NOW: Please, make it stop.
Cowboy Boot by Duck Menzies (Temple, TX.) Photo by Marty Snortum.
Shapes are cut out of a boot top, and layers of colorful leather are placed underneath. The inlays are held in place with one or more rows of stitching.
A simple, wonderful pair vintage boots. The the red hearts and the white flashes are inlay …bordered by 2 rows of yellow stitches.
Inlay can be crude, like it was pounded out with a cookie cutter. In the 1950’s, the factory makers of kids cowboy boots were clever at thisâ€”simple punchy shapes like pistols, stars, longhorns and ponies. Yee haw!
Inlay can be fancy. Here is a special “behind the scenes” look at leather inlay. The cowboy boots made by Texas Traditions (Austin, TX) have an undeniably elegant lookâ€¦ this photo essay teaches you a few of the shop secrets. Even their simple designs get a fine touch. The shapes are cut into the boot tops using a sharpened blade fashioned from a sewing machine needle. The leather inlay pieces are thinned down at their edges with a sharp knife (“skived.”) And, the rows of stitched are placed one at a time. Beautiful.
You can see more finished boots made by Lee Miller, here.
Unfortunately, the shop is no longer accepting new customers.
Photo by Marty Snortum.
I like sawtooth inlay.
Look at the rows of stitching, in the many colors. How many? Maybe, 4? The thread gives a warm glow to that blast of white inlay. Bid (or buy) on eBay.
This trip to Texas I retraced some very special steps.
When Tex Robin moved his shop a couple of years ago, I admit I got all sappy and nostalgic over him leaving that old brick building in Coleman.
…but I’ve come to my senses. Welcome to Abilene! Gone are the fire hazards and all the pesky walk-in-and-out traffic. And look! …the walls go straight up and down, and there is my favorite display case…and look over there, there’s even a working electrical socket dedicated to Tex Robin’s guitar and amp.
Tex is doing some beautiful bootmaking. Killer inlays or one-row stitch patterns… doesn’t matter, all good…really good. But be warned, ordering boots from Tex is not for the thin-skinned or the faint of heart. By appointment only. Long wait… and if Tex doesn’t like your design, he’s gonna tell you so. That’ll never change.