How to Apply Leather Half-Sole
The shoemakers used to travel around the country, offering their leather goods and their talent in repairing shoes. With tools and skill, it is possible to repair a leather sole at home. With diligence, adventurous spirit and a desire to experience the “old practices,” you can mend your shoes and feel the sense of accomplishment that goes hand in hand with craft.
1) Secure the shoe in place. You can find a way to cobbler in an antique store, thrift store, garage or property sales, or search the Internet. Once found, it can cost a few dollars. You can also think outside the box (of shoe). Look at the shoe and look for a way to keep it in place in your garage or shed.
2) Cut soles from new leather or buy pre-cut soles. Soften the soles in warm water to make sewing easier. It is very difficult to pass the needle through the leather. Wrap the sole in a towel or paper towel to absorb the water. Trace the outline of the old sole on the new leather and cut the new sole.
3) Attach the shoe to the shape or other device. Carefully remove all old threads from the shoe. Using a razor blade or a knife, remove the old sole. Be careful not to cut the shoe.
4) Let the new sole extend beyond the shoe. The tack needs to be just long enough to penetrate the new sole and shoe and keep everything in place. Nail the new sole in the shoe with nails. There will be holes of old nails in the shoe. Begin by nailing the sides and end at the ends of the sole.
5) Using a leather blade or scissors, remove the leftover leather so that the new sole aligns with the shoe. Gently make a slight notch around the sole to make the seam easier. This also protects the wires when wearing the shoe. Remove the strip that was between the old sole and the shoe. Place it along the outside of the new sole. Use a leather drill to create new holes in the sole.
6) Use two needles. They will be one on each end with about 90 cm of wire. Sew with a needle through the holes in one direction. Then sew with the other needle through the same hole in the opposite direction. This creates a stronger point than if it were a single needle or seam along the thread in the same direction. Tie the cord securely when you’re done. Start and end at the bow.
7) Hammer along the notch with a leather hammer and use beeswax to finish the holes.
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