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Re: [medieval-leather] Cost of making shoes-now

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  • Robert Huff
    ... Rusty Moore, the cordwainer-in-residence at Plimouth Plantation, claims he can make a pair (I think - it might be just one) of early 17th century shoes in
    Message 1 of 15 , Aug 1, 2001
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      Tim Bray writes:

      > Those of you who make medieval shoes fairly regularly: How many
      > hours of work go into a typical pair, assuming nothing
      > particularly fancy or special? I find it astonishing that anyone
      > can handsew a pair and sell them for anything like $100 - seems
      > like the hourly rate is abysmally low, unless they are a LOT
      > faster than I am (which is quite likely).

      Rusty Moore, the cordwainer-in-residence at Plimouth
      Plantation, claims he can make a pair (I think - it might be just
      one) of early 17th century shoes in a day, assuming nothing goes
      wrong. He does have the advantage of having a very well equipped
      workshop and patterns/lasts already made.


      Diego Mundoz
    • lthrwrk@aol.com
      In a message dated 8/1/01 8:30:38 PM Pacific Daylight Time, ... Yikes.. an experienced.. and with a complete shop a whole day??? I would say anything less
      Message 2 of 15 , Aug 1, 2001
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        In a message dated 8/1/01 8:30:38 PM Pacific Daylight Time,
        roberthuff@... writes:


        Rusty Moore, the cordwainer-in-residence at Plimouth
        Plantation, claims he can make a pair (I think - it might be just
        one) of early 17th century shoes in a day, assuming nothing goes
        wrong.  He does have the advantage of having a very well equipped
        workshop and patterns/lasts already made.


        Yikes.. an experienced.. and with a complete shop a whole day???  I would say
        anything less that $150 for em would be a steal.



        YIS

        Lazarus Wolfdracca
        Leather Merchant
        Shire Midhaven
        (Mt Vernon, WA)
        Kingdom of AnTir
        Charles
        LthrWrk@...
        Ye want it when M'lady??  Sure step into the ...
      • Marc Carlson
        ... I m betting that Rusty, if he WERE to sell these, and I don t think he does, would charge a heck of a lot more than that. Personally, for simple turnshoes,
        Message 3 of 15 , Aug 1, 2001
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          Lazarus:
          >Yikes.. an experienced.. and with a complete shop a whole day??? I would say
          >anything less that $150 for em would be a steal.

          I'm betting that Rusty, if he WERE to sell these, and I don't
          think he
          does, would charge a heck of a lot more than that.

          Personally, for simple turnshoes, if you can talk me into making
          them,
          I'll charge $125 a pair, and that usually takes about 8 hours a
          shoe).
          Anything more complicated than that, the price goes straight up.
          But
          I really hate to do commission work (it's too much like "work").

          OTOH, if you get me to teach you one on one -- I usually make one
          and
          the student makes the other, and I don't charge for that.

          marc
        • jamesahowell@juno.com
          I believe that the last pair I made took me something on the order of 12-15 hours, which included making the pattern to the customer s foot-because of
          Message 4 of 15 , Aug 1, 2001
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                    I believe that the last pair I made took me something on the order of 12-15 hours, which included making the pattern to the customer's foot-because of significant differences in the size of each foot, I had to do both of them, which considerably increased the amount of time I had to put in on pattern making.  They were slightly pointed ankle boots with full rands, if I remember correctly-mid 14th century from Shoes and Pattens.
                                                                                            Regards, Finnr
             
             
            On Wed, 01 Aug 2001 17:17:29 -0700 Tim Bray <tbray@...> writes:
            >
            > >Or for a more modern comparison, I went
            > >to a site for handmade
            cowboy boots.
            >
            > Interesting comparison... especially as it seems
            to match up pretty
            > well
            > with the calculations Marc
            presented.
            >
            > Of course, modern cowboy boots are quite a bit more
            complex to make
            > than
            > the typical medieval shoe.  Which
            makes the correspondence in
            > relative
            > value even more
            interesting!
            >
            > Those of you who make medieval shoes fairly
            regularly:  How many
            > hours of
            > work go into a typical
            pair, assuming nothing particularly fancy or
            >
            > special?  I
            find it astonishing that anyone can handsew a pair and
            > sell
            >
            them for anything like $100 - seems like the hourly rate is
            > abysmally
            low,
            > unless they are a LOT faster than I am (which is quite
            likely).
            >
            > Regards,
            > Tim
            >
            >
            > Albion
            Works
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            "Better is alive than lifeless to be; the living can always get a cow.
            The halt can ride a horse, the hand-less drive a flock, the deaf can bravely battle.
            A blind man is better than a burned one; a corpse is useless to all."   Havamal
            My home page http://homestead.juno.com/jamesahowell/Finnston.html
            The Manx http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TheManx
          • jamesahowell@juno.com
            That sounds about right for something that you have made before and have a pattern for already. Finnr On Wed, 1 Aug 2001 23:03:37 -0400 (EDT) Robert Huff
            Message 5 of 15 , Aug 1, 2001
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              That sounds about right for something that you have made before
              and have a pattern for already.

