How to Make a Pair of Shoes

We often buy them for a special occasion, to fill a need or just on a whim…

But have you already asked the question of how to make a pair of shoes?

Make a pair of shoes is very complex.

This requires a real know-how but also a lot of time!
In this article I will detail all the steps needed to make a pair of shoes but also give you tips to know the difference between a pair of quality and others.

Hang in there, concentrate it’s technical. If necessary refer to the lexicon of the shoe.

The Vision of The Designer

It all starts in the  creative mind of a stylist.

According to his desires, expectations or a divinely inspired it will draw the shoe of your dreams:

  • the extravagant are identified by far
  • the discreet coming to sublimate your outfit
  • etc…

Anyway at this stage everything is possible!

The drawing of the stylist (but also his choice of colours and materials) will serve as a guide throughout the production.

A History of Forms

This is obvious: shoes there for every feet and all forms (more or less dubious elsewhere but is not the topic here…).

According to the wishes of the stylist, the Modeller, is going to make the basis of every pair of shoes in the world: a volume necessary to make a pair of shoes called the shape (a logical name given the utility of the object).

But the Modeller does not only take into account the desires of the stylist.

He’s going to try to make a form where your feet will be able to go, breathe, etc.

In short make it portable and even comfortable to wear!

We understand why the Modeller must possess knowledge orthopedic: bone structure and musculature of the foot in order to offer forms that comply.
Note: At this stage it is obvious that, every foot is unique, the same pair of shoes may not be suitable for everyone.

First wooden forms, once validated, will be then manufactured in plastic and in any required size.

As part of manufactured shoes made-to-measure, forms, unique and tailored to the client’s feet, are carved into a block of wood. For a series production forms are plastic in order to extend their life.

Put The Volume Flat

You understood the form is in volume. Knowing that the leather is ‘flat’ going to necessarily manage to pass from one to the other! It is the role of the Designer / designer.

It will initially carry out what is called a shell.

On this shell it will so redraw lines imagined by the designer and so match between them the different pieces that will form the top and the lining of the shoe (called stem).

He materializes and note all the useful information: stitching, filled, perforations, etc.
note: the folding (technique which consists of inward the edge of a piece of leather for a more aesthetic rendering is one indicator of the quality of realization of a shoes.) The raw edge (ie not tucked) are faster and therefore more economical to achieve but have a less qualitative finish. For example all edges of Jacques & Demeter shoes are filled

All this will be done by ensuring to keep elegant proportions but also to ensure “basic features” of your pair of shoes:

  • opening large enough to get the foot
  • avoid the top of the shoe rubs on the ankle,
  • etc.

The designer / Designer will then proceed to the bursting of the drawing made on the shell and so flat put different constituent parts the stem. This is why we get the bosses of different parts.

The Cutting of The Elements

Patterns are then entrusted to the cutter who will use them to cut out the different parts (they say he raises them) required to make our pair of shoes in the subjects chosen by the designer.

In addition to handling with dexterity of objects sharp cutter to a very important role:

  • He selects the skins: according to their quality ( quality of the leather is of course one of the most important elements in the final quality of the shoes) they are more or less suited to the production of a pair of shoes.
    It is his knowledge of the material that will allow him to choose the good skin to achieve the right part.
  • Leather can be very expensive. The cutter must optimize to the maximum the available on the skin surface in order to limit possible losses!

Note: a quality cutter will know how to choose the part of the more adapted skin for the room to achieve but is also able to see and avoid the defects of leather (insect bite, vein, leather hollow, etc.)

It is also he who cuts (based on the bosses) invisible reinforcements who will be between the top leather and lining.

These elements that you never see are a good way for an unscrupulous manufacturer to make savings (some don’t bother even to).

At the price of leather you imagine the savings using cardboard or plastic for these parts. For Jacques & Demeter shoes we use quality materials, even for items that you do not see
(if you are interested in the subject I invite you to read the article the invisible shoes items)

  • end hard (at the front of the foot)
  • Foothill (at the level of the heels)
  • reinforcements from ears of neighborhood (Yes it’s called like that!) that solidify the passers-by of the laces and avoid the hole tearing when tightening our shoes.

Note: the cut can be made by hand with a knife: slower so more expensive. Or then performed with the away metal pieces using a hydraulic press: faster but the investment to develop the away pieces is therefore. Real headache?

The Assembly of The Elements

Once cut, all the components will be assembled to form the top of the shoe.

It’s called stitching.

It is from this point that the individual pieces of leather will be sewn together to start to give form to the shoe.

To avoid having a fastening when two pieces of leather overlap the Stinger should the deal: that means voluntarily reduced the thickness at the level of connections between the pieces.

The Stinger has also directed the folding: the edge of parts is folded upon itself and then glued and sewn in order to obtain a more aesthetic finish.

Stitching ends by the strain that is an operation during which we assemble the front and rear of the shoe together to get the rod. It will be laced in order to be ready to ride.

Note: the fineness of the stitching is also a good indicator of the quality of manufacture of a pair of shoes. Jacques & Demeter our rods are sewn with close points (5 points per cm) and with a needle adapted to the wire used-it takes time to re adjust the machine to change thread-in order to get a prettier couture and best quality!