How to make shoemaker’s waxed ends

 We managed to produce our first movie to explain something impossible to do in words

MOVIE waxed end


It is well known that ancient shoemakers stitched with ‘waxed ends’, consisting of waxed thread and hog bristles. It was even known in Roman times and probably earlier. A satirical text from the 4th century, the testamentum porcelli, tells us about a piglet that bequeathed his bristles to the the shoemakers : “Donabo sutoribus saetas”.


How to fix the bristles on a thread is a millennium old tradition, a heritage that was handed down through countless generations of artisans until modern technology proposed new methods  rendering hand sewing obsolete. We almost lost this precious piece of professional know-how.


Our repeated attempts to do it right failed although we had written and illustrated descriptions from earlier times about how this particular operation was supposed to be done. It is only after an old shoemaker showed us the trick that we finally where able to do it right. Some things are better understood through demonstration than from books, much as it is easier to learn knitting when grandmother sits next to us, shows, explains and corrects.

This post has 3 Comments

  1. Luke on 09/05/2014 at 12:04 pm

    Thank you so much for this! Like your experience, I have tried in the past to made waxed ends but it has always ended in failure. I will try again with your video and see if I can make it work.

  2. Jody on 03/14/2017 at 4:07 pm

    Hi there,Does anyone know how to reset the language back to English on this thing? I aceincdtally changed it to some other language upon turning it on the first time and can’t get it back. Help!!!

  3. Los Angeles, CA car insuance on 05/10/2017 at 3:46 pm

    I blame the fluoride in the water.Hitler used it…as well as Stalin to curb the masses….to keep them calm, no matter what happens to them.Main ingredient in most anti- depressants…. hmmm

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