              Finnr


              On Wed, 1 Aug 2001 23:03:37 -0400 (EDT) Robert Huff <roberthuff@...>
              writes:
              >
              > Tim Bray writes:
              >
              > > Those of you who make medieval shoes fairly regularly: How many
              > > hours of work go into a typical pair, assuming nothing
              > > particularly fancy or special? I find it astonishing that
              > anyone
              > > can handsew a pair and sell them for anything like $100 - seems
              > > like the hourly rate is abysmally low, unless they are a LOT
              > > faster than I am (which is quite likely).
              >
              > Rusty Moore, the cordwainer-in-residence at Plimouth
              > Plantation, claims he can make a pair (I think - it might be just
              > one) of early 17th century shoes in a day, assuming nothing goes
              > wrong. He does have the advantage of having a very well equipped
              > workshop and patterns/lasts already made.
              >
              >
              > Diego Mundoz
              >
              >
              >
              > ------------------------ Yahoo! Groups Sponsor
              >
              >
              >
              > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
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              >


              "Better is alive than lifeless to be; the living can always get a cow.
              The halt can ride a horse, the hand-less drive a flock, the deaf can
              bravely battle.
              A blind man is better than a burned one; a corpse is useless to all."
              Havamal
              My home page http://homestead.juno.com/jamesahowell/Finnston.html
              The Manx http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TheManx
            • Tim Bray
              ... If it takes all day and you get $100 for it, doesn t sound like a very good living to me. The price seems out of line with the labor required. Tim
              Message 6 of 15 , Aug 1, 2001
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                > Rusty Moore, the cordwainer-in-residence at Plimouth
                >Plantation, claims he can make a pair (I think - it might be just
                >one) of early 17th century shoes in a day, assuming nothing goes
                >wrong. He does have the advantage of having a very well equipped
                >workshop and patterns/lasts already made.

                If it takes all day and you get $100 for it, doesn't sound like a very good
                living to me. The price seems out of line with the labor required.

                Tim
              • lthrwrk@aol.com
                In a message dated 8/1/01 9:26:23 PM Pacific Daylight Time, ... ahhh that costume one of a kind stuff excites me.. deadlines.. demands hah.. I establish up
                Message 7 of 15 , Aug 1, 2001
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                  In a message dated 8/1/01 9:26:23 PM Pacific Daylight Time,
                  marc-carlson@... writes:


                  But
                  I really hate to do commission work (it's too much like "work").

                  OTOH, if you get me to teach you one on one -- I usually make one
                  and
                  the student makes the other, and I don't charge for that.

                  marc


                  ahhh that costume one of a kind stuff excites me.. deadlines.. demands hah..
                  I establish up front.. you want it.. ok.. on my schedule and with my artistic
                  license.  

                  egads I have to wonder how many mismatched shoes that makes for heheeh  
                  Sounds like fun actually.. but you not in Seattle.. or is it that I am in the
                  wrong place???



                  YIS

                  Lazarus Wolfdracca
                  Leather Merchant
                  Shire Midhaven
                  Silver Thorn Clan
                  Head of Household, Silver Thorn Clan
                  (Mt Vernon, WA)
                  Kingdom of AnTir
                  Charles
                  LthrWrk@...
                  Ye want it when M'lady??  Sure step into the ...
                  List owner for:  SilverThornClan@yahoogroups.com
                • Marc Carlson
                  ... Another one of those perspective things, I suspect :) Curiously, I am presently teaching a class for a number of people, one of whom is from your area
                  Message 8 of 15 , Aug 2, 2001
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                    At 01:37 AM 8/2/01 -0400, Lazarus wrote:
                    >...egads I have to wonder how many mismatched shoes that makes for heheeh
                    >>Sounds like fun actually.. but you not in Seattle.. or is it that I am in the
                    >>wrong place???

                    Another one of those perspective things, I suspect :)

                    Curiously, I am presently teaching a class for a number of people, one of whom is
                    from your area (who's down here to go to the bootmaking school in Okmulgee).

                    Marc
                  • Tim Bray
                    ... So a pair takes 16 hours and you get $125 for them??? Must be making them as favors to friends! I still don t understand how anyone can make hand-stitched
                    Message 9 of 15 , Aug 2, 2001
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                      >Personally, for simple turnshoes, if you can talk me into making
                      >them,
                      >I'll charge $125 a pair, and that usually takes about 8 hours a
                      >shoe).

