Leather Shoes in Ireland


When he was a youth on the Sheltland island of Yell, Tom Tulloch made and wore rivlins [rawhide bag shoes] himself. They were very uncomfortable to wear. In wet weather they got soggy, and in dry weather the soles got so polished that it was difficult to keep your feet. The hair was on the outside and they were made with the hair facing the toe to discourage slipping. They were made from cowhide, scraped, cleaned and salted to preserve it, or alternatively from horsehide or pig hide. They were easily made from a square piece of hide, doubled over and roughly shaped. Holes were punched for the laces and they were laced front and back. Tom demonstrates and describes how they were made.

http://www.tobarandualchais.co.uk/en/play/67482