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day trip to shoe making factory

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planet uk900 Posted: Fri Jan 25, 2008 4:23 pm Post subject:




You mean traditional shoes k4mrc. or just mass produced shoes?


would be great traditional, but either or both!

even my staff would like to have a go!

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Sadly you will find that all of the English Shoe Factories are closed on Sundays ! , Very few will admit "sightseers" due to Health and Safety issues , as well as interupting production , Over the years i have had the chance to visit probably all of the Shoemakers in the UK , both past and present, and many in Europe and the Far East, on Buisness in a former life .

A real eyeopener to see a busy Ladies shoemaking plant in full swing , and all the work that goes in to making jwhat appears to be a simple pair of shoes.

Most of the Mass producers are just "Component Assemblers" , not that much to see , most interesting were the "sports " footwear producers manufacturing for the likes of Nike , Addidas etc , and amusing to see the unbranded products being made on the same machines just a few feet away.

Hope you have some luck in trying to arrange a visit , well worth it if you can manage to persuede someone to let you in , may be better in trying the smaller producers , especially those specialising in made to measure, a few spring to mind that may be willing to show you the secrets of the trade.

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If you are unable to arrange a Factory visit , but are still interested in what actually goes into making a traditional pair of Mens shoes , from selecting the Leathers to the Final Polishing of the finished shoes , I highly reccomend reading the following Book "Handmade Shoes for Men" , published by Koneman 1999 , Authors Laszl Vass , Maqda Molnar .

Probably the most informative book ever written on the subject ,packed full of Colour Photos , and fully illustrated and explained step by step process of what goes in to making Shoes , some of the finest Shoemakers in the world kindly contributed to this publication, Lasslo Vass , John Lobb etc , even a feature on JR Leather ! .

You can still find it on Amazon , and very occasionally on eBay , when supplying the "trade" we bought 500 copies which we gave away as Xmas gifts in 1999 , sadly only have my own valuable copy left .

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just had a quick look on ebay , a few copies of "Handmade shoes for Men" , ISBN No is 3895089281 , item number 250206872465 has 15 New copies avaliable for £9.30 + postage , snap one up quickly , best read on a wet afternoon you will ever get !

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Just watch the you tube videos on the tutorials on here, they are the same as the book but better to view than read, and they cost nowt. Must remeber to preserve my copies of the book. Mine were purchased in those half price type shops that just sell half prive books. I paid £4 something.


Cheapskate :lol:

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