Footwear is one of the essentials that accentuate the beauty of the wearer. There is no denying the crucial role of shoes in our daily life.
Nowadays, along with the advance of human life quality, leather footwear also helps gentlemen to show their class and charm. The article will outline the most basic steps to manufacture a high-end pair of leather shoes. From there, you will see how much dedication the artisans have put in your luxury men’s shoes.
The Process of Making Leather Shoes
The design process requires sketching a footwear last that mimics the shape of the foot. This plays a vital role in shoe production.
Shoe production begins with preparing a detailed drawing of the type of shoes you want to produce. The drawing is drafted by hand or computer. And it must describe the shoe model from any angle.
Interestingly, designers don't manage to create a new type of shoe for men, as the main men's shoe models haven't changed much in appearance since the 19th century.
Since the late Middle Ages, shoes made in Central Europe used wooden last. Then, the shoemaker began using a wooden last to simulate the foot shape to ensure the shoe fit as desired.
Shoe design started with the creation of basic shoe types with a long-lasting ability, which was later utilized in shoe production. Besides, designing also includes the development of new shoe models for different types of footwear.
Make Shoe Lasts
The longevity is the foundation for a luxury pair of men's shoes. A perfect shoe can be used perfectly until the end.
Shoe lasts are simple three-dimensional models that mimic the feet, and are usually made of wood.
Archeologists confirm that the ancient Romans knew how to use lasts to make shoes. However, the shoe last disappeared. It was not until the Middle Ages that shoemakers began to use the shoe last to make footwear again. Ancient Greeks and Romans considered the difference between the left and the right foot, while shoemakers could only measure one foot and use these figures to make a pair of shoes. Naturally, this will lead to an uncomfortable feeling when wearing.
In the early 19th century, this asymmetry was discovered and brought into use, to ensure the creation of a perfect shoe.
Only the best wood can last longer. During processing and storage, the wood needs to withstand high pressures, humidity, and temperature fluctuations. The types of wood that meet these criteria can be taken from beech, maple, oak, and walnut. However, the best options are copper-beech and alder.
Logs are chopped into pieces that are approximately 32 cm long and 30 to 40 cm thick. This means they can make four to six lasts form a log. The wood is then heated to 120 degrees and let dry for about two years. At this time, the moisture in wood stays only from 16 - 18%. However, the ratio still needs to go down to 10-12%. So, artisans will use the drying chamber to dry wood with hot air for three weeks.
While in the past, these steps were done entirely by hand, these days, shoe lasts are made with printers. The piece of wood is mounted on the lathe inside the printer, and you only need to choose the type and size of the shoe you want. Within 5 to 6 minutes, the printer will create a pair of shoe lasts according to your needs.
The leather pieces will be cut and marked during stamping to avoid further confusion. Once they have been stamped, producers will match pieces of leather that have similar signs.
For this step to be made easily, the edges of each leather piece must be thin. Also, shoemakers mark spots that need to be punched. If shoes follow perforated motifs, the craftsman must mark and punch in the leather first.
During the sewing stage, the cut leather pieces will be sewn together. First, the top pieces will be sewn, then is the sock lining. Also, they reinforce in the toe part and shoe insoles.
To prevent the leather pieces from slipping off, the artisan applies glue to the edges and sticks pieces together. The upper part of the shoe will be stitched first, followed by the lining. After having sewn these two parts, they trim the stitches.
Assemble Shoe Parts
This is the core step of the shoemaking process.
First, the sole is temporarily stuck under the last by three nails. Next, the rubber part is attached to the sole, making it easier to sew on the rear axle. The axles are then pulled, readjusted and fixed to the sole by nails and hot glue.
The leather pieces will then be grafted according to the shape of the shoe last. This stage can take from half a day to two weeks, depending on the type of shoes.
Workers will use the Goodyear stitching structure to stitch the upper, lining and rubber soles of the shoes together.
"Welt" is a leather piece sewn around the lower edge of the shoe. This leather will link the insole with the upper of the shoe together. The outsole is also sewn into the welt, with strong and fixed seams. And due to the appearance of the welt on both sides of the shoe, there will be a small gap between the inner sole and the outer sole of the shoe called midsole. People use a material derived from cork to fill this gap. It is very light, insulated, easy to shape to fit the user's foot, and most importantly, it helps the shoe "breathe".
Once the shoes are fully assembled, the pins will be skillfully removed. If the shoe has holes to decorate, the holes left by this pin will be cleverly combined. Nevertheless, if the leather surface of the shoe is smooth, then these holes will be ignored. Finally, the shoe manufacturer will print the label on the sole before refreshing them.
Perfect Leather Shoes
In the finishing department, craftsmen will do the final stages such as passing the laces through, polishing shoes to achieve high brightness and other stuff. After this step, the shoes will be packed and sent to retailers.
In brief, you can see that designing and producing high-end shoes requires a plethora of production stages. Not only that, leather shoes are appealing only when artisans devote all their enthusiasm, passion, care and attention to their products. Because of the time and effort required, leather shoes always have a quite high price. However, our gentlemen will not have to worry anymore if you choose products from Tucci Polo. The company always strives to bring the most competitive price to maximize customers' satisfaction.
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