Finishing soles

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Cowboy boots typically have half of the sole natural and half black or brown. I’m using a refillable marker to dye the brown right at the line because these markers won’t allow the dye to bleed like a dauber will.

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I’ve applied dye and bottom stain to the appropriate parts; while they’re drying on this one I’ll do the same on the other boot.

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I’ve applied burnishing ink over the brown dye and added another coat of bottom stain.

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Now they’re all polished and pretty, and ready for me to start building the heels tomorrow!

About customboots

I'm a custom cowboy boot maker. I own a business, Sorrell Custom Boots, and I create bespoke cowboy boots using vintage machinery and hand tools. I also own www.sorrellnotionsandfindings.com, a company that specializes in tools, supplies, and leather for the boot and shoe making trade.
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3 Responses to Finishing soles

  1. René Bertin says:

    Looks beautiful! I was having a discussion with a French (dress)shoemaker about leather soles; he laments that he can no longer find soles tanned for more than 18 months. I wonder, what kind of quality can you and your colleagues get in the US?

    • customboots says:

      I’m not sure if there’s sole leather being tanned in the US anymore–definitely no oak bark pit tanneries. I import the leather that I use from J&FJ Baker in England. It’s pit-tanned for about a year. Rendenbach in Germany also makes beautiful pit-tanned leather in about a year. I haven’t heard of leather being tanned for longer than that though.

      • René Bertin says:

        The shoemaker I was discussing with (from Jacques & Demeter shoes) uses leather that’s been tanned for 18 months, from Garat: http://www.tannerie-garat.com/fr/vegetable-tanned-leather . I haven’t checked if they list that quality on their site, nor if he has a special arrangement with them.
        In any case that means I won’t need to order replacement soles in the US when my own boots need them (Noconas, nothing too special I guess). At least not for the leather quality.

        R.B.

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