Turnshoes

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Thomas J. Kerr

Turnshoes

#1 Post by Thomas J. Kerr » Fri Mar 15, 2002 12:10 pm

This is an extremely interesting web site, would
like to learn more about the shoes and other items
in the picture. I can easily identify a number of
items but am rather curious about several others.
The tube type object in lower left corner and
several objects to the right and slightly above.
Were similiar object found in other buildings in
the area ? As for the construction of the shoes,
very similiar to the shoes of today but the work
manship is probably of higher quality. Thanks for
reading my comments.

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Re: Turnshoes

#2 Post by raintz » Mon Mar 18, 2002 3:39 am

Thomas,
thank you for your interest in my work. I am just writing a paper on the problem of concealed leather and fur finds. It will be published in www soon.
Best regards
Rainer

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Re: Turnshoes

#3 Post by marc » Sat Sep 11, 2004 10:15 pm

I have a somewhat odd question - and I'm not sure that anyone here can help with it, but I'm optimistic. I'm trying a test shoe with an early 15th century style last, and I'm getting a funny result.

The first image shoes the last I'm using for this test. It shows the basic last, and the last with a shover attached.
3164.jpg


I chose to do this with a shover both because of the shape of the last - that sloping sky slope shape cuts down too far to make a shoe that actually fits an instep based on the width of the last and length - and the simple fact that pulling the last from an earlier test shoe made without the shover was next to impossible (the circumference of the last at the throat being fully 2" smaller than the circumference at the joints area).

So I made a shover, made the test shoe, lasted the upper as per normal (i.e. backlasting as I believe the books are calling it), sewed it up, pulled the shover, removed the shoe and turned it. The second image shows the shoe on the opposing last. The green lines show where I'm getting some strange stresses in the leather.
3163.jpg
3163.jpg (38.84 KiB) Viewed 1887 times


My question is, has anyone seen this sort of problem with un-turned shoes or boots? If so, do you have any idea what would have cause it then?

The problems -may- be that backlasting is just not the way to do turnshoes, at least on lasts that are this deeply shaped (since I've never had this problem before), or perhaps I'm screwing up with the grain of the leather. Or it may be something else that I'm totally missing here.

Any thoughts?

Marc

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Re: Turnshoes

#4 Post by das » Wed Sep 15, 2004 6:21 am

Marc,

Just guessing by your photos...the last you're using looks to be very tightly clipped in the waist--a real hour-glass shape. The wrinkles look to me like the uppers are "bridging", or looking loose because they've gotten stretched and are not laying tight to the last right there in the valley of the last's waist. I'd suggest trying tying a leather thong around the wet shoe right there, to see it you can't get the upper to lay down in the corresponding valley on the side of the last.

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Re: Turnshoes

#5 Post by marc » Wed Sep 15, 2004 7:36 am

Al,
Thanks. I'll give it a try - but remember the shoe in the picture has been turned and relasted. I've figured out why they clipped the sole at the waist like that, but I'm still trying to figure out why they piched the waist the sides. Any idea? I mean. most of the stress benefits above the sole are going to be lost when the shoe is turned anyway.

I've gone ahead, disassembled the shoe and relasted it without the back-lasting and it worked much better.

Marc

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Re: Turnshoes

#6 Post by das » Wed Sep 15, 2004 10:49 am

Marc,

I would think that if you lasted it tight down to the valley inside out [left last], then re-lasted it on the opposite [right] last, right side out, you could still force the uppers down tight into the valley. Maybe a tight thong tied around? Maybe forcing it down with the sharp edge of a burnishing stick, then rubbing up and down to crease it well down into the valley?

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Re: Turnshoes

#7 Post by marc » Wed Sep 15, 2004 11:05 am

Quite likely should work. I'm just trying to figure out what the purpose would be though. With the clipped in waist, when you step on it, the tension pulls the vamp and the quarters down towards the sole waist (forcing both the vamp and quarters to grip the foot more tightly). I'm sure the narrow waist sides must serve to hold on to the heel somehoe, I'm just not sure how. More often than not, when I turn the narrow heels like that, they get -wider- Image

Marc

Lisa Cresson

Re: Turnshoes

#8 Post by Lisa Cresson » Sat May 07, 2005 8:49 am

This happens in dressmaking. Pattern curve does not match the body part. Too much fabric or add padding or a stiffener.

this is late, and appears off topic, but really I offer the comments as observed truth.

