Stiffeners that stiffened my hands!

Stiffeners that stiffened my hands!

The next step was the heel Stiffeners, which I struggled with… These are necessary to keep the shape of the back of the heel, but in order for them to be discreet, the edges need to be skived, avoiding lumps and bumps in the final product.To make the process easier, the leather stiffener is soaked in water for a while, and then skived wet. Skiving is something that also initially scared me… The first few times I did it, I found myself ‘shaving’ little bits and pieces off, but never getting a clean or smooth skive. This frustrated me, but after awhile, I learnt that it is extremely, extremely important to have a well sharpened knife. If you hold the knife in the wrong way or press super hard thinking it will skive the leather because of the pressure, especially if it is blunt, you will most likely end up with blistered sore hands for the next week, like I did. I now have my very own beautifully sharp skiving knife ( a few posts down..) that for some reason seems to be a lot easier to use.. again I think it’s the sharpness..
Although in this photo it doesn’t look fantastic, it gives an idea of what is needed to be done when skiving by hand..

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2 thoughts on “Stiffeners that stiffened my hands!

  1. When I saw your skived counter I burst out laughing with recognition and appreciation. My daughter also makes ladies shoes and learning to skive counters has been one of her biggest hurdles. I knew at one glance how hard you’d worked to do such a nice job. You did very well; keep making shoes; it gets easier!

    • Hi Lisa! It’s great to hear that I’m not the only one struggling with this technique..Thanks for recognising that, and I hope so! 🙂

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