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Training, arbitration and problem solving

Leather Wise Ltd:- Moulton Park Business Centre, Redhouse Road, Moulton Park, Northampton NN3 6AQ, UK. Tel: +44 (0) 1604 497568. Fax: +44 (0) 1604 497569. E-mail: info@leatherwise.co.uk. Amanda Michel, is the Director of Leather Wise Ltd and her aim is to help you. Leather is a beautiful, natural and unique material prized by many for its individuality. However, it is essential that you understand leather to maximise its full potential. This is where Leather Wise can help you improve your business. With over 30 years experience and knowledge of the leather industry, we provide professional scientific fault diagnosis, arbitration service and provide training in all aspects of leather and leather products. Our fault diagnosis and arbitration services can help you overcome production problems, settle disputes between suppliers and customers throughout the supply chain and provide a leather identification service.

Amanda Michel

Typical types of problems they can help with include: Arbitrating when a customer complains of colour coming off a sofa that you made. Solving why nasty stains are appearing on leather in your tannery. Identifying if a handbag is really genuine leather. Establishing why the jacket that you sold, tore in use. Our interactive leather training benefits anyone in the leather product supply chain by helping you understand the technical aspects of leather, how it is made, its fitness for purpose, its care and what all the leather jargon means. Our tailored training will help you avoid mistakes and maximise sales. See also Here. Website: http://www.leatherwise.co.uk/

Clog makers

Alder wood is soft to work with but extremely hard-wearing and even after repeated wetting does not warp. For that reason it used to be popular in Derbyshire for platters, but was chiefly felled for clogs. Alder wood changes from white to red when cut, but by the time it is worked has faded to a pale yellow. Aspen was a good alternative wood, both light and durable, but was always less abundant than alder. In the reign of Henry V, supplies of aspen were reserved for making arrow-shafts. Those who turned it into clogs or pattens risked a penalty of 100 shillings.

The word shilling originates in the schilling, an accounting term dating back to Anglo-Saxon times, when it was deemed to be the value of a cow in Kent or a sheep elsewhere. Why was the number of twelve chosen to divide the sol into common every-day coins ? Well if you count the number of joints in the four fingers of one hand (use your thumb to count them), you will find twelve. The hand was used as a rudimentary counting device. This explains the many occurrences of twelve (a dozen) as a unit of counting. Charlemagne's Livre weighed twelve ounces of silver. Pounds, shillings and pence (abbreviated with the French L, S and D) were still used in England up till the early 1970s. [Pounds, shillings and pence (L=livre, S=sous, D=denier)]

Clog block cutters worked out in the open, under a tarpaulin hung from four posts in wet weather, using yellow wood-shavings when they needed a fire. They sawed the alder wood into short logs, before splitting them lengthways into rough blocks. Then, using a tool like a scythe blade, with a handle at one end whilst the other end turned on a swivel joint fixed to a crude bench, the men trimmed the pieces into uniform "clog blocks" These were mostly about 14"x 4" and 8" x 3" from which a wide range of sizes could be shaped.

Finished clog blocks were sent in sacks to the clog-makers, mostly to the mill towns of Lancashire and Yorkshire, although in the early 20th century clog and pattern factories were also to be found at Glossop, Chapel en le Frith, Chesterfield and Derby. There the blocks were rounded off, shaped into soles with a hollow on the top surface for the ball of the foot, and fitted with a leather upper.

It wasn't unusual for the clog block cutters to be planning a year, or perhaps two, ahead, felling the most mature alder trees so that they could be left to season. By late autumn the men had left, the cycle of their toil seen in piles of yellow shavings and freshly-cut, bright red tree holes, until the time came when it was not worth coming back, for nobody was buying clogs any more.

Mike Cahill:- 47 Churchfield Lane, Glasshoughton, Castleford, West Yorkshire WF10 4DB, UK. Tel: +44 (0) 01977 513444, Mobile: 07806 477053. E-mail: mike@cahill.eclipse.co.uk. The wearing of clogs in Britain really took off with the Industrial Revolution, workers in the mills, mines, iron, steel, and chemical works, workshops and factories needed strong cheap footwear. The heyday of the clog in Britain was between the 1840's and 1920's, they were worn all over the country, not just in the industrial north of England

Mike Cahill

Mike Cahill

The decline set in during the depression of the 1930's and apart from a brief revival during the second world war when leather was in short supply, it has been downhill ever since. Working class people associated wearing clogs with poverty, and as mass produced boots and shoes became more affordable the clog rapidly disappeared, people wanted better! Two generations later the stigma has disappeared, and people who once looked down on clog wearers as uncouth now look back with fondness to a "simpler" time.

