turn-welted shoes

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valen
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turn-welted shoes

Post by valen »

I'm making up a pair of 14thC turn-welted high boots. The leather has been cut & holed, and I'm just about to start stitching. Then I thought...hmm...is cow's belly leather (2mm) the best thing to make a welt out of ?

These boots won't see a lot of use, but it'd still be a pain not to do it properly before I spend 10 hours stitching. I've some goat leather, courtesy of an industrious friend, but I had planned on using that as a decorative lining for the top part of the boot. I *could* cut strips of that. I could even glue strips back to back, and make them really strong. Is that excessive though ?

As a side note, does anyone know was fur ever used as boot decor as late as 14thC, or is it very dark-age/LARPy ?

I've also no end of 3mm shoulder leather. But thicker the welt leather, the more effort to sew & turn, so I'm reluctant to use that.

So, anyone made welted shoes before ? What leather would you recommend for a welt ?

John

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Post by guthrie »

I'm pretty sure you are talking about the strip of leather that goes between the sole and the upper, and is sewn through, with the airm of making the join more watertight etc.
In my shoes, it was maybe 2mm thick. What you can do, if you have time, is trim down one edge, so that on one side it is thicker than the other, ie a cross section of the strip taken across the width, will show a wedge shape. Unfortuntely I cannot recall whether the wide bit goes on the inside bit or the outside bit. As for what leather should be used, I say use whatever you like.

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janes-wardrobe
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Post by janes-wardrobe »

The rand can be 2mm thick - I wouldn't use the thinner stuff - but - word of warning - if you've never done it before it can add a surprising amount of extra room in the finished shoe. I only ever made one pair with a rand and it was such a PITA I decided it really wasn't worth the extra effort - that and the shoes worked up a good shoe size larger than intended.

If you go for a wedge shape, logic says the thick bit should end up on the outside - the idea of the rand is to improve the water tightnes (or not) of the shoe. In later shoes it does become the welt and the sole is sewn to the rand on the outside but I don't think that starts before the end of th 15th C

As for fur - I'm thinking it's a bit larpy - I don't remember any references to fur linings in my copy of the MoL Shoes and Pattens book - though I haven't seen the book for two years and I have no idea where it is so I can't check.

Good luck and have fun!
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ViscontesseD'Asbeau
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Post by ViscontesseD'Asbeau »

I'm betting you know this already but for the benefit of them that don't, this site has some explanations of shoe-making and I seem to remember a lot about rands/welts:

http://www.personal.utulsa.edu/~marc-ca ... OEHOME.HTM

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Post by Tod »

I've made turned shoes with welts, and of coarse I make lots of welted shoes (later 17th and 18th century). Don't go thinner than 2mm, and has been said bevel the side that sits against your last (when you turn it back). Smooth side of the welt should finish upwards.
Make sure your welt is at least 5/8" wide you can always trim it later. This is important, if it is too narrow you will get the age old problem of wear around the heel area (cresent shaped wear), the welt will help to stop this.
Are you fitting heels?

I made my shoes/low ankle boots as copies of ones found new Newcastle. I used 5mm thick in-sole materail, wood shank (not needed if you don't fit heels), 6mm soleing leather. The uppers are about 2.5mm thick heavily greased with lard and fish oil. The top edge has rolled over edge (like a french seam). Heels are about 8mm high.

PM me if you want a picture or advice.

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valen
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Post by valen »

Bevel the bit of the welt that's eventually touching your foot ? I've seen this mentioned, but I'm not sure why...is it a comfort thing ?

I'm thinking of not fitting heels, though I've yet to come up with a decent addition to reenactment shoes that will give decent grip on non-authentic surfaces like fine gravel & cobblestones, never mind polished hay or wooden floors.

Alas, I'm not using a last, as my three attempts at wood carving made things that looked like Mr Potato Head, and it seems no one makes wooden lasts for sale. Attempts at buying lasts on e-bay landed me with some really dodgy 19thC ladies boot lasts that'd be great if I was a size 3.

Worse yet, the last leather seller in Ireland stopped selling anything other than 3mm belt leather, so I'm working off my old stock of 'whatever is in the box of offcuts'.

Ah, memories of Tewkesbury 2004; I was busy putting outsoles to my boots (that I'd made the week earlier, in a hotel in Rome...long story). Someone pointed out that new leather wouldn't have much grip on the sun & feet polished hay.

20 mins later, I was charging across the battlefield...the chief yelled 'HALT!'. I obeyed, but my feet didn't...I hit the deck so hard my pothelm stuck in the ground. The guys around me thought I'd been shot by the cannon!

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Post by Tod »

Te bevel edge creates a sort of gasket effect.
If want wooden lasts I can get them, they are not hinged and have a pull out piece. Not ideal for LH, but if you wanted solid ones I can ask my last maker (they are a company and I have an account)

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Colin Middleton
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Post by Colin Middleton »

When you say welt, do you mean something that stops the water comming in or something that holds on an outer sole?

If you mean the latter, I would avoid belly leather as it will lack the strength. Take your shoulder peices and skive them down to the thickness you want. They'll be much stronger.
Colin

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Tod
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Post by Tod »

In the case of this type of shoe it does both. You're right to avoid belly leather.

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