Category Archives: shoemaking

John Bagford Manuscripts

As we wander afield it can be interesting, at least to me to examine some of the minutia that can bog down research – especially in obscure fields, like the history of shoemaking. John Bagford (1650/1-1716) was an antiquarian, author, … Continue reading

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Chapter 2 Tools and Materials, Part 1

There are many tools that could have been used to make shoes in the Middle Ages.  It is likely that that we will never know all the precise items used because different areas may have used different tools or techniques.  … Continue reading

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Appendix A. Timeline of Tool References.

C.350 Roman Spain, the Testamentum porcelli  bristles C. 650 Isidore of Seville, wrote his Etymologiae or Origines, bristles C. 950 Ælfric’s Colloquy C. 950 Ælfric’s Vocabulary  Awl, the use of Last may refer to a last, a wooden footprint, boots … Continue reading

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Glossary v.1.5, part 6

Tacks (Lasting Tack) Small nails used in lasting. Tallow This refers to the rendered fat of either sheep or cattle. Tanning (Also called Barkynge Latin: Frunicio). Turning raw or green hides into leather.  There are several versions of this, but … Continue reading

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Glossary v.1.5, part 5

St. Hugh (also Sir Hugh) A character from shoemaking folklore.  He makes his first appearance in the late 16th century. St. Hugh’s Bones A term for the shoemaker’s tools.  This term doesn’t appear in the documentation before the 1590s. Sandal … Continue reading

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Glossary v.1.5, part 4

Maker (Shoe Man) The person who actually attaches the overleather to the soles. Making Attaching the overleather to the soles. Making Thread Aligning a number of strands of hemp, or flax, and cering them with code, and twisting them into … Continue reading

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Glossary v.1.5, part 3

Facing (Modern terms include: Eye stay, Lace-hole Reinforcement) A lining inside the shoe to help reinforce eyelets.  There is not a good term to describe these Fender (Modern terms include: Paring Horn) A flat, thin piece of horn placed between … Continue reading

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Glossary v.1.5, part 2

Calc (Latin: Calciamenta) An Anglo Saxon term for a type of sandal. Calceology Although this is not at this time a formally recognized field of research, Calceology informally refers to the study of footwear, especially historical footwear, whether as archaeology, … Continue reading

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Glossary v.1.5, part 1

This glossary explains the vocabulary used in this book, indicates some of the other spellings and synonyms from the medieval literature, as well as modern synonyms that are generally not used in this book, but may be more familiar to … Continue reading

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Review of Sources

We really need to begin with indicating what exactly we know, and how that information has been gotten. Traditionally, shoemakers have tended to assume that “they” made shoes this way because that is how it is done today.  Tradition is … Continue reading

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