Bespoke Shoes Unlaced – a shoemaker's blog

Friday, 13 February 2009

Norwegian Welt

Funny old game this bespoke thing. A bit like London buses... you know the cliche. I have not stopped until now and blogging is a welcome refuge from the rushing. A bespoke, handsewn shoemaker is not a natural rusher, believe me.

8.30 am, a photograper arrived to discuss a portrait for the new website. Met a new client next. Measured him up, and decided on a black wholecut with scarlet lining. Size 9 with a narrow joint, so it should be an elegant shoe.

Then it was getting ready for a photoshoot on Monday. We are having our Limited Editions and some bespoke shoes photographed, again for the new website. We are aiming for something dark, masculine and cool. Spent forever polishing and packing. Will all be worth it though. We have a new white patent Half-cut which I think is fabulous. Deborah does not agree but there you go. They are really something, bold; tactile; a touch fashion; and ever so slightly vulgar. Strutting shoes. Love 'em!

This week I finished a pair of black Derby boots with plain and grain calf. Norwegian welt, 3/8 sole. Quite something.

I did the welt in a different way this time because the stitches on a Norwegian welt can sometimes be unevenly spread. So this time, instead of making the holes in the insole with the awl before lasting, I made the insole and left it holeless. Once I had lasted them and was ready to welt, I made the awl holes as I went along and the result is splendid. Even length and no wobbles. Unorthodoxy is the way forward I think.

A Norwegian welt also has the problem of finishing the edge. Because the upper is the welt, it is difficult to get a solid hard finish. I sometimes think a storm welt may be better for this reason. I do like the fact that it shows the handmade nature of the construction though. The other thing I did was to finish the sole differently than normal. Half black, half natural. It looks good and is how the shoe will look after it is worn. What do you think?