Making the Shoe, Part 4

Finishing the shoe...

make25.jpg (4753 bytes) make25.jpg (4753 bytes) make27.jpg (4791 bytes)
To make the toggle, we take a strip of leather, and tightly roll it into a cylinder, leaving about half the strip as a tail.  We could glue the cylinder as we roll it, although I don't.  The "tail" is then trimmed to about half to quarter of the width of the entire cylinder.  A hole is punched through the cylinder and the tail is fradually drawn through that hole, tightly knitting it in place.
The tail is drawn through a hole in the vamp, and carefully stitched to the underside with split stitching, invisible on the outside.
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The final stage of finishing this shoe is dubbing it with tallow to make it resistant to water, and to strengthen the leather.  The tallow will soak ingo the leather easier if it is warmed.  Afterwards, sticking the shoes before a fire or the evening will help the melting and soaking in process.  If you don't have a fireplace, sticking them in the oven (on some newspaper to protect the leather from the metal interior of the oven)and baking them at about 200 degrees F or about 5 minutes, or leaving them in the back windo of your car for a day or so in the summer, will help the tallow soak in.
make35.jpg (10635 bytes) make36.jpg (15924 bytes)It's kind of hard to see it at first, but the tallow does darken up the leather as well as protecting it. make37.jpg (16906 bytes)

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Footwear of the Middle Ages - Making the Shoe, Page 4, by I. Marc Carlson. Copyright 1999
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