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Old 08-24-2003, 03:42 AM   #1
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Hard sole mocs tutorial

Well, I guess I ought to start this tutorial since I said I would. Folks this is not going to be put up on the board really fast cause I have tons of other projects going at the same time, but I will try not to drag it out forever.

I am going to do this as a general plains style hard sole moc which can be adjusted slight to the subtle differences to fit a more specific tribal style.

The first thing is to choose your materials. You can do this based on how much you want to spend and how much wear and tear the mocs are going to take. You will need two types of leather -- something hard for the sole (duh) like russet/saddle leather, latigo or rawhide and something soft for the upper like deer, elk or moose hide.

The most traditional way would be rawhide soles with brain tanned hide for the uppers (if that is important too you), but it will also be the most expensive for most people.

Soles - what to use for the sole will depend on personal preference, how much you can spend and how much use the mocs will get. Latigo and rawhide hold up very well over the long haul. Latigo will remain flat after use. Rawhide on the other hand will form to your foot once it is used for a while. Russet leather is the easiest to use but also wears out the fastest and should only be used if you can't afford the more expensive leather or you just don't plan on using the mocs that often.

Upper - the upper leather needs to be soft and workable. Brain tanned hide is my favorite choice. Commercial tanned hides are ok too though. If your mocs are going to be beaded and you are using commercial tanned hide you might want to find one with a good loft (fluffy) to the leather since hides like that are easier to bead. Keep in mind too that deer, elk and moose hide stretches to varying degrees. Commercial stretches a lot in comparison to brain tanned too and this stretch will need to be taken into account later on. Avoid cowhide, it does not make very good mocs. Cowhide is thick and rather stiff and hard to work with even when it is split.
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Old 08-27-2003, 03:13 PM   #2
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Where do you think I could get a fairly inexpensive brain tanned hide or a decent commercial hide?

thanks
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Old 08-27-2003, 08:36 PM   #3
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I've used latigo for soles and it works great!!

Please elaborate on the rawhide. Do you have to work it to death? So should it be thicker rawhide? Are you getting it wet, so should you get extra? I've only bought some 'worked' hide, already cut to moc size. Which of course, I can't find anymore.

btw, my cousin upped her price for brain tan hides to between $200-380. OUCH!! She has decent commercial for around $60 - $80, but I'm sure I'm shooting myself in the foot by posting this and she'll be raising her prices when more peeps inquire.

When looking for a commercial hide, have a needle with ya and make sure it goes thru easy!! That's why I use size 12s to sew EVERYTHING (except rawhide, of course - then I used the smallest buckskin needles).
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Old 08-28-2003, 02:11 AM   #4
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Wyo_Rose

The rawhide I am talking about is not like rawhide used for drums and such. Moc sole rawhide does not have the epidermis removed and in fact often all the hair is not removed either. Mind you it ain't 'furry' or nothing, but it is more like the flesh side is scrapped and then the hide is allowed to dry and then the fur side is scrapped. This way the epidermis is tuff and won't scrap away, the scrapper just kinda rips and breaks the hair in two, so any hair left is short and sporadic. I will post a pic of some rawhide for moc sole that I have around here waiting to be made into mocs. A rawhide sole are no harder to work with than a thick (1/4") latigo sole is. They are usually only about 1/8" thick, so yes if you look at the same thickness they are harder, but not any harder than a thick latigo sole.

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As for places to buy brain tanned hides....well, I would suggest you find someone in your area that does them. I personally hate to buy any hide and especially brain tanned hides sight unseen. Brain tanning can be a tedious process and some folks don't work the hide as much as it should be to get them done faster. For this reason I always like to see a hide before I buy it.
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Old 08-28-2003, 11:43 AM   #5
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I could sure as heck use some help as well;) I found out the hard way that cowhide is NOT the way to go, too damned tough to work with

Anyways, a few questions:

Do you have to use a welt in construction of the mocc?

I have tried to make a pair before, but when I got around to the heel part, I found out the top part did not match the heel part, for example I tried to sew it to the top, and when I put the mocc on, it was too small! That and I am unsure of how to sew up the back of the mocc.. hmmmmmm
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Old 08-28-2003, 01:08 PM   #6
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OIC! I thought those soles were kinda hairy!:Chatter

Well, I really still don't know where to get it. Does Crazy Crow sell it, or somewhere like that?

Sounds like it would be the easier kind to make yourself. If I have a free month maybe I'll try it this fall.
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Old 08-28-2003, 02:25 PM   #7
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You may want to try Leather Unlimited if you're not into Tandy's.
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Old 08-28-2003, 02:32 PM   #8
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for my first try at plain mocs i went to the leather company in austin tx (sometimes it's tandy's) and talked a lot w/ the guy there that makes renfaire boots (very common in texas, actually) showed me the leather they have labelled as (i think) moccassin leather or sewn shoe leather, or something like that.. as fair season was dying down i got it discount (and i drug along a friend w/ a wholesale membership; a bunch of fire performers just all pitch in and about four dozen or so of us use the same card:))
they have *thus far* been very nice and comfy and reasonably water resistant, i added an insole for my flat feet but otherwise it just that leather... i've danced in them indoors and outdoors and wore them around town for a few weeks to break them in and to get used to the feel of them.
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Old 08-28-2003, 04:23 PM   #9
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PWB49
YOU Are a life saver . I've been looking for this pattern for a while . anything that saves me money i'm happy with. I scanned thyis aff from northern traditional dancer but it turned out unreadable . you are so great.:D







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Old 08-29-2003, 01:08 AM   #10
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Well, here is the pic I said I would take of the sole leathers. The bottom left is latigo, the bottom right is rawhide and the roll at the top is russet/haress leather.

