Archive for February, 2011

16th C. Shoes with a Stacked Heel

Friday, February 18th, 2011

Take a look at the shoes just recently finished for Laina – they’re very similar to the shoes from Lesson 7: Mid 16th C. Shoes (Stacked Leather), but in this case, I added a bit of leather edging around the quarters and vamp. I also decided to dye the welt and the sole black to contrast with the red shoe. I can’t actually document that, but they definitely look spiff.

Note that these shoes are lined with black silk taffeta. I’m still struggling with documenting a shoe that is lined as such. Most of the paintings and portraits that we have show the wearer’s hose showing through the slashes, but in many cases, there is some kind of binding or stitching on the outside of the slashes. In some cases, it even looks like whip stitching. There is also evidence for fabric covered shoes, but, especially with white fabric, I suspect that these could get dirty rather easily. Leather, on the other hand, only gets better looking as it wears provided it is kept in good shape. It can always take a cleaning with some light soap and a nice buff will make it look shiny, both figuratively and literally!



18th C. Shoemaker’s Toolbox

Thursday, February 10th, 2011

I just posted a new project writeup on a 18th C. Shoemaker’s Toolbox. This was an attempt to reconstruct a period cordwainer’s toolbox based on research graciously made available by the folks at the Colonial Williamsburg shoemaker’s shop. I’ve been wanting a period toolbox for some time now, and I’ve made it such that I can potentially use it for 16th C. stuff as well, even though the tools may not necessarily be 100% authentic. Enjoy!

Mid 16th C. Satin Suit and Shoes

Thursday, February 10th, 2011

I just posted a project writeup for a Mid 16th C. Satin Suit and Shoes. I’d created this back in 2008 (with a huge amount of help), but had done some significant reworking in 2010. Enjoy!

Boar Bristles and Coad (wax) – I have them!

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011
I am now well supplied with actual boar bristles for the making of waxed ends used in shoemaking. The common substitute is monofilament fishing line, but once you work with boar bristles, you will never go back to monofilament! There is something about the natural fiber that makes the thread stick better, they’re splittable, and it’s what the old dead guys used. If you’re interested in some, drop me a note and we’ll talk!


I also have a large supply of synthetic coad (shoemaker’s wax) which I can make available also. At some point, I plan to actually make the real thing, and I already have all the ingredients, but there are a lot of projects to catch up on!