Tuesday, October 18, 2011

History Of A Shoe Part 2

I know that James will want to tell you all about his travels in person next week, so for this week's post I'm going to catch up with two shoemaking stories we have been following over the last few posts...and to remind you to come along to say hello when we are making in the Gieves & Hawkes flagship store window next week, to celebrate St Crispin's and St Hugh's Day.

The first shoemaking story is our new offering of rubber-soled bespoke shoes and the first pair of bespoke shoes with rubber soles, due to be delivered to our customer next week.
We prepare the shoes as usual by hand but when it comes to welting we welt all of the way around the shoe creating what is called a welted seat at the heel. Our welts come pre-cut so we have to attached an extra section to complete the welt. where the welt sections are joined together, the ends have to be bevelled where they overlap so that they create a single, even thickness welt all the way around.Then the shoes are sent to a specialist company which attaches the sole and trims, stains and finishes it. We are really excited to be able to offer customers an alternative to leather soles and to be able to offer a more flexible choice of bespoke styles. Crepe soled, nubuck desert boots anybody?
Rather handsome don't you agree? Already a bespoke customer, our client wanted a pair of walking shoes for the weekends and chose a traditional English grain derby for the uppers. the sole is a Dainite sole (our favourite) which is sturdy enough for a good country walk, but not so cleated that the wearer ends up with half an inch of mud stuck to the bottom of his shoes.

We hope that he is thrilled as we are when we deliver them to him.

The second part of this post continues James' 'History of a shoe' post. Once made, the all-white shoes were sent with a watch strap as inspiration to be antiqued. Unfortunately they look quite blue in the pictures but are actually a subtle combination of purpley grey and black.
They have been stripped back and layer upon layer of dye has been applied to achieve this wonderful patina...

The same wonderful polisher transformed our acorn brogue oxford and loafers... gorgeous aren't they?

Don't forget to look out for us in Gieves window next Tuesday if you are passing. Until next week then, happy shoemaking and happy St Crispin's Day!