I needed a new laptop case and had some nice shoulder leather left over from other projects. It's a fairly minimalist design but serves to protect the little Mac. A small brass button closure is the only hardware. After giving this some thought, I realize that a leather case like this should last at least … Continue reading Leather Laptop Case
Maybe not the most exciting project to document but a vital one. My F-S knife needed a sheath and I've been too busy lazy to make one. Well, I finally got down to business and got it done. Part of the reason to procrastinate this was that I wasn't sure what style sheath to make. … Continue reading Knife Sheath
Father daughter leatherwork studio in Spain. http://vimeo.com/81747704 It's a video I want to rewatch again and again just to see the details of the shop. Kudos to those who Make!
Here's a recently finished commissioned work. It's an open-top carry-all in 8 oz. oak-tanned leather with nickel furniture. The bag as a snap closure on the top and a snap closing security pocket for wallet, phone, keys, etc. Overall dimensions are 16 x 12 x 5" (41 x 30 x 12.5 cm) for about 15 … Continue reading Leather Carry-All
It's time for new shoes. After a soon-to-be-finished commission for a leather satchel, I intend to dive into a brogue-making project in the style of 19th century Ireland. This basic design certainly dates back much further than this as shown by archaeological finds in bogs throughout Europe. Don't confuse these brogues with the more modern … Continue reading Irish Brogues and Other Simple Shoes
Over the weekend, I was able to design and nearly finish a new leather haversack. I've wanted to make one for a while but I'm always hesitant to start a big sewing project if I don't think I'll finish it in a short time... I hate lingering unfinished projects (not to say I don't have … Continue reading Haversack
Finished up the quiver. It's been unfinished for at least a year and this weekend finally saw some completion. It's a time for closure on unfinished projects.
Unlike almost all of mainstream footwear, Huarache leather is still vegetable tanned using wood. Few tanneries in the world still offer vegetable tanned leathers because of the slower tanning process and higher raw material costs.
Not only are the wood and organic matter used to tan the leather renewable, but the vegetable tanning solution doesn’t create toxic carcinogenic bi-products such as Chromium IV to which tannery workers and waterways can be exposed to.
The natural benefits of vegetable tanned leather are that the organic tanning process has a much lesser environmental impact and the leather maintains some of its natural quality to stretch and adapt to your foot shape.
Jesús and Antonio González the father and son tanners still practice this traditional and centuries old tanning method and unlike modern tanneries still tan by hand.
They are considered by many local Huaracheros to be the best vegetable tannery in the Mexican state of…
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I like the closed, round toes on this one. From http://huaracheblog.wordpress.com/.
18th century tools of the bootmaker's trade. Click for the source.
A real treat from the Sifting the Past blog. It is worth checking out if you are interested in researching the past through images of the period just prior to mass industrialization. The Townsend's have a couple excellent websites including an interesting 18th century cooking blog with videos. There is so much in this painting … Continue reading The Shoemaker
Some shoe solutions from the Bronze Age, North Africa. Sandal maker - New Kingdom, 18th Dynasty from Thebes ca. 1504–1425 B.C. Like a Diderot illustration this gives a good look at the workshop of an artisan with the essentials of his trade. There's the stool, which is useful in leatherwork as it gives a good lap … Continue reading Sandals of the New Kingdom, Egypt
This is a great series of photos of a surviving craft still producing their own leather. This maintains an economy (for them) that could have very little cash outflow, replacing the cost of raw materials with labor. I hope these industries survive.
Nestled into the Sierra Norte mountains of Oaxaca is the small town of Yalalag.
Yalalag is very precious town, not only for it’s strong Pre-Hispanic traditions, but also because like only a handful of other small towns in Mexico, most of the Yalalag population is still dedicated to the traditional craft of Huarache making.
Huaracheria Aquino is the largest ‘Taller’ workshop in Yalalag and they are well known for their high quality Zapotec Huaraches.
What also sets this family run business apart from most other Huarache makers in Mexico is that their crafting process begins at their in-house tannery, where they vegetable tan all their leathers to their precise specifications.
Huaracheria Aquino is famous for their traditional women’s Zapotec Yalalag sandals (the only existing traditional women’s leather sandal/huarache style in Mexico).
Photo of young Zapotec Woman in Mitla, by Guy Stresser-Péan, 1957
Their ‘Tejido’ Huarache also stands out for the…
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There are Huaraches north of old Mexico. As a craftsman of sorts, I understand that making a "one-off" of something does not imply expertise and replication builds a real understanding of the object being produced. However, this is certainly not my first leather working or shoemaking project but a major improvement on a theme. The … Continue reading Huaraches!
BC and I made a couple wallets for ourselves as hers looked like something from the Derelicte collection and mine was ridiculously worn out. Taking some very thin Hermann Oak vegetable tanned leather we created the following. We put up an Instructable HERE if you want to steal the design and have a tutorial on … Continue reading Wallets
My new walking shoes. Simple stitch-down design weighing in at about 14 oz (0.4 kg) each. The leather is Hermann Oak 2/3 oz for the uppers and 12 oz (I think) for the mid-sole and out-sole. There is also a double layer stacked heel that has a thin rubber layer on the bottom. They … Continue reading Walking Shoes
My new quiver. Re-worked from one I made earlier in the winter but was just not quite right. I like it a lot now. It's a little smaller, hangs either vertically (Medieval style) or from a shoulder strap which is removable. Made from oak tanned leather and so far, just washed down with yellow saddle … Continue reading A Quiver
Updated: Last weekend I finally finished the leatherworker's tool tote. It took time to figure out what needed to be included and handy. Since the leather straps are fairly specific to the tool they hold, it pays to get it right. The original post is here: https://paleotool.wordpress.com/2011/10/26/tool-tote/ It may not look exciting but it is … Continue reading Leatherworker’s Tool Tote