step 1: Trace feet and choose shoe style plus leather.
Feet, such as fingerprints, are distinctive. We trace every person’s feet to make sure that the shoes are usually precisely fit the particular unique form of YOUR OWN feet... and within almost all cases that indicates even your personal 2 feet are certainly not precisely the same dimension! Custom shoes
make sure the perfect fit with regard to your unique ft.
Students and customers browse through more than 30 styles associated with Cordwainer Shoes, which includes oxfords, slip-one, shoes, and sandals. The particular majority (about 90%) of these classic, classic shoe
designs were designed by Master Cordwainer Paul Mathews from the 1930s-1980s.
Our leathers come in a huge variety of colors and textures, so there is something for everyone, from conservative to fashion-forward to funky.
Custom leather soles cut from patterns that were made by tracing feet
Step 2: Hand cut uppers and soles from pattern pieces.
Our patterns have stood the test of time and are themselves items of shop background. Some are produced of 1970’s dairy cartons, as well as others are usually made of old-fashioned file folders or even green pattern papers. The majority of the older designs have customer titles and dates. The particular oldest one within use is through 1952!
We make use of 3 different vintage machines (each will be over 100 many years old) to reduce and prepare our own oak-tanned leather bottoms. The first device cuts the best channel, the 2nd cuts underneath route, and the 3rd punches holes across the channel for sewing. Even after the century of usage, this particular equipment is the very best for the work.
Punch, stitch plus assemble leather tops
Step 3: Punch, stitch and assemble tops.
Most styles are usually stitched together upon Molly’s antique Vocalist sewing machine, via which she actually is capable to maneuver it and create ideal rows of small stitches. The Cordwainer Classic style is known as the Candace, nevertheless, is stitched with each other completely manually plus is therefore ideal for teaching at creating schools.
Our hands' punches are aged Osborne punches that will can’t be defeated! We use these types of to create ornamental patterns in the uppers and to make the holes for stitching the uppers to the soles.
Hand-stitch leather uppers and soles together
Step 4: Stitch uppers and soles together.
Hand sole lacing (once you get the hang of it) is very relaxing and rewarding as the shoes really begin to take form. Uppers and soles are stitched together by hand using waxed cotton lacing that is specially made for us by a company in Maine. Our generally hollow needles are also custom made for us.
Step 5: Last, cure, burnish and lace shoes.
Lasting is the process by which shoes are shaped around a wooden form, called a last. The last is slipped into the assembled shoe (hence the name “slip lasting” given to our shoemaking style) and then placed into a warm oven overnight to allow the leather to tighten around the form, or cure, and take the final shape of the wearer.
Once the curing process is complete, we make the heels and taps, trim the soles, and wax and burnish the sole edges, creating a very sleek finished product. The shoes can then be laced, if applicable, and the shoes are ready to wear.
From start to finish, it takes several days to complete a pair of oxford style shoes. Depending on the style of the shoe or particular fitting challenges, the process may take more or less time. Creating each pair of shoes is an extremely rewarding labor of love that preserves decades-old techniques and shoemaking traditions!