Bespoke Shoes Unlaced – a shoemaker's blog

Friday, 11 November 2016

Museo del Calzado in Elda, Spain

Hello once more, dear shoe folk of the world. Once more unto the breach. Or should that be the stitch?

Anyhow, another week in shoe land has been a bit of a challenge after my long and relaxing holiday in Spain. Getting back into the swing of things and all that...

But while I was away, I did make a trip to the Museo del Calzado in Elda which is the centre of the shoemaking industry in Spain. In the Elda/Elche region, they make 70% of the footwear in Spain so it is in the blood of the local people

And with that heritage to draw on, they have one of the best dedicated shoe museums I have been to. Housed in a 3 storey purpose built space, the museum has 3 large halls and a huge library for study

The first room was full of machinery and tools from the industry - last making, closing, and making.







With a lot of vintage photographs and documents from the history of shoemaking in Elda, it also had a lot of shoe inspired artworks on the walls which I particularly enjoyed



I really liked this series of pencil drawings of bespoke shoemakers. Notice how cool and hipster us shoemakers are. Beards to be proud of.
And if ever called upon, you will be able to say the names of the shoemaking processes in Spanish.



















The second room was full of shoes - ethnological shoes, fashion shoes, historical shoes, and the shoes of famous people.


Gent's shoe in zebra from. 500 BC


Arabic Patten in Iroko Wood Encrusted with ivory, ebony and bull horn. 14th Century

19th Century French Shoes for Dehusking Chestnuts. The husks were used for medicinal Purposes

Look familiar?
 I have to say the famous people were mostly Spanish unsurprisingly and I hadn't heard of many of them apart from the sportspeople like this guy and several others like Severiano Ballesteros, Rafa Nadal and Alberto Contador.


The fashion shoes were pretty cool.

70s disco shoes...

Platforms. Yeah, baby!

These were amazing, the closing was exquisite with the super fine slip beading in yellow

And these were incredible. The layering is done in the lining too. Not my size...
Room 3 was full of miniatures which were pretty mind blowing. How did they have time to make them? We never have a minute to spare. But I do really like that tradition of making miniatures to show off your skills. Maybe when I'm older...



Insanely small shoes




 Room 3 also had some experimental shoes and a whole load of handmade, welted shoes which were exquisitely crafted - excellent work.

Single seam wholecut boot - impressive!

 They had a mock up of a small shoemakers workshop with last making, closing and shoemaking all going on in the same place. Just liek it used to be in most towns in Europe




Vintage packaging

I hope you have enjoyed the pictures. I loved the visit and would recommend it to anyone. A must if you are in the area. In fact, worth a trip to Spain for

Until next week, happy shoemaking!