I’m happy to welcome you into the second update of our June campaign. I’m sure you’re excited to hear about your products, so let me tell you how things are going around here.
Right now, our beautiful leather is being cut and stitched to form the uppers and linings in your shoes. This first stage is very important. Our artisans need to carefully inspect all the leather hides and make sure they choose the best parts.
After they have selected the hides, they start cutting each piece. Now, cutting the uppers is not as simple as it might seem.
Take a look at the skin on the back of your hand. You will see that if you stretch it one way or the other, it will be more or less elastic. Something similar happens with leather hides.
The artisans know which way of the leather can be more elastic, and also recognize the orientation of the fiber.
This is very important when cutting each of the parts to form the uppers. Artisans will make sure they place each patterns to cut them according to the grain and fiber orientation of the hide.
This is something you can only achieve when you follow a hand-cutting process. Each cut will be unique and each piece have been thoughtfully selected to build the best shoe possible.
With other methods, such as CNC machine, you will for sure get perfect cuts. But it also has great disadvantages. First, CNC optimizes for maximum yield and efficiency, instead of optimizing for getting the right cut from the right place.
In this case, quality suffers. For example, artisans know vamps should always be cut close to the spine area of the hide and following the grain. This will help with the lasting process and will create a natural creasing pattern at the flex point.
With CNC, the system nests the pieces where it sees fit. So the machine could cut the vamps from the belly or neck, for example, which is not ideal.
Second, most of the time the CNC machine will need to use corrected leather to be able to nest properly. Again, the quality of shoes will suffer. In our case, we use only full-grain leather and take time selecting it.
As you can see, there’s a unique advantage of having the leather cut by hand. Behind hand-cutting, there’s an expert eye that knows how to select hides. A caring hand that cut by cut imprints in your shoes a unique character you wouldn’t find in automated cutting.
The experienced and crafty hands you see in the pictures are Manuel’s. Let me tell you his story!
Manuel is cutting the leather for you
Manuel (AKA Manuel Augusto) is 62 years old, and has been working in shoemaking for 43 years. He remembers how he was born between leather hides and lasts.
Since he can remember, his mom was always involved in making shoes. It was with her skills she was able to bring her kids up.
“We would live on top of the workshop. My siblings and I would come down to play hide-and-seek between the sewing machines.”
Everything in his life has to do with shoemaking. He also remembers how he would sit in the workshop to do his homework.
As he was growing up, he learned all necessary skills from his mom. Eventually, he found his own path and became a shoemaker himself.
While he cuts the leather with surprising precision, he tells me about his family. About his son who was able to go to university and now works for a big bank in Bogotá. About his wife and how she takes care of his daughter, who has a medical condition.
Amidst the difficulties he faces, he’s glad to have a job to support his family. He even has two granddaughters. Smiling, he says one of his favorite things to do is to take them out to the park on the weekends.
I ask him about the tools he uses to cut the leather. He has managed to integrate in a single tool the sharp cutting blade, with the markers to trace where the eyelets should be.
He also says it is important to protect his fingers. He wraps pieces of leather around them, then covers the leather with masking tape.
These are the hands that have carefully cut each of the pieces for your uppers.
These are the hands of an experienced and skilled man who, above all, has fought throughout his life to chase his dreams.
These are the hands that have produced a high-quality product which will soon be in your hands.
Thank you for reading and please stay tuned for future updates. If you have any questions or need to update your contact info before we ship in September, we’re happy to help!
Don’t hesitate to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, use the live chat on our website, or call us at 1-844-423-2538 (Monday-Friday, 9am-5:30pm EST).
That’s it for now. Remember I am here to help. If you think someone you know might be interested in these updates, don’t forget to share them :)