Small details come together to create a harmonious whole. Even though the leather sole we fit as part of recrafting your shoe or boots will be walked on. We feel it is an important step to finish our work to a complete level that gives your items an “as new” look. When we do leather sole hand detailing, we use special hand tools to ‘bunk’ the leather soles. These make pleasing patterns. This action also serves to close up the groove that the sole is welt stitched in. By closing up the gap and compressing the leather close to the welt stitching, this performs two actions. It harder for dirt to get into the welt thread and it makes the leather, by compression, resistant to wear. As a decorative means, this is a subtle emblem of the time and care taken in finishing your leather soles.
Firstly, the leather sole is wet and then grooved before being welt stitched. Care is taken to adjust the welt stitching machine to stitch into the groove that has been put in the leather sole. With the leather still mellow from sole stitching, the bunking wheel tool is run around the edge of the leather sole. By applying downward force the wheel of the bunking tool leaves a decorative impression. Once this is done the sole is left dry and then it is lightly hand sanded with fine sandpaper to remove any blemishes or marks. The sole is then hand polished using Saphir waxes
to create a pleasing lustre and to further seal the leather.
The technical stuff
- High level of expertise
- Has to be done by hand
- Elevates the aesthetic of the recraft
Whilst it is mostly a pleasing way of finishing the sole, the leather sole hand detailing does an important function in hiding the welt stitches from abrasion that occurs when walking.