All About Handmade
All shoes throughout the whole process.
Starting from the measurements and up to the moment we pack our shoes for delivery, made Only by Hands full of talent, hands full of passion.
Capital Of Shoemaking
Giza, a world capital of masterful shoemaking, remains home to cobblers who may well be africa's very finest. Approximately 25 masters from around the world their craft are responsible for producing Classic shoes in one of the city’s oldest factories. They work without assembly lines or pressures to churn out massive quantities at a quick pace, creating gorgeous footwear in a way that has nearly gone forgotten in the 21st century.
The master last-maker creates a wooden mould by hand after completing an ergonomic analysis of the foot to combine comfort and aesthetic appeal.All of our shoes are made using the traditional Goodyear stitch and are submitted to a strict quality control process. The shoes are made by a team of skilled craftsmen who carefully handle each stage of production
The Clicking Department is the first stage of production where the shoe’s uppers are cut. The ‘Clicker’ is a highly skilled operative, whose name derives from the ‘click’ sound made when the knife is removed from the leather. Today, the department is a mixture of experienced hands and trainees. The younger members begin cutting lining leather, leaving the experienced clickers to focus on cutting the upper leather, whilst slowly passing on their years of expertise.
At the next stage of production, the uppers are ‘closed’. Closing involves many different operations such as, punching holes for brogue styles, raw edge staining, hand-sewing, machine stitching pre-prepared sections together to form the upper and fitting eyelets. The Closing Room machinists are highly skilled requiring excellent hand and eye coordination.
Preparation of the ‘bottom’ part of the shoes is the fourth stage of production. The insoles and soles are cut from leather bends or rubber sheets using large heavy presses. The leather insoles are prepared for ‘Lasting’ by attaching the material rib, to which the welt will eventually be stitched. The heels are built in-house with leather or rubber lifts and top pieces. At this stage the appropriate lasts are selected to be matched with the closed uppers.
The leather is fitted over the last in a semimanual process. With the help of humid heat, the leather is perfectly moulded to the volume and shape of the last. Once assembly is completed, the shoe is left on the last for four days, so that it will acquire the permanent form that ensures its durability.
An important process in this department is ‘Welt Sewing’ where the operative stitches the welt (a strip of leather) to the rib that has been attached to the insoles. The welt is a key element in the Goodyear-welted process. The bottoms of the shoes are filled with cork and wooden shanks are inserted to provide support beneath the insoles. The soles are then stitched to the welt. This method allows for the soles to be removed for repair without affecting the uppers. After the soles have been attached the shoes undergo a process called ‘Bottom Levelling’, which rounds the soles to the shape of the last.
The leather is treated with waxes and beeswaxes with ermine-hair brushes and tinsel cloth. This is how we obtain the multi-toned polish, avoiding a uniform brilliancy and achieving the patina of a used shoe.
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