Nesting and Cutting Leather with Grant Stone

Nesting patterns onto the leather is the first step to making the shoe or boot upper and is one of the most important. “Nesting” is when a person methodically maps out the upper patterns onto the leather hide. This allows the person to closely inspect the article and avoid any blemishes while utilizing the majority of the hide. It’s one of the most critical steps for a few reasons. For a factory, this is where money can be made or lost. It is a difficult job because there isn’t a straight-forward Standard Operating Procedure, and you may not know the result of a decision made until the shoe is nearly finished. For example, a questionable piece of leather may look okay once the shoe is lasted as the upper is supported. Once you remove the last, the upper may show wrinkling or other issues which were not apparent.

Every leather acts differently when it comes to aesthetics and performance. The pattern being used also plays a large factor, as some are broken in to multiple pieces while others can be a large, single pattern, which can make it difficult to find a suitable area on the hide. Even when sourcing leather from world-renowned tanneries, properly cutting the pattern (including direction) is critical. The majority of high-end footwear leathers are tanned with aniline dyes which purposely reveal the natural characteristics of the leather. While the transparency gives the leather a certain depth and character, it also exposes the blemishes such as veins or scars. It’s quite common to find subtle lines throughout the best areas of the article which tend to be near the rear-end of the animal, just beside the backbone. This part of the animal’s skin has endured less movement and encounters less everyday abuse such as cuts and scrapes.

Pictured below is a cow hide used on casual footwear which has a high wax and oil content. This article has an exaggerated “pull-up” effect which means the oils and waxes inside the article are able to move around freely. Not only does this give the article a lot of character, this will keep the article hydrated over the years when enduring water and other elements. When this article is pulled over the last, the oils and waxes are drawn out of the article highlighting the base color of the leather. This type of leather (especially in lighter colors) can be quite difficult because some blemishes that were not visible due to the oils will appear after lasting.

When mapping out the leather, cutting an extra half pair from a hide will improve yields but if the shoe is pulled aside later on in the stitching or lasting department due to quality issues such as excessive wrinkling or blemishes, the loss is much greater than just avoiding that part of the hide to begin with.

The standard comes down to the type of footwear being made, the cost and what the consumer expects. A bespoke maker might only cut one pair of shoes from an entire hide, while a volume manufacturer with very competitive pricing will try to use every last bit of the article. We have to find a middle ground, but tend be more cautious with our cutting, as we understand that there will be fewer issues later in the process and end product will be sound, as our customer expects.

Marks such as scars can’t be used on this type of footwear, so they are avoided altogether. If we had to summarize our cutting standard, we might say that we focus more on the overall grain structure. While most of the loose grain is near the edges of the article or the belly area, loose grain can also be found in the center of the article. To avoid using these areas, the person nesting has to inspect the area, lightly moving or flexing the leather to see how it reacts. This will give an indication of how the leather will look if it’s flexed during the make process or on the finished shoe. Another way to check is not only on the surface of the leather, but the flesh side. The below photo shows the grain side and flesh side of a prime area (A), versus the belly area (B). It is clear how the belly area has wrinkles on the surface and how it translates to loose fibers on the flesh side. While loose grain is usually considered a cosmetic concern, it can affect the integrity of the shoe as loose fibers are not as strong.


The 5 Best Core Removers

A core remover can save you time and frustration in the kitchen. It can be used to quickly, neatly remove inedible cores from fruits and vegetables, allowing you to create more perfect slices.

What is a core remover?

A core remover is a kitchen tool used to remove the cores of fruits and vegetables. It typically consists of a half circle with a scooped side or a handle with a circular cutting device at the end. Along with coring fruits, it can also be used to core pumpkins, cucumbers, zucchinis, cupcakes, and more.

Top 5 core removers

OXO Good Grips Apple Corer
The OXO Good Grips Apple Corer features a large, soft rubber handle that absorbs pressure and won’t slip in your hands. The durable stainless steel core head offers precise cuts and can core the whole fruit at once. The core is easily removed from the tool with a simple shake. It is dishwasher safe for easy cleanup and features a large hole for hanging.

Cuisipro Apple Corer
The Cuisipro Apple Corer is quick and easy to use. Simply insert it into the apple, pull out the core, and press the lever to split the tool in half for easy release of the core. The ergonomic handle easily twists to push the corer through the apple. The large diameter and long, sharp serrated teeth easily break through all types of apples. It is dishwasher safe for easy cleanup.

Silver Stainless Steel Pineapple De-Corer
Silver Stainless Steel Pineapple De-Corer is ideal for larger fruits, like pineapples. The durable stainless steel blade can peel, core, and slice a pineapple in seconds. It’s fast and easy to use. Simply grip and turn to slice the fruit one slice at a time or cut the whole fruit up at once. It ensures perfectly-shaped rings every time and preserves the shell, in case you want to use it as a bowl. The knob and slicer separate with a button for easy cleaning.

