In my previous post I mentioned the need to turn the shoe after the stitching was complete. If you have ever wondered what is involved the following pictures will give you an idea.
The stitching is complete but the shoe is inside out. Next step – into a bucket of water to thoroughly soak the leather and make it soft and pliable. It is at this stage you may discover that the leather you have used does not soak very well because it has been chrome tanned rather than veg tanned. Always make sure the leather you use is veg tanned.
One well soaked shoe in the process of being turned. It is putting up a good fight but after much persuasion…
It begins to accept its fate. A short length of wood, rounded at one end is needed to complete the process as the toe seam needs to be flattened otherwise the shoe will be uncomfortable to wear.
Turned at last and ready for the side seam to be closed.
At this stage it is a good idea to wear the shoe for a while and it takes the shape of your foot as it begins to dry out. And there you have it – a turned shoe.