tumbling along with exploring materials can be really unnerving to me. If you have a vision of what the thing will look like you have a goal. Working from the inside out means you have no bloody idea how the thing will look…and this is fashion! So armed with the knowledge of what the materials can do I know we had to sprinkle a little magic into the mix. So the wouldn’t it be cool thoughts start to creep in….
A solid chunk of felt layered up and soaked in resin is no better than a lump of solid plastic. There seemed to be a lot of strength in the curved felt reminding me of how steel tubes can be as strong as rods. In addition the resin acts like a wood glue where the join can be as strong as the actual material.
So sprinkle the magic and wouldn’t it be great if the shoe was a big tube and the insole was attached inside seamlessly?????
crude initial "tube" mocks
only insole no sole
court shoe fit
first attempt at resining the tube
Something was bugging me about “mimicking” a footwear construction meant for one material when using another. The construction methods used for footwear today have evolved from three areas…
1. the foot
2. the material mainly leather or a leather “sock” covered with fabric
3. the tools and machines to form the leather around the last
But if we look at the properties of the felt material it can stretch, mould and absorb. Wool absorbs unlike leather or fabric. Wool is made up of keratins, which on a micro level are little tubes. The hollow part of these tubes are called medulla. The Medulla gives the wool it’s thermal properties. But it also allows for the tube to be filled with a hardening material. We chose resin, when in liquid state is absorbed into the tubes and then hardens. But if the fibers laid in a neat orderly way the material could suffer from being brittle. Wool fibers are “tangled” together in the creation of felt. This tangling creates an elasticity meaning a resin soaked and dried piece of felt is hard and NOT brittle.
tangled wool fibers in felt
medullapart soft untreated felt and part resin soaked felt with sanded corner
part soft untreated felt and part resin soaked felt with sanded corner