Preparing the English Welt – a Shoe Making Tutorials for Pros

Before we jump into the middle – I guess you have questions, right? …and I believe I know the first: why is that that your sole edge is not that shiny and hard? Well.. that is the welt. You can’t just use any of the leftover crap you find in the corner – welt is one of the best quality and most expensive leather. As old shoemakers said: this is the soul of the shoe.

1. step – moist the welt. Quiclky.

2. mark 1,8 cm exactly – you don’t need more. Really, even if you are a beginner. More will cause problems at the toe.

3. trim it back to that amount. (why do I have wider – good question! Goiser would need a bit more: 2,2 cm. Thanks.)

4. Score the flesh side around 4-5 mm from the edge to accomodate the thread you will use for welting

Done. Just enough. Not too deep.

5. Mark 3-4 mm from the edge. If you don’t have this cool tool or at least a compass – use you fingernails!

6. Cut in around the half of the thickness – that should be around 3,5-2,5 mm.

7. Open the channel with a bone folder

8. Then remove that thin leather strap with a channel knife!


9. Remove the shiny grain side a bit to make sure the paint will stick to it and covers the leather.

10. The pound it with a hammer on a hard stone (no, not the marble or wood. Please.)

11. Then check – the awl goes in from the grain…

and must come out in the channel.

And now you can start your welting.

All tools shown in this tutorial, are available at 

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