Bespoke Shoes Unlaced – a shoemaker's blog

Friday, 9 February 2018

A Closing Family

Hello once more to one and all, welcome to the Carreducker Blog

Sometimes in life you feel like you know someone even if you have never met them. This is the case with some of our suppliers.
You speak to them, sometimes weekly, and build up a rapport with them, have a bit of banter, find out little snippets about  their lives, but you can't put a face to the voice

Well this week that changed with these guys who are a true closing family - Bev, Andy, Steven (mum, dad and son) and long time right hand man, Kevin.

These guys make our uppers for the Carreducker Shoe Making School and have done for many years.

Andy started as an apprentice pattern maker at age 15 and took over the business in 1996. Bev does the admin and son Steven is also a clicker and pattern maker and looks set to take over the reigns when the time comes.
They make uppers primarily for the orthopedic trade but can turn their hands to anything - they make consistently fantastic uppers as many of our students would agree.
They have also done a few weird and wonderful one offs like these shoes we made for an ad campaign in the interiors magazines for a carpet company, all made from fabrics from the shop.

I finally went to Bristol to meet them this week and what a pleasure it was to put a face to the voice.

We started with a tour of the factory

The closing room where the magic happens

Two lovely old Singer machines a the back

I was particularly taken with their punching and gimping machine, a real old beauty.

Look at that lovely solid wood handle
And the gimping/punching attachments were great - you just can't get these any more

In order - ladies' gimping; men's gimping; large single punch; small single punch; and the 2 and 1 brogue punch -lovely!

Really liked this back seam moulder with the lever handle - we are used to seeing these mde of wood and used with a hammer but this does the job faster.

These are their toe medallion punches, large and small

And the mallet they use to use them, although for us, they do our designs by hand.

I went because with the expansion of the Carreducker Shoe Making School this year, we wanted to see all their stock leather colours and get samples of all the things they can do so that we can offer you more choice in the uppers you use on the courses

It was a massive pleasure to have lunch with them and find out more about their lives - shoe people are, in general, and definitely in this case, absolutely lovely!

Thank you to the Sterling Upper Company for such a great welcome and visit.

And with that bombshell, ladies and gentlemen, until next week, happy shoe making!

Sunday, 4 February 2018

New Year New Shoes

Hola a todo el mundo! That is for our dear readers in Ecuador whose numbers have spiked this week - we hope you like the blog and find inspiration.

Good things come in twos, so this week we are posting two new pairs of bespoke shoes.

First up is a pair of Barkan desert boots from our Bespoke Editions service. This is a range of wardrobe essentials for existing bespoke customers - they are hand lasted and hand welted on the customer's last and then the sole is stitched on by machine or cemented depending on the style.

This pair is in dove grey St Crispins Baby Calf which is a pure veg tanned burnishing leather. We love it because once burnished, it has a depth and variety of tone which is truly beautiful. Think browns, pinks and creams - gorgeous!

And the second pair are these claret red, Horween Shell Cordovan monk shoes with gold buckles and a sticker sole for those slippery, wet city streets. After a generous clean and nourishment with Saphir Cordovan cream they have been given a good polish and military shine on the toes. 

Rather handsome don't you think?

That's all from us for now, so until next week, happy shoe making!