Maker and repairer of traditional English clogs. He says: "As you might expect I am a one man band. Making clogs from scratch from selected local timber, and quality leather.

I am as far as I know the only clogger providing a mobile re-soling and repair service for Morris teams, working out of the back of my car (sadly not a Morris Minor). As a North West Morris dancer with 30+ years experience, I know what sort of hammer clogs get, and can rectify most problems." Website: www.clogger.eu/

The Clog and Shoe Workshop:- Balmaclellan, Castle Douglas, DG7 3QE, Scotland. Tel: (+44)(0)1644 420465. Fax: 01644 420777. E-mail: footwear@clogandshoe.co.uk. Galloway Footwear is the last company in Scotland to still create handmade clogs. We produce a variety of handmade shoes and clogs in our small, rural, family run workshop. Here at The Clog

Godfrey Smith at work

Godfrey at work making clogs

and Shoe Workshop we offer handmade shoes and made to measure shoes as well as specialising in various styles of clogs - from traditional clogs and clog boots to Scandinavian clogs and French clogs. We have over twenty styles of footwear for you to choose from ranging from traditional clogs to more modern Scandinavian clog varieties, comfy summer sandals to sturdy hiking boots and elegant court shoes - all handmade shoes. Website The Clog and Shoe Workshop

Traditional Clogs:- Jeremy Atkinson, 44 Duke St, Kington, Herefordshire HR5 3DR. Tel: 01544 231683. E-Mail: jeremymark@atkinsontq.wanadoo.co.uk. Says he's the last of the traditional cloggers making bespoke clogs in England. Whilst others claim to make handmade clogs, the clog soles are machine cut, in part at least, limiting true customisation. English clogs were always part wood, part leather, the dictionary definition being "a composite of wood and leather". He hand cuts the leather uppers and hand carves the soles. He was taught by a man who was taught by a man who was taught by a man. In other words he's of a line stretching back centuries. In turn he has taught a Welshman, which is only fair since he too learnt from a Welshman. Whilst there are certain styles pertaining to each country, a great many styles are common to both. The English tended to carve Welsh and West Country alder, Scottish birch and Lincolnshire willow. The Welsh used alder, birch and sycamore. It was said that they paid more for sycamore. He's found it to last much longer. Cherry is also surprisingly durable and stable. Jeremy Atkinson specialises in making traditional nineteenth-century styles in his workshop in Kington.

Jeremy has travelled in Spain and France researching European clog making traditions. He demonstrates his skill at County and Craft Fairs across Britain during the summer.
He is the last person in England following a centuries old craft. Others use machine soles which may preclude an acceptable fit, or work with a mixture of machine and traditional tools using pre-planked dry wood. Website
Traditional Clogs

Walkley Clogs:- Unit 10, Mount Pleasant Mills, Midgley Road, Mytholmroyd, Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire HX7 5LR.Tel: 01422 885757. Fax: 01422 885755. E-mail: walkclogs@aol.com. Walkley Clogs is a clog factory where the great British clog is manufactured in its entirety. The company was started by Frank Walkley in 1946. The main styles manufactured at that time were the Safety boot clog, Derby, Gibson and the Bar clog. With slip-on styles being produced much later. In 1978 Frank Walkley bought out the famous Maude clog sole works in Hebden Bridge, a company that in its hey day had over 100 employees that turned nothing but clog soles! Walkey Clogs still uses the old machines for turning the wooden clog soles, and manufacturing the irons. The clog making skills used are those skills that have been passed down from generations of Walkley Clogs clog makers.

Walkley Clogs - benchwork Walkley Clogs - shop

Today Walkley clogs manufactures a wide range of styles of clogs which include wooden sandals and slip-ons and various types of boots and shoes in a good selection of colours. The uppers used are mainly leather but also a non leather clog can be manufactured if required. The company also produces a lovely range of children’s clogs styles and supplies clog dance teams in the UK with dancing clogs. Walkley clogs produces 40 styles plus and offer to make up custom made clogs in any style and any colour. Walkley Clogs still use the traditional tools for clog making such as clog hammers and lasting pincers which would have been used by all clog makers for centuries, in towns and many villages through out the country. Although usually associated with the folk of Lancashire and Yorkshire, clogs were actually worn throughout the country, indeed around the world. Website Walkley Clogs

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leather shapes leather shapes