|International Language Terminology Cross-Reference||General Glossary of Footwear Types|
Half Moon Knife
(Modern terms include: Shoemaker's Mitten)
A piece of leather wrapped around the left hand to protect the skin of the shoemakers hand from being cut by the thread when yerking the thread. Might be a medieval tool.
A modern generic term for shoemaker's wax. Also called "hand". This term doesn't seem to show up until after the introduction of the sewing machines in the 1860s. These machines used a different sort of wax to cere the threads. It does not appear in Johnson 1755, Websters 1828, OED, OAD.
Heel Block (Footynge Block)
This three inch cube is the wooden piece that the shoemaker keeps his left heal on to tighten the stirrup, as needed. [Holme]
A piece of leather (part of the upper) on the outside of the back of the shoe covering the seam joining the quarters. It may be a narrow strip or a long, vertical piece of leather in line with the heel. [Vass]
The outer surface of the heel. Usually it is black, but sometimes it is colored to match the upper leather If it is not colored, the individual lifts are readily discernible. [Vass]
(Modern terms include:
Heel Stiffener Inside Counter, Counter)
A piece of lining leather used as a stiffening or internal reinforcement in the rear quarters or heel area. It is most frequently sewn inside the shoe. In medieval shoes it is whipped in place, and is usually invisible from the outside. Please note that we have no idea what these were called in the Middle Ages, and the closest English shoemaking term, counter, has too many conflicting interpretations depending on who you ask. Any of the layers by which a heel is built (stacked), except for the cupping and the top piece. [Goubitz, 2001]
A person who makes heels [OED 2d Ed.]
Anyone of a number of different devices, all of which are designed to extend the wear of the heel. In it's most modern form, it is a half moon shaped piece of nylon, adhesive backed that is placed on the heel at the point of maximum wear and nailed in place. Earlier (and sometimes still today) this plate was made of steel. Other variations include v-plates, quarter tips, circlettes, all of which are inset into the heel, and going back at least to the Civil War, horse shoe plates, which are mounted to the surface. [James Howell]
The part of the shoe around the heel, the counters [Holme, 1688][OED 2d Ed.]
Sometimes used (erroneously) to refer to the "Back seam" (q.v). The Heel Seam refers to the seam running up the back of the shoe's heel, not the wearer's.
The back of the shoe. [Vass]
A type of spokeshave used to make heels [OED 2d Ed.]
A metal heel plate [OED 2d Ed.]
Pieces of leather with a tapering profile inserted between the heel lifts to heighten the heel along the back. [Goubitz, 2001]
An 18th century term for Hollin Sticks. [Saguto] See Polishing bone.
A technique of sewing (See tunnel stitch). [Goubitz, 2001]
(Other medieval spellings include: Heigh Scoh, Scoh, Unhege-Sceo
Modern terms include: Ankle Boot, Ankle Shoe, Half boot)
A shoe that extends to the ankle, or slightly higher. There is no way to be more specific between the high shoe and low boot, as the medieval meaning are not clear.
This concept is one of the most basic in sewing leather, but can a trick to describe. Inserting thread into leather, in order to grab that leather is making a stitch. Once it’s grabbed the leather and is gripping it, it and the leather being gripped make up a hold. The two terms are very similar, and may appear synonymous. They are not. The hold is determined in part by the thread, and how that thread is passed through the leather, but also by the amount of the leather captured within the stitch on each side of the seam, how far back from the edge the hole is made, how deeply the hole is made through the leather. [Saguto]
Even though in traditional shoemaking, the term “hold” is only used regarding closing seams in the uppers, I maintain that there is no appreciable difference between the medieval edge-flesh stitches other than the size of leather and placement of the seam, therefore I use the term hold in describing the inseam as well – anticipating the term “hold fast” in later shoemaking.
v. To make a hole, as for stitching. This term is apparently not a medieval shoemaking term, although its use is consistent with medieval use. [Devlin, 1840]
(also Helling Sticks, Shoulder Sticks)
There are a number of types and shapes of these sticks, with various types of “shoulders”, or raised guides to help shape shoe soles. (See also Bones and Sticks)
A kind of legging or hose. Also possibly boots that reach the thigh. They can have pikes, and so may be footed hose with leather soles. They are possibly related to chaucers.
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