|Article by Sue Comont based on lecture notes from Rushden Boot and Shoe School 1936 - 1936 and 1948 - 1950|
Shoemaking - Sole Attaching
Channelling and Opening
Soles are channelled to enable stitches to sink below the surface to prevent the tops of the stitches from being worn off, to make a clean bottom and to give an appearance of lightness to the bottom. It is not always necessary to channel soles. They may be stitched aloft or in groove, which add character to the bottom. Stitching in grove is used mostly in heavy work and on leather which cannot be channelled eg waterproof soles.
The size and shape of the channel and the width of the edge vary according to the edge and the type of seam to be covered.
The seams used for attaching may be made of metal, wood or adhesive and may be directly or indirectly attached. The seam may be either vertical (machine sewn), or horizontal as in the case of a welted seam.
The sole is fastened directly to the insole as in the case of machine sewn work. It can only be a single seam and its’ position is always vertical. Attachments under this heading are:
The sole is indirectly attached to the insole by means of a through, middle or welt. Attachments under this heading are:
More rigid than a Blakesewn, this is a regular solid seam, depending for its’ strength on metal rivets. These are s
This method of attaching soles is always used in various types of indirect attachment. The machine fastens the sole with a lock stitch, the hole being made by an awl which feeds the shoe along. The correct length of thread is measured off for each stitch, the difference in the substance in the waist and forepart being automatically regulated. The stitch can be either in channels or aloft. The character of the seam is indirect vertical thread backstitch.
This is used for light shoes, mainly for ladies wear. The sole is stuck directly to the upper with solution. It is a very successful method but care must be taken that the parts that have been solutioned must be clean and dry before being brought together or the bond of the seam will not be successful.
This is an improvement on the Blakesewn seam. Its’ character is a backstitch made with thread and it can be direct or indirect according to requirements. It is a very strong seam because it uses threads but is also flexible. By means of a welt drive, it can be used for attaching welts.
VeldtshoenA veldtshoen seam is lasted and turned outwards, then fastened with staples. It is a direct attachment.
Needles and Thread
Strength and evenness of texture are important features to be considered. Linen threads are used mostly for bottom stitching. Cotton thread should be braided to give it extra strength.
To obtain the best results in making, the awl and needle should be selected to match the substance of the shoe material, and the size of the thread should fill the hole made. If the thread is too big, the exertion needed to pull a big thread into a small hole will put onto the seam an uncontrollable tension resulting in an irregular seam and breaking of the thread while working.
If the thread is too small, it will allow movement in the seam which may result in a shearing of the thread and breaking of the seam in wear.
Size of Needle
The sizing of welting and stitching needles is based on wire gauge. The smaller the number, the larger the diameter of the needle eg 45 = small, 41 = large.
Stitching needles range from 54 to 35. It is advisable to use an awl one size larger than the needle eg 47 needle for 50 awl.