I should be able to start getting some more post up on this after the holiday weekend.

MD

Thanks for the vote of confidence but what I am posting is not from that book. This is my experiences at making mocs over the last 20+ years. I would say without a doubt there are better folks at making these things than me out there but I don't think I am too bad at it. About 2 years ago I finally started getting them to turn out the way I thought they should and my kids mocs that are posted in the gallery are what my mocs are looking like these days. Oh yeah, and I haven't even posted the part about how to make a pattern yet...LOL!
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Old 08-29-2003, 01:36 AM   #11
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Old 08-29-2003, 08:16 AM   #12
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Old 08-29-2003, 02:38 PM   #13
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wipes her little chin ...darn didnt mean for anyone to see that ...roflmao
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Old 09-07-2003, 05:52 PM   #14
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PWB49:
a few questions , can you get russet/ harnessand rawhide leather at Crazy Crow ? would garmet suede buckskin be able to stand extreme dancing at least once a month and still be able to be beaded? thanks in advance




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Old 09-07-2003, 06:00 PM   #15
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MEN NIE !!!!



*says in whisper* heres a hankerchief , go clean up

and I assure we all noticed that huge WAVE of SLOBBER drowning most of us


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Old 09-07-2003, 08:57 PM   #16
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I can't affirm PB49's comment about cowhide enough. I took a class umpteen years-ago. Because it was only a mocc making class and not beadwork, the instructor bought cowhide splits for practice, like you get in some kits. When the hardsoles rolled around, about half the people in the class beaded their uppers between class sessions (so did I, but on my own elk hide, LOL). During the turning all around the classroom you could hear the ping ping rip of the beadwork tearing right out. It was ugly.
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Old 09-08-2003, 01:48 PM   #17
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Crazy crow does sell russet leather, though they may not call it that. It is the stuff they sell for straps and to make belts out of. They also sell latigo in the right weight that is need for moc soles. I have never seen moc sole rawhide being sold by them though. The rawhide can be hard to find and once you find a vendor that sells it is best to keep their name if you like using the stuff. There is a vendor in MI that sells it and I often pick it up from him. Flying Feathers is the name of the outfit. If I can find his card I will post his phone #.

As for garment suede holding up...isn't that stuff also called a deerskin split, meaning it has had the smooth side shaved off so it is suede on both sides? If it is then I would say no, but if it is not a split then it should be ok. Deerskin splits are very thin and do not hold up well over the long haul. They work well for making fringe for dance clothes but not making mocs out of.

Hopefully over the next couple of days I can get the next step posted and field a few more questions.
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Old 09-08-2003, 05:06 PM   #18
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I get what your saying . So basically you want strap leather . I can see it know . Crazy crow sells whole hides of strap leather . I'm sorry i never put strap and harness together as meaning the same thing, sorry my stupidity. i'm going to check that place you suggested first. thanks PWB49



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Old 09-10-2003, 03:16 AM   #19
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There are some other tools and things that one will need to have to put together this style of mocs.

An awl -- the awl will be used to prepunch the holes in the sole and will also be used to punch the holes for the laces. It is best to have an awl with a thin point. I say this because a fat pointed awl will have the tendency of ripping out the holes punched in the soles, especially in thinner material like the rawhide soles.

Imitation sinew -- used to sew the upper to the sole and tongue to the upper.

Glovers needles -- a medium size (4 or 6) is my preference.

Needle nose pliers -- for pulling the glovers needle through the sole leather when sewing the soles and upper together.

scissors -- you need these for the obvious reasons

A good pen or grease pencil will be needed for marking the leather and making the patterns for the upper and sole.

exacto or utility knife -- this is optional and is for the sole leather. It can be very difficult to cut this weight leather with scissors and often using a knife is a bit easier, but if you do use this method be careful and go slow so you do not cut into the canter of the sole itself or slip and cut into YOURSELF.

*** (Also if you are going to bead your mocs then you will need all those supplies)
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My comments are based on what I have been taught and my experiences over the years I have been around the circle. They should in no way be taken as gospel truths and are merely my opinions or attempts at passing on what I have learned while still learning more.
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Old 09-10-2003, 03:58 AM   #20
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:D LOL LOL Drolllllsss some more ...winks ....Gets out shopping list . Checks it twice yep yep yep ok ...wait did someone say beads ...hmmmm one can never have enough beads! Ads those to the list wink wink even tho I might not need them yet . Will shop them anyway....(Its all Black Bears Fault ) Sister woman you know it is ...:D Off to that little shopping list now ...Waits at the screen ...drollllllsssssssssss on Moon...oops sorry ...No worries I have a handi wipe.....LOL ....OK PB ..are we there yet ?? j/k
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