Bespoke Shoes Unlaced – a shoemaker's blog

Friday, 17 October 2008

Hello World

Hello world, what a sense of wonder I have doing this blog. Will anybody read it? Time will tell.

Yesterday I finished a pair of curious bespoke shoes. Firstly they have no laces and are not loafers. Slip-ons always require some form of fastening, both to hold the foot and to expand in hot conditions. This is usually done with elastic. With this shoe it is achieved using 2 gussets, covered with slashes of the upper leather to hide the elastic. Hence the name, slash- covered gussets. No sniggering at the back there!

The other thing about the shoe is the dress welt. What distinguishes the dress welt from a usual welt is the number of stitches per inch (yes, we still use inches, tradition you know). Normally we would do 9 or 10 stitches to the inch, but on a dress welt, you must do from 15 to 20. A lot more work. I did 15. Above this the problem is a weakening of the leather in the welt and sole. If 20 is required, an alternative (cheat in other words) should be used. This involves marking the stitches and then only stitching in every 3rd mark. After finishing stitching, you go over again with the fudge wheel, which makes an impression on the thread, thus making the appearance of the 20 stitches required.
The result is a finer, more elegant looking bespoke shoe, ideal for formal occasions, hence the name, dress welt.

Forgive the quality of the pictures. The shoes are covered to protect the leather and so they look a bit cloudy. Sorry

Enough for now, please feel free to comment or ask questions about handmade shoes, thanks for reading

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

We're a pair of hard working bespoke shoemakers, passionate about keeping the British handsewn shoemaking trade alive! We love beautiful men's shoes. We don't always agree what a beautiful pair of shoes looks like - but we do agree on the important things; style, craftsmanship, creativity and on giving our shoes a distinctive British character. We're keen to share our shoe expertise with lovers of the craft and shoe aficionados around the world. Want our opinion...just 'ask the master'.