It is amazing how technology has changed over the years, in terms of how things were made and how they are now made. The footwear industry is one such area where technology is now used to create shoes and to sell them at online shoe auction sites. But how do they make shoes?
It is actually quite an interesting and involved process. Of course the process may vary, but some of the premier Italian designers use this method of putting together their seasonal collections. It all starts with deciding on the shoes for the season.
The first step is to decide on the type of toe and the heel height. The toes may be pointy, square or round and the heel could be any height that they choose to make their collection stand out, so to speak. Putting down sketches of the designs put them in perspective.
The sketches are sent to technicians who use special software to design patterns. The patterns are printed on cardboard and forwarded to the cutting department. This is where the pattern is cut from leather for the uppers.
Uppers include the lining, the heel and the vamp of the shoe. The average amount of shoes cut from a skin is approximately three and a half. The cutting room staff does their best to cut in such a way that no skin is wasted.
All the different parts are stitched together in the sewing department. Here the toecap is inserted between the lining and the vamp as reinforcement. Most shoes are reinforced to ensure that the shoes do not wrinkle.
Another department creates the components for the soles. This includes the insoles, counters, heels and lasts. All shoes have a counter that reinforces the back of the shoe. Different sizes require different lasts. The same heel is used for the round size and the half size of shoes.
The different components are put together in the lasting room. In the old days, lasts were wooden, but today they are made of plastic. The last helps to shape the shoe. The upper is placed over the last and the insole is glued to the bottom. The heel is then nailed onto the sole. The last is then removed and the sock lining is inserted.
In the final step, the shoes are cleaned and brushed. Bows and other ornaments are added and the shoes are packed for shipping. Next time you buy a new pair of shoes from an online shoe auction site, you know the long way that they have traveled.