“Make your carbon footprint bespoke”
The Bespoke Shoemaking Process
Bespoke shoemaking has a long tradition of stylistic and technical evolution, derived from the basic premise of shaping materials to a precise set of personal measurements in order to produce shoes which provide comfort by precisely fitting the client’s feet.
These measurements are used to create a pair of wooden lasts carved, by a specialist tool or knife traditionally used for the purpose, from beech or hornbeam wood, upon which the leather uppers are to be formed. A paper pattern is cut following the shape of each last, and the precision contour facilitates the “clicking” into leather, which results in the shoe’s preliminarily upper. In the case of designs other than whole-cut, separate pieces are sewn together.
The leather upper is then pulled onto the last and further hand-stitched with waxed thread to the innersole. Once removed from the last this half-made shoe can be fitted to the client’s foot for an initial fitting.
Final Adjustments and Fitting
After any final necessary adjustments are carried out through this initial fitting, the half-made shoe is reunited with the last, allowing the outsole and heal to be handcrafted and hand-stitched together in preparation for the final stage. This comprises of a sophisticated set of processes, designed to achieve a range of visual, tactile and aesthetic qualities vital in identifying the style and quality of the shoe.
“The exterior and interior of the shoe come to life from different angles highlighting the beauty and movement reflecting light when it finally leaves the workshop to meet its joyful owner.”
Aftercare & Restoration
With so much time, effort, care and attention to detail invested in these shoes it is important to consider the best way to protect and maintain them. The most obvious sign of damage is scuffing and wearing down of the sole and heel of the shoe, but there may also, over time, be hidden damage such as the collapse of the stiffener at the heal, or distortions to the supporting structures of the innersole (caused by moisture).
“Breathe new life into old shoes; bringing them back to the former glory so that they can continue their journey.”
Shoe Trees and Protection
These problems are usually preventable, by the proper adoption and routines to both feed and protect the leather, stitching and shoe construction. This is done by:
Use the hand made shoe tree – to prevent distortion of the shoe
Allow the shoe to dry out thoroughly and naturally when wet, with the hand shoe tree inserted in the shoe to allow it to shape during the slow drying period and thereby allowing the innersole to revert to shape, whilst the moisture evaporates into the wooden shoe tree.
Brush away dirt and debris after drying wet shoes before any application of polish or beeswax is undertaken. This will, when fully absorbed, feed and nourish the leather, ensuring the flexibility of the shoe is maintained. (For extremely dry leather, shoe cream should be applied overnight prior to polishing.)
Protect your hand made shoes in the pure silk bags provided – when not in use, polish, buff and store.
Always use a shoe horn to protect the stiffeners at the heal, which should not be bent when inserting the foot into the shoe.
Apply polish to clean the leather with a bristle brush. Buff to a lustrous shine after absorption of the polish or beeswax with the soft buffing cloth included in the aftercare bag.
Protect the stitching by using a toothbrush to apply polish into the welt