I like the extra things and sometimes I rather make a “unnecessary thing” than something that I would actually need. Well of course pattens are not really unnecessary, they are really useful thing to have in bad weather, but to make them for a summer event when you live in a apartment might see a bit unnecessary, at least to make them before you start a new dress that you needed.

But sometimes I can not help myself, I see a thing and then I need it. When I need something I make it!

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I made these for last years medieval week, my mothers boyfriend helped me to make the basic shape with the band saw and then I had a day of carving and filing to do. These I made using hand tools, it is funny since my mothers boyfriend did not really believe that I would pull it of, but I am stubborn.

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I carved out the sole of the patten, to make it a lot more comfortable.

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And I smoothed down the edges and then there was a LOT of sanding to do, I wish that I had the help from the belt sander but stubborn me said “well NO, I will use the sandpaper in stead”.

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But I love how they turned out, so smooth and nice, I also made some leather fastenings for it that I nailed to the wood.
The reason for the stitching is to make the leather not stretch when wet and therefore become to big.

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I glued leather to the undersides, to make it more durable. But after walking 10 meters with them the leather just fell of. The next year I nailed thicker leather to the underside, that worked better.

I also used to soft wood, walking with them for few days made me realise this, but I kind of knew this from the beginning. But I was a test to see if I could make them so I was not surprised. But they have lasted this long so I guess I will make new ones when these dies. I used my mothers old kitchen table for the pattens, which I believe is pine. But I have read on other blogs that alder, poplar and willow are better for pattens.

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When making them it is really important that the “platforms” ends up right for your feet, so that these is no stopping when taking a step, you need to be able to easily “tip” over in the front.
Walking in these makes you feel like a little pony, making the steps echo in the narrow alleys of Visby.


10 thoughts on “Pattens

  1. Those are very impressive. So professional-looking and neat.

    Out of curiosity, what wood did you use and what wood are you planning to use for the second iteration?

  2. After wearing my first generation pattens to threads, I decided touse the same amterial for the second generation (a type of pine wood which the dutch call: grenen). The only change which I made was that I have added a large number of small nails to those areas, which are mot likely to suffer wear during use. I am aware that this is not in line with finds from the medieval periode, but neither are fully paved roads.

  3. These are really great! I have wanted to do this for 35 years but I am not a wood worker so I thought that pattens were beyond me. I am going to try this now. Thanks for the info!!! Lady Cate of Artemisia

  4. msawesomegirl and Panth: I used my mothers old kitchen table for the pattens, which I believe is pine. But I have read on other blogs that alder, poplar and willow are better for pattens.
    I have not really any clue what the tools I used are called, but I think that they are called like this (google is my friend): I used are those U-shape wood carving tools, one of those medium rasps that are rounded on one side and flat on the other, a regular wood carving knife and a lot of sand paper.

    Johan Terlouw: Oh I did that to this year, but I added a layer of thick leather to mine to try to minimize the pony effect, it did not work :P

    Lady Cate: Try it, I am really not a wood worker and thought that I would give up before I tried. But it was not at all as hard as I imagined it, to have the basic shapes cut out with a band saw helps a lot.

  5. You made some beautiful pattens! I recently made my first pair too, using some alder, but I made a different style. Mine are flat, with a leather hinge across the toes (circa 1400 style). It’s tough to walk around in leather turnshoes without any pattens (especially on gravel – ouch!), so I turned to Grew & Neergaard’s Shoes and Pattens. They also recommend poplar or alder, and they mention that beech may have also been used. Since it was my first time making pattens, I started with a model using a cedar plank from my scrap bin, just to get the size and shape right. I wore the cedar ones for a couple hours and they broke down very quickly! I made a few minor adjustments to the fit when I made my alder pair, but I haven’t worn them enough to comment on their durability yet. I wish you luck with yours!

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