Jonh Patrick J. dela Paz
Prof. Edwin Maestro 1. Different Materials For Shoe Making
* Outer Material The easiest materials to use are cotton or wool. If you use silk, brocade, or velvet, you should waterproof the fabric. Spray it several times. (I do this outdoors!) Waterproofing may darken the fabric a little, so waterproof the material you will use for covering the heels too. * Buckram You can buy this at a fabric store. Sometimes you may find a young clerk who does not know what it is. It comes in a big roll and is usually under the counter at the store. Buckram is a loose-weave cotton fabric that is "sized" with a stiffener. When it is wet it becomes very pliable, and it enables you to form the top of the shoe. When it dries, it becomes stiff again in the new shape. Buckram comes in different weights. If you can only find thin-weight buckram, you can use two pieces instead of one. * Felt I use felt for the lining. It forms easily and is comfortable. I buy the "squares" of felt in various colors at the fabric store. You may find that the squares are not long enough at the toe. This is OK because the toe area is trimmed, and it is not necessary to have the felt all the way to the end of your pattern. I buy three "squares" — one for each shoe, and a third one for the insoles. * Fabric Stiffener I have always used Aleene's Fabric Stiffener (at the fabric store), but you could use a different brand. This is used to make "counters" (pattern included in the book), and also to stiffen the toe of the shoe. * Heels You can purchase heels from a shoe findings company, but if you can't find one, do what I do — recycle heels from old shoes. With the covering removed, they are just like new underneath. When I see heels that I like (from yard sales or thrift shops), I buy the shoes and take them to my shoe repairman and have him remove the heels for me for a small charge. In many cases, you can salvage the shank from an old shoe as well (see next page for more on shanks). * Shank This is the arch support. It is a piece of metal about five inches long (with a larger-sized shoe this may vary). It is curved to conform to the arch (inside the shoe). You can buy shanks at a shoe findings company, or recycle them from old shoes — but if you can't find them, you can make them! I have done this. I took a wire hanger, cut it, folded the wire into a "hairpin" shape about 5 inches long, and bent it to fit the arch. * Padding You will need little pieces of padding to put on the bottom of the shoe before attaching the sole. I have used old blankets or other heavy wool. Wash it in hot water to shrink it for a better padding. * Counters This is the hard part of the shoe just above the heel. Counters are usually made from a composition cardboard. (Never use the leather ones!) If you can't find counters (such as at a shoe findings company), you can make them from my pattern in the book. I like to make my own with fabric stiffener and buckram. * Leather for the Soles I use tooling leather for the soles. I get my tooling leather at Tandy's Leather Company. They have a lot of small stores around the USA, but they are also on the Internet. However, any place that sells leather for tooling (you know, cowboy belts, bags, etc.) will have this leather. It is sold in several weights (thicknesses). I recommend a leather about 1/8 inch thick. It is easy to cut with a pair of leather scissors, which you can buy at the same store. You can also get a skiving knife there for thinning off the leather that goes down the inside of the heel. * Cement Barge Cement has been used forever...