Bespoke Shoes Unlaced – a shoemaker's blog

Friday, 21 September 2018

Norwegian Welt Masterclass

A warm and sunny welcome to one and all. This really feels like the end of the summer. The sun is shining and the sky is blue, but the air feels cold

But never mind, the shoemaking must go on

Carreducker offers masterclasses in a variety of specific techniques which are aimed at more experienced shoemakers. This can include most things like a bevelled waist, fiddle waist, stacked leather heel, anything really

Over the last couple of weeks, we have had two students who had previously done the 12-Day Shoemaking Course come back to learn a new technique technique - the Norwegian welt. This is also known as stitchdown or veldtschoen and is where the upper is turned out to become the welt. It is more weather resistant and is often used in boots.

So Natasha and Mathilde set about it with enthusiasm and commitment.

The first day saw them preparing the insole, stiffeners and toe puffs. As well as the inevitable knife sharpening

The insole is prepared differently, so it was new material from day one which is what they wanted.

Lasting follows pretty much the same rules with a few tweaks here and there

Lasting - a picture of concentration

And then came the interesting part, the welting. This differs markedly from a regular hand welt and was where the new skills really kicked in.

We were originally taught to welt from the inside to the outside, but over time our method has changed and we now make the holes from the outside in. You get a more level row of stitches and it is easier to control the stitch length as we mark them with a pair of dividers. It works really well.

This method can lead to the inside of the holdfast looking slightly ragged, but this is all internal, nobody will see it, and as long as the stitches go through the insole/holdfast, the boot will be strong. It also means that the external and thus visible stitches are perfect.

Notice how we don't trim the excess leather off - this will be the welt so we leave it full

We trimmed the lining and the stiffeners and glued on a midsole.

The stitching was really good, on a level and evenly sized, excellent work.

Notice the midsoles, essential in a Norwegian welt

They then stitched on a sole in the usual way and got onto finishing, rasping, glassing, sanding - very important to make your shoes look amazing.


They are on the final straight and we will show you the finished shoes next week

We are going on a road trip to Northampton on Monday to visit A&A Crack, a leather merchant and Springline who make lasts and then it will back to the grindstone to get the shoes finished. Looking forward to it.

Until next week, when we start our Evening Classes again, happy shoemaking!