In one of the previous posts, I discussed the use of the hammer and mentioned the lasting hammer or lasting pliers. In this post, let’s talk a little about those tools and what they’re used for.
As part of the shoemaking process, for a lasted shoe, one tacks on an insole to a last, and then the upper is stretched around the last. However, to my knowledge, we don’t really have much evidence for “pliers” specifically for lasting shoes until the 1640s, and that comes from The Shoemaker Teaching the Linnet to Sing, possibly by David Teniers the Younger, 1640s, at the Northampton Museum Collection. Marc Carlson’s site on shoes is an excellent resource, and I cannot recommend it enough. Look at the blunt-nosed pliers-like object, and I think that it’s quite a strong bet that these are used for lasting.
Hopefully, you will agree with me once you read the rest of the discussion.