                      So a pair takes 16 hours and you get $125 for them???

                      Must be making them as favors to friends!

                      I still don't understand how anyone can make hand-stitched turnshoes and
                      sell them at anything like that price. Even at $160 a pair, you are still
                      getting less than $10/hour and no benefits.

                      It's becoming clear why there are so few sources for turnshoes...

                      Tim
                    • Meisterdru@cs.com
                      I do have a business making medieval shoes. They are completely correct and the only exception to accuracy is the leather that I use. Medieval vegetable
                      Message 10 of 15 , Aug 2, 2001
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                        I do have a business making medieval shoes. They are completely
                        correct and the only exception to accuracy is the leather that I
                        use. Medieval vegetable tanned leather was available in different
                        styles and grades than are generally available today. Modern veg
                        tanned is intended for crafts, tooling and saddles.

                        Now, I don't make a lot of money at this, because I don't get paid to
                        sell them, only to make them. However, for a basic pair of like no.
                        99 in Shoes and Pattens, with a wip stitched edge, it takes me about
                        3 to 3 1/2 hours of actual labor time to make a pair. Using modern
                        tools (of which I have many and use extensively) it takes an hour to
                        make a pair of lasts, which then can be used over and over.

                        Now, this speed did not occur over night. I have made over 300 pairs
                        of shoes and boots and I have made museum pieces. My first pair of
                        lasted shoes took about 2 weeks including the three shoes that I made
                        that didn't fit and reworking the lasts twice. I also make all of my
                        own tools and this has made a significant difference in both speed
                        and comfort.

                        Dru
                        www.medievalshoes.com
                      • Tim Bray
                        ... OK, that s more like it. You re still not getting rich, but at least your hourly rate is better than the starting salary at a retail store... Based solely
                        Message 11 of 15 , Aug 2, 2001
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                          >Now, I don't make a lot of money at this, because I don't get paid to
                          >sell them, only to make them. However, for a basic pair of like no.
                          >99 in Shoes and Pattens, with a wip stitched edge, it takes me about
                          >3 to 3 1/2 hours of actual labor time to make a pair. Using modern
                          >tools (of which I have many and use extensively) it takes an hour to
                          >make a pair of lasts, which then can be used over and over.

                          OK, that's more like it. You're still not getting rich, but at least your
                          hourly rate is better than the starting salary at a retail store...

                          Based solely on your Web site, I'd guess that your quality/price ratio is
                          high enough to capture most of the market for medieval shoes. The amount
                          of time and effort it would take someone else to start out in this
                          business, before they would be able to make and sell shoes of comparable
                          quality at a comparable hourly rate, is probably a significant barrier.

                          But, once you have cleared that barrier, at least you can expect to make a
                          craftsman's wages.

                          Thank you for providing that information.

                          Cheers,
                          Tim




                          >Now, this speed did not occur over night. I have made over 300 pairs
                          >of shoes and boots and I have made museum pieces. My first pair of
                          >lasted shoes took about 2 weeks including the three shoes that I made
                          >that didn't fit and reworking the lasts twice. I also make all of my
                          >own tools and this has made a significant difference in both speed
                          >and comfort.
                          >
                          >Dru
                          >www.medievalshoes.com
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                          >

                          Albion Works
                          Furniture, Clothing, and Accesories
                          For the Medievalist!
                          www.albionworks.net
                        • Marc Carlson
                          ... On those rare occasions when I can be talked into doing it. ... No, friends get them for free :) ... I charge roughly $6 an hour, plus materials. OTOH, my
                          Message 12 of 15 , Aug 2, 2001
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                            At 08:10 AM 8/2/01 -0700, Tim wrote:
                            >>>Personally, for simple turnshoes, if you can talk me into making
                            >>>them, 1'll charge $125 a pair, and that usually takes about 8 hours a
                            >>>shoe).
                            >>So a pair takes 16 hours and you get $125 for them???

                            On those rare occasions when I can be talked into doing it.

                            >>Must be making them as favors to friends!

                            No, friends get them for free :)

                            >>I still don't understand how anyone can make hand-stitched turnshoes and
                            >>sell them at anything like that price. Even at $160 a pair, you are still
                            >>getting less than $10/hour and no benefits.

                            I charge roughly $6 an hour, plus materials. OTOH, my craftsmanship
                            is "apprentice" level at best (the Knowledge is worth more, but that's sometimes
                            hard to see on the surface.

                            >>It's becoming clear why there are so few sources for turnshoes...

                            That and you still need to find people who are goofy enough to pay that amount for
                            shoes that are going to wear out fairly quickly.

                            Marc
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