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The production process of the leather shoe

The production process of a leather shoe is a difficult process. Before you find the shoe, you are looking for, many steps are made. I guess you are wondering how this process really works. please read below.

The upper part

To be able to follow the process of how leather shoes are made, it is important that you know of which parts a shoe is made. The upper part of the leather shoe is the most important part, if you are looking to complete your look or outfit. The upper part is actually the entire shoe, except for the sole. The upper part consists of two layers and can be made of all kind’s op leather. A sturdy type of leather is used for the outside and a somewhat softer type of leather for the inside.

The sole

Just like the upper part, the sole is an essential part of the shoe. The sole consists out of three layers. The first layer is the insole. This is the area directly under your foot. This part is also visible in the inside of the shoe. The second layer is the midsole. This part fits under the insole and is the only part in the shoe which is not made of leather. The midsole is made of shock-absorbing materials, so your comfort during a long walk is definitely improved. The last layer is the outsole. This layer is placed under the midsole and is the part where your shoe touches the ground.

The last

The use of a last can’t be missed during the process of making and designing a leather shoe. The last is a mold of a foot. Shoes are formed on the basis of a specific last. Usually one last is used. However, a last can also be specially made for your own foot.

Producing the shoes

Het ontwerp

Before you are able to produce a shoe, you need to make a design first. This design can be made by making a sketch by and or computer programs. While designing, we most of the time look at the material, the designer is going to use. However, the color and shape of the shoe are also very important while making a sketch. When the design is ready, the shoes are brought to a special shoemaker. He or she designs a last with tape. When the design has been drawn, the shoemaker removes the tape with the design from the last and places it on sturdy material. A re-usable pattern is then made, this pattern is used to properly cut out the leather.

Het bovendeel bevestigen

The two layers of leather that complete the upper part are cut out with the pattern, which was made in the previous step. These layers are stitched together. After stitching, the leather is placed around the last again. It is important that the leather is wrapped around this as tightly as possible. This is the only way, the leather will fit the perfect form.

Attaching the sole

Several steps are made to attach the sole

Stap 1: Werkwijze kiezen

There are various methods to which a sole can be attached. It’s important to choose the method which fits your idea of shoe designing best. There are two common methods to choose from. These stitching methods are called ‘the Blake’ and ‘the Goodyear’. With the Blake method the sole is sewn through from the inside and with the Goodyear method there is an extra edge around the shoe.

Stap 2: Binnenzool bevestigen

Once the method is chosen, the insole can be placed. With the Blake method, the insole is placed at the same time as the leather upper is placed. The insole and the upper are glued together. With the Goodyear method, the insole is attached to the edge of the sole and the upper by a horizontal sewing stitch.

Stap 3: Middenzool bevestigen

After attaching the insole, there is still a place for the midsole. The midsole is placed under the insole.

Stap 4: Loopzool bevestigen

To attach the outsole, it is stitched to the bottom of the leather shoe. In this step you can choose for the Blake and Goodyear method as well. the stitching is a bit further inward at the Blake method. With the Goodyear method, the stitching comes through the outsole and the sole edge. This ensures that the stitching is a little more on the side of the shoe.

And last but not least, the heel!

To complete the shoes, the heel still has to be placed. It is important that the shoes are removed from the last. The heel can be glued of nailed under the outsole.

You are ready to wear your shoes with love! Blundstones follows this process for a long time. Do you want to know more about how to maintain your shoes? Please read our other blog