LCresson

Re: Turnshoes

#9 Post by LCresson » Fri Sep 02, 2005 11:38 am

Marc,
This should interest you if you do not already have a copy: there is a craft book on medieval footwear coming up in my recent searches on Buy.com
Link http://www.buy.com/retail/product.asp?sku=33889943&loc=106&sp=1&queryType=

Acutal information including ISBN is below:
Craft, Industry and Everyday Life: Leather and Leatherworking in Anglo-Scandinavian and Medieval York (Paperback)
Our Price: $49.50
On Order: Usually Ships in 1 to 2 Weeks.
Save $30 on your First Purchase, Earn Rewards, Get A O% APR and pay No Annual Fees.
Current Product Price: $49.50
Buy.com Visa Discount: - $30.00
Your New Product Price: $19.50

Author: Quita Mould
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 1902771362

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Re: Turnshoes

#10 Post by marc » Fri Sep 02, 2005 12:31 pm

Than you, and yes, it's an excellent book (and cheaper than a tank of gas...)

Marc

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Re: Turnshoes

#11 Post by LDCresson » Sat Sep 03, 2005 10:01 pm

I know this is off topic. . . but since you have asked about gas! The last time I got a deal was on Wednesday for $2.97 at a Texaco station for unleaded regular, but since then the best price is $3.69! The storm shut down production, plus there seem to be some 8 or so missing oil rigs, if I am not mistaken...

Did you fix the wrinkle in the shoes? There is some information written in Karl Adrian's Last Making book on the sole shape and using the slight expansion around the lateral cuboid bones when body weight is on foot to take up the slack to they don't gap.

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Re: Turnshoes

#12 Post by sorcha » Thu Dec 21, 2006 8:29 am

Lisa Cresson,

Thanks for the tip on the book, 'Leather and Leatherworking in Anglo-Scandinavian York.' My wife got it for me for the Holidays and I've found it excellent. It has good illustrations of patterns and stitching techniques used for each shoe which the Hald book lacks.

Sorcha

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Re: Turnshoes

#13 Post by amuckart » Tue Jun 05, 2007 12:52 am

Way back on Wednesday, September 15, 2004! Marc wrote, of his 15th century style last:
"I'm sure the narrow waist sides must serve to hold on to the heel somehoe, I'm just not sure how. More often than not, when I turn the narrow heels like that, they get -wider- :-)"


I'm pretty sure Marc has worked this all out by now but I came up with a theory on this the other day that didn't get shot down in flames when I posted it on the medieval shoemaking list so I thought I'd have a go here where there are a lot more folk who understand this more deeply than I do.

What I think is happening here is that when you build a shoe on one of these very narrow waisted lasts the whole backpart of the shoe ends up a lot narrower than it does on your foot, but the whole topline of the shoe is squished sideways and stretched out back-to-front when it's on the last.

When you turn it and stick your foot in, the topline gets wider and because it is a fixed circumference, shorter front-to-back. Because the front is anchored to the toe down the length of the vamp the heel, which is near vertical on the last gets pulled inwards to hug the back of the foot and help hold the shoe on.

This may be an alternative way of achieving a close fit in leathers that don't have the substance of modern leathers and haven't had all the stretch taken out of them so won't hold a formed heel shape like on modern lasts.

I don't understand where those wrinkles are coming from though. Building real lasts will happen later this year.

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Re: Turnshoes

#14 Post by janeswardrobe » Thu Jun 14, 2007 9:36 am

I've just been looking at the pictures Marc posted of the shoe made on the last. I can't make any useful suggestions on why this might be happening, nor how to correct it.

I do have some queries however - perhaps Marc (or someone else) can help me...

The last seems to have quite a curved sole - is this normal and would the curved sole have continued into the late fifteenth century?

The shover looks extremely thick - I've never actually made shoes on a last and would like to know if this is a normal size, or if it is particularly thick to take into account the very narrow waist of this style?

What is meant by 'backlasting'? Is it simply that the shoes are being made inside out over the last?

Please forgive me if any of my questions seem rudimentary - my knowledge of shoemaking comes entirely from trial and error and from reading between the lines in the Museum of London Shoes and Pattens book.

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Re: Turnshoes

#15 Post by marc » Fri Jun 15, 2007 9:41 am

Jane, let me see if I can come up with some answers. The rounded sole (i.e. rounded in cross section) I believe is normal until the early 17th century. The curved profile from the side and above varies based on era and style. However, the last depicted appears (with small variations in style) from as early as the 12th century (based on the Lodose, Sweden example) until the at least the late 15th century.

Yes. the fitting is as large as it is to try to make up for the narrowness in the waist. If you don't make it that thick even to get the last out of the shoe, much less wear it (and in fact that one should be a bit larger to fit properly).

