Bespoke Shoes Unlaced – a shoemaker's blog

Friday, 4 September 2009

Holdfast Or Feather?

Friday already! The bank Holiday throws the week out. Having wrestled with Italian VAT reclaim forms all morning (why do Latin languages love relative clauses so much?), I am retreating to the cosy refuge of the blog.

A snippet from the carreducker bespoke shoe style archive.
Bergundy shoes are an abomination. Discuss.
I think my feelings on the matter are evident in the question. However, I would say that Horween dark begundy cordovan is acceptable. But it's practically brown anyway.

Back to the holdfast. Left you last week with the holdfast drawn on the insole and ready to cut. The first line to cut is the outside one from heel point to heel point. As always, you will need to sharpen your knife. Using the very tip (about 1mm) cut along the line, holding the knife totally vertical. Do not cut any deeper than indicated because it will weaken the holdfast.

The cut will seem invisible, so you should wet it and open it up gently with a screwdriver.

Next we have to cut away the outside of the holdfast. About half way down the edge of the insole (about the depth of the previous cut), using the knife, cut into the insole horizontally, so that the 2 cuts meet at 90 degrees to each other. Again, be careful noy to cut further that the first cut, ie, into the substance of the holdfast as this will weaken it fatally.

On the inside waist, make a tiny cut to reveal the line more clearly. Then skive away the leather to zero on the insole. This is so that the foot is not uncomfortable at the inside waist. If ther customer asks for arch support, you can make this part higher and cover it in the lining material (called insole up in waist).

Now you have the outside part of the holdfast finished, leaving the inside line to cut and the holes to make with the awl. More next week.