|Carefully pressing the point of the awl through the flesh side of the sole, then out through the side of the sole (hence the sometimes name "flesh-edge stitch").|
|The awl is then stabbed through the flesh and grain sides of the welt...|
|The awl is then stabbed through the flesh and grain sides of the upper...|
|The "pitch" is the number of stitches per inch. In this case, I'm making about 6 per inch, which is not bad for a later period shoe. Although later shoemakers would return their apprentice's work that used less than 6 per inch (Rees), earlier medieval shoes would often have pitches of 4 or so per inches.|
|It's sort of hard to tell here, but one of the things you want to do
before removing the shoe from the last is to tray and flatten the round stitches,
andburnish the flattened the stitches with a polishing bone. Great care should be
taken with flattening the seam with a mallot, since you can easily break the threads
of the stitches with the impact. This flattening and burnishing is very important
with the inseam connecting the sole and the upper, as you will be walking on this.
I can not prove that setting and flattening the stitches like this was practiced on medieval shoes, but it was standard when the making of turned shoes was finally described, and it makes the shoes more comfortable. Even if you are not using a last to build a shoe on, I advise getting a small wooden block to stick in the shoe to serve as backstop for this smoothing.
|Then we pull all the tacks from the shoe. And, carefully, pulling
the heel down, we carefully work the last back out of the shoe. Later period
lasts make this easier by using "wedges" and "broken lasts" to split
apart. There is some evidence that some Roman and Medieval lasts might have been
able to separate, but since this particular last was based on an archaeological original,
I don't have that option.
All I can say is that you should be very careful.
Return to Contents or Go on to Part 4 of Making the Shoes.
Footwear of the Middle Ages - Making the Shoe, Page 3, by I. Marc Carlson.
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