Backlasting, if memory serves, involves setting the upper on the last, tightening the forepart to the last, then shifting the back part of the last further into the upper, snugging it down before tacking the back part of the leather into place.

Marc

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Re: Turnshoes

#16 Post by dearbone » Sat Dec 01, 2007 8:07 am

6170.jpg

Now, years ago I traveled to the Grampion high lands in scotland to help a shoe maker friend to make 150 pairs of shoes, mcKay machine stitch, one sunday while coming back from a horse ride on the hills, we came cross this abandon stone built cottage, roof collapsed, birds nesting inside, you got the picture! we enterd the house, not much on the main floor, I took the stairs to the top floor and there in the closet, under some construction dust, I found two bags, one full of the family footwear and the other was their horse harness, I brought most of the shoes with me back to Canada and my friend, being a horse keeper got the harness. Nasser

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Re: Turnshoes

#17 Post by dearbone » Sat Dec 01, 2007 8:11 am

6172.jpg

Good bottoming

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Re: Turnshoes

#18 Post by dearbone » Sat Dec 01, 2007 8:23 am

6174.jpg

It might be a little hard to see the stitching thread, But whoever made them, also made the footwear for the rest of the family, They look to me, they were made by the same maker. most of them were turn sewn.
Nasser.

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Re: Turnshoes

#19 Post by dw » Sat Dec 01, 2007 8:25 am

Nasser,

Aside from the fact that these are Derbys (or Gibsons) and mine was an Oxford, they look a lot like my first pair of shoes made on a modified boot last. Image

But are these turnshoes?

Tight Stitches
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Re: Turnshoes

#20 Post by dearbone » Sat Dec 01, 2007 9:22 am

6176.jpg

DW,
Derbys they are, Now you made me think back, I saw my teacher once sewing a similar stitch with bristles without turning the shoe, in the new picture,I see a thread knot in the middle and there is another close to the toe, Okey Chief, you tell us what you think it is and i am willing to take one shoe apart to get to the bottom of this. I have few more pairs, some are just nailed (childrens)

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Re: Turnshoes

#21 Post by hidesmith » Sat Dec 01, 2007 9:46 am

Nasser
Were the shoes in the same style or size? Were they all worn, or were any of them new? How many pairs were there? They look well made. Was there any evidence that this home was also the manufactory? Did you notice any tools? What a find!

They look like women's shoes made diring the late 1800s. During that time (at least, in the US), women's and youth's shoes were often turned. "The Diary and Daybook of Lydia Locke" records having made shoes on the kitchen table, having received stock from Andover, Mass. and from Stoneham, Mass (USA). Lydia records "wetting up stock" on one day and on the following days, records "made 16 pairs today", "made 18 pairs today", made 18 pairs today, sent box to Stoneham, paid $.50 freight" (there was a train depot nearby.)
Joe and Lydia were most likely bottoming shoes from "kits" they got from the factory. In order to make the volume they were making, they must have been sent uppers all closed, with corresponding soles and lasts. I don't know if they were turning and relasting them as well, or just making and shipping.

Thanks for sharing your pictures. I am interested in the 19th century methods of making turnshoes. If you, or anyone else can help educate me, I'd be appreciative.
Thanks again,

Bruce

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Re: Turnshoes

#22 Post by dearbone » Sat Dec 01, 2007 11:04 am

6178.jpg

Bruce,
These are all the shoes I brought with me, but i regret not bringing the fishing boots,way above the knees and made from leather, all were worn and belong to same family, man & woman, two girls & a boy. Did not notice any tools. Bruce, I am no historian of shoes, but historical shoes led me to study histoy of people & nations, so if you or any one else finds out more about these shoes,please let us know.

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Re: Turnshoes

#23 Post by hidesmith » Sat Dec 01, 2007 11:25 am

Nasser,
I still think it was in incredable find! What a treasure!
Alass, I think I exhausted my knowledge of 19th century turn shoes with my last post.

Can anyone elst tell from the pictures when these shoes were made?

Bruce

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Re: Turnshoes

#24 Post by dai » Sat Dec 01, 2007 2:11 pm

Nasser, the boots, are they also handmade? I would be interested in how they are constructed, sewn, rivetted, pegged, and the types of hobnails?

Here are some links about Scottish shepherds boots:

http://www.maybole.org/Community/Citizens/profiles/goudie/dick.htm
http://www.williamlennon.co.uk/categories/shepherds-boots.html
http://www.thehcc.org/forum/download/file.php?id=3672

regards David Kilgour

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Re: Turnshoes

#25 Post by kaspar » Sat Dec 01, 2007 2:33 pm

Nasser.
Nice lot You have there.
Cheers
K.

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