Sectioned Shoes

I’ve had a couple of singleton shoes kicking around for a while now that are made well, but for one reason or another were never going to be pairs. Some time ago I had the idea of cutting them in half to use as teaching aids, and recently got a saddler’s round knife which is the perfect tool for cleanly cutting a whole shoe in half.

One is a later 14th century style turned shoe and the other is a late 16th century style shoe based on a find from the SO-1 shipwreck. Both are styles documented in Stepping Through Time.

I have scanned rather than photographed them because the main points of interest are the cut edges of the section. The 16th century shoe would only fit on the scanner diagonally, so I only scanned half of it, the 14th century shoe was small enough to fit both halves on the scanner bed.

It is a little difficult to get the details in without the picture being enormous so I’ve cropped the detail at the heel and toe on each pair.

The leather is 2.5-3mm modernly ‘vegetable’ tanned bovine double shoulder. The thread is hand-plied from #10 dry spun hemp and waxed with code. You can see in some of the sections how the threads completely fill the holes in the leather. This is thanks to sewing with bristles which work with a much smaller hole than needles. The threads present a smoothly cut edge without any fuzziness which is a good sign that the code has penetrated right through the fibres of the plied cord.

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