Bespoke Shoes Unlaced – a shoemaker's blog

Friday, 19 October 2018

A Visit to Northampton




Hello once more, dear shoe people, to the home of shoelebrity news, views and issues

First up are some pics of the shoes which our students finished last Saturday after 12 intensive days of hard work.

I hope you will agree with us that the results are pretty amazing. A massive well done to all of them




I must say, the standard of work continues to rise and we are amazed at how able, dedicated and delightful our students are. Well done to all of you!

 A couple of weeks ago, we accompanied a couple of students who were here learning Norwegian welting on a trip to Northampton to visit  A and A Crack and Son and Springline Lasts.

Crack are our principle leather merchant who have a fantastic range of leathers from top tanneries around the world like Horween, Annonay, Tempesti, Weinheimer, Zonta, and many more, in particular a great range of veg tanned leathers which we use a lot.
They ship worldwide and what is really great for us is that they sell single skins, so you can buy enough for a single pair of shoes without having loads of skins to spare.

Tony and Stephen are very friendly and welcoming and they were our first stop on our road trip.

If you visit, you need to have an idea of what you want to see because they have so many different kinds of skins there, but they are happy to show you leather of every description

Stephen spent a good hour with us and the students chose some lovely skins which were shipped to California and Sweden.

Examining Tempesti veg tanned skins

Just some of the leathers at Cracks

After a lovely pub lunch in the sunshine, we went to Springline, where Michael James, head last honcho in the Model Room showed us how to measure feet for bespoke lasts.



The Model Room where they develop new lasts for industry and make bespoke lasts



We then had a tour round the factory which was fascinating.

Rough turns waiting to be finished

Digital turning machine which "reads" the last and turns it into a file for subsequent grading

In the factory

They have a massive archive of lasts which is great to plunder for inspiration, new toe shapes and last contours.

The last archive


And that is it for this week, We hope you have a good week and will come back next week for another slice of shoemaking life. Until then, happy shoemaking!