi. A stitch length corresponding to 20 spi would be smaller than I've ever seen in men's shoes. The Pfaff 491 has adjustable stitch lengths based on metric/mm measures, but again something corresponding to say 14 would be my suggestion.

I use size 46 thread pretty much all of the time; I think it is a good combination of fineness and strength. The 33 I've used was not strong enough for my taste, though that may have been a function of the specific thread samples I was using. I generally use size 14 or 12 needles. I prefer to use as small a needle as I can get away with, but of course the needle's eye has to be large enough to allow the thread to move through it easily.

The other issue is needle shape; this will affect the lay of the thread and also the shape of the needle hole.

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Re: Closing techniques

#400 Post by dw » Wed Oct 23, 2013 6:53 am

Lance,

Good points especially about the shape/needle point.

Maybe those marking on my gears don't relate to stitch length after all (or maybe I'm just remembering wrong)--again, like Jon, I rely more on eyeball than exact calibration.

PS, I just measured the stitch length on my wholecut chelseas--a stitch length that corresponds with my "medium" gear and roughly what I use all the time--and it is 16spi...so maybe my "fine" setting is 18.
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