Calphalon Easy Grip Apple Corer Slicer
The Calphalon Easy Grip Apple Corer Slicer can core and slice apples or pears in one quick motion, so you can enjoy perfectly-sized slices in seconds. It has stainless steel blades that are designed to stay sharp over a lifetime of use and oversized, offset handles for better leverage and control. This soft control zone also offers greater comfort.

Chef’n StemGem Strawberry Huller
The Chef’n StemGem Strawberry Huller is particularly ideal if you tend to core large amounts of strawberries at once as it will save you a lot of time. It leaves more flesh intact, so you can eat more fruit or easily fill the soft fruit with chocolate. It’s easy to use. All you do is push the green button, insert the stainless steel claw into a strawberry or other soft fruit or vegetable, twist, and press the button again to get rid of the strawberry core. The cute design is easy to spot in your kitchen drawer and is dishwasher safe for easy cleanup.


Hair Oils for All Genders

No matter your gender or hair type, there’s an oil out there for you. Chances are it’s also better for your tresses than several other products that offer short-term benefits, but in the long run, end up building up on your hair and leaving it drab. Whether opting for coconut or argan oil, applying before shampoo or after, oils penetrate your hair (rather than simply coating it) and leave it nourished, soft and shiny. Especially good at caring for post-summer hair that’s been fried and frazzled in the sun, sea, and pools, here are a few of our favorite hair (and face) oils that will have your locks looking and feeling healthier in no time.

F. Miller Hair Oil

Made up of 14 botanical oils, F. Miller’s blend ($48 CAD) is divinely aromatic. With all-natural oils including argan, pomegranate seed, jojoba, rosehip seed (especially good for protecting against sun rays), rosemary, clary sage and more, this product is concocted to soften and protect hair—in the long term making it stronger and silkier. Especially good for dandruff-prone scalps, this blend is to be applied to wet or damp hair after washing.

Goldfaden MD Solution Fleuressence

Developed as a face oil, we were curious to extend Goldfaden MD’s elixir ($129) value beyond improving skin elasticity and discovered a couple drops de-frizzes, but in a lighter way, rendering hair as if it had been blown dry. Made up of pure active botanical, fruit extracts, and natural oils, the fragrance-free blend includes Kalahari oil (for omega-6), rosehip (to protect against pollutants) and more.

Peet Rivko Balancing Face Oil

Another face oil, Peet Rivko’s serum ($56) of avocado, jojoba, and prickly pear oils is full of antioxidants and will nourish your hair at the same time. This fragrance-free oil is light and clean, so will work for those with finer hair. Adding a little shine and weight, it’s a great styling product that will de-frizz any tresses that have been subject to chlorine or city humidity.

Oille Hemp + Sea Kelp Organic Hair Serum

For use before shampoo, Oille’s Hemp + Sea Kelp Organic Hair Serum ($78) has lasting effects, despite being rinsed out. While massaging into the scalp for two minutes, this oil penetrates the roots, offering extra protection and leading to stronger hair. The active ingredients include hemp, sunflower, castor, sea kelp extract and algae extract, resulting in a product that’s 99% organic.


Tech-Forward Climbing Gear

Technology in climbing is nothing new—the industry is always evolving to assist humans with their mountain pursuits. That said, the tech keeps getting better. Gear is getting lighter, more durable, more functional and more fluid, giving climbers an edge while they are performing physically demanding feats. Having the right gear doesn’t just make climbing easier, it also makes it safer. New products features mean your outdoor adventures need not be death-defying. Here we have outlined some of the most exciting new gear to come out this year.

The GriGri+ ($150) is an assisted braking device from the French climbing company Petzl. Although the GriGri has been around for many years, the GriGri+ iteration has taken belaying to another level of safety. When used correctly, this product breaks with some assistance instead of traditional belay devices that are entirely manual. The new GriGri+ has two modes for either lead climbing (which feeds rope easier) and top rope (which catches and locks faster). It also has an anati-panic locking system in place when the lever is pulled too hard during descents. Thus making the GriGri+ an ideal tool for both novices and experts.

Black Diamond Equipment’s new Camalots (protection devices used in traditional climbing) have shaved 25 percent of their predecessors’ weight off. For longer routes, losing equipment weight can make a huge difference. Black Diamond was able to remove this weight off their Ultralight Camalots ($90 to $130) by replacing the steel cable with a stronger, lighter-weight Dyneema cord, smaller wires in the mechanism, and a lower profile sling.

American-made Sterling’s new Dry XP ropes ($90 to $370) far exceed the UIAA’s (International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation) water-repellent standard of less than 5% water-absorption. Water changes ropes over time, making them heavier and more susceptible to damage. It can also affect the stretch and the rebound of a rope, ultimately changing the performance of the rope. Dry XP works with a DryCore process for the internal fibers and an external nanoparticle coating called DeltaDry that’s environmentally friendly.