Handcrafted shoes have been in the market for a quite a long period of time now. They tend to be the type of shoes that most people prefer to purchase. Some people prefer them because of the attention to detail incorporated during the design and creation process, the intrinsic beauty, and the level of comfort that can be designed in to the shoes.
Handcrafted shoes although similar to handmade shoes are not the same. In essence, if a shoe was designed and made entirely from start to finish by the hands it is a handmade product. However, if a machine or two was used in the shoe making process, the shoe can be said to be handcrafted. But in a case where the shoe is made just to fit one person’s feet, a particular style and color, the shoe is said to be custom-made. Generally, both handmade and handcrafted shoes have a way of captivating the artistic eye as well as the heart.
When we crafted our first pair of shoes it was a challenging yet enjoyable experience. The steps in the process were very detailed, thorough, and yes, very creative. Everything had to be done just right, every step done to the best of ones ability, or the results would could ultimately ruin the entire shoe.
We will briefly share just a tiny bit of our handcrafting experience. The process can seem daunting at first, but the end results makes it entirely worth it.
In deciding to craft of our first pair of shoes, we had to to come up with an idea of the type of design that we wanted to create. We sought the guidance of experienced shoemakers on the correct process of bringing our design to life. We had to ensure that we were in the right environment for shoe making, ensuring that knowledgeable shoe making experts were on hand, with all the right tools and equipment were availalble.
Normally, the first step is to ensure the correct shoe size, and or measure the feet. We selected the "shoe last" in that size. We carefully selected the type of leather and the color that we wanted. We all know, leather material gives a lovely finish to a shoe, and leather can come in a multitude of beautiful colors. When it comes to choosing the color, we like to elect colors and and design styles that coordinate beautifully with the garments we create.
Next we needed to create a pattern to match the design idea that we had in mind. After creating the patten, we placed the pattern pieces on the different colors of the leather materiel. Each piece was placed in a manner that would create the two tone effect that we had in mind. Then we cut out each piece.
We then applied the leather pattern pieces onto a "shoe last". We stitched the leather together, used a kiln, special glue, anvils, cobbler hammers and other tools required to create, pound into shape, stitch the leather and attached the leather together with the sole.
We had to decide the right type of material we wanted for the sole and heel. We cut the sole and heal out of the selected materiel. Both were cut into the correct shape using a pattern.
If you do not have a lot of experience creating shoes, it is important to have a subject matter expert on hand to help ensure important steps are not skipped. Certain tasks need to be executed in the proper manner and correct sequence. One wrong step can have a detrimental impact on the overall construction, function and comfort level of the shoe.
Of course this is just one variant of a type of shoe that can be crafted, It is always our goal to have shoes with a high comfort level which makes one's feet feel comfortable as we move about daily life.
The best part is the feeling of fulfillment after completion. and marveling at a design that turned out well. It makes all the hard work, time and effort worth it. It was a very rewarding feeling after this particular design was complete. It even caught the eye of a very experienced shoe maker. He was quite impressed with the design and so are we!.
The joy of creating shoes by hand is a wonderful experience!