Shoemaking
Overview
 
Shoemaking is the process of making footwear
Footwear
Footwear consists of garments worn on the feet, for fashion, protection against the environment, and adornment. Being barefoot is commonly associated with poverty, but some cultures chose not to wear footwear at least in some situations....

. Originally, shoes were made one at a time by hand. Traditional handicraft
Handicraft
Handicraft, more precisely expressed as artisanic handicraft, sometimes also called artisanry, is a type of work where useful and decorative devices are made completely by hand or by using only simple tools. It is a traditional main sector of craft. Usually the term is applied to traditional means...

 shoemaking has now been largely superseded in volume
Quantity
Quantity is a property that can exist as a magnitude or multitude. Quantities can be compared in terms of "more" or "less" or "equal", or by assigning a numerical value in terms of a unit of measurement. Quantity is among the basic classes of things along with quality, substance, change, and relation...

 of shoes produced by industrial
Industry
Industry refers to the production of an economic good or service within an economy.-Industrial sectors:There are four key industrial economic sectors: the primary sector, largely raw material extraction industries such as mining and farming; the secondary sector, involving refining, construction,...

 mass production
Mass production
Mass production is the production of large amounts of standardized products, including and especially on assembly lines...

 of footwear, but not necessarily in quality, attention to detail, or craftsmanship.

Shoemakers or cordwainer
Cordwainer
A cordwainer is a shoemaker/cobbler who makes fine soft leather shoes and other luxury footwear articles. The word is derived from "cordwain", or "cordovan", the leather produced in Córdoba, Spain. The term cordwainer was used as early as 1100 in England...

s (cobblers being, historically, those who repair shoes) may produce a range of footwear items, including shoe
Shoe
A shoe is an item of footwear intended to protect and comfort the human foot while doing various activities. Shoes are also used as an item of decoration. The design of shoes has varied enormously through time and from culture to culture, with appearance originally being tied to function...

s, boot
Boot
A boot is a type of footwear but they are not shoes. Most boots mainly cover the foot and the ankle and extend up the leg, sometimes as far as the knee or even the hip. Most boots have a heel that is clearly distinguishable from the rest of the sole, even if the two are made of one piece....

s, sandal
Sandal (footwear)
Sandals are an open type of outdoor footwear, consisting of a sole held to the wearer's foot by straps passing over the instep and, sometimes, around the ankle...

s, clogs and moccasin
Moccasin (footwear)
A moccasin is a slipper made of deerskin or other soft leather, consisting of a sole and sides made of one piece of leather, stitched together at the top, and sometimes with a vamp . Though sometimes worn inside, it is chiefly intended for outdoor use, as in exploring wildernesses and running from...

s.
Encyclopedia
Shoemaking is the process of making footwear
Footwear
Footwear consists of garments worn on the feet, for fashion, protection against the environment, and adornment. Being barefoot is commonly associated with poverty, but some cultures chose not to wear footwear at least in some situations....

. Originally, shoes were made one at a time by hand. Traditional handicraft
Handicraft
Handicraft, more precisely expressed as artisanic handicraft, sometimes also called artisanry, is a type of work where useful and decorative devices are made completely by hand or by using only simple tools. It is a traditional main sector of craft. Usually the term is applied to traditional means...

 shoemaking has now been largely superseded in volume
Quantity
Quantity is a property that can exist as a magnitude or multitude. Quantities can be compared in terms of "more" or "less" or "equal", or by assigning a numerical value in terms of a unit of measurement. Quantity is among the basic classes of things along with quality, substance, change, and relation...

 of shoes produced by industrial
Industry
Industry refers to the production of an economic good or service within an economy.-Industrial sectors:There are four key industrial economic sectors: the primary sector, largely raw material extraction industries such as mining and farming; the secondary sector, involving refining, construction,...

 mass production
Mass production
Mass production is the production of large amounts of standardized products, including and especially on assembly lines...

 of footwear, but not necessarily in quality, attention to detail, or craftsmanship.

Shoemakers or cordwainer
Cordwainer
A cordwainer is a shoemaker/cobbler who makes fine soft leather shoes and other luxury footwear articles. The word is derived from "cordwain", or "cordovan", the leather produced in Córdoba, Spain. The term cordwainer was used as early as 1100 in England...

s (cobblers being, historically, those who repair shoes) may produce a range of footwear items, including shoe
Shoe
A shoe is an item of footwear intended to protect and comfort the human foot while doing various activities. Shoes are also used as an item of decoration. The design of shoes has varied enormously through time and from culture to culture, with appearance originally being tied to function...

s, boot
Boot
A boot is a type of footwear but they are not shoes. Most boots mainly cover the foot and the ankle and extend up the leg, sometimes as far as the knee or even the hip. Most boots have a heel that is clearly distinguishable from the rest of the sole, even if the two are made of one piece....

s, sandal
Sandal (footwear)
Sandals are an open type of outdoor footwear, consisting of a sole held to the wearer's foot by straps passing over the instep and, sometimes, around the ankle...

s, clogs and moccasin
Moccasin (footwear)
A moccasin is a slipper made of deerskin or other soft leather, consisting of a sole and sides made of one piece of leather, stitched together at the top, and sometimes with a vamp . Though sometimes worn inside, it is chiefly intended for outdoor use, as in exploring wildernesses and running from...

s. Such items are generally made of leather
Leather
Leather is a durable and flexible material created via the tanning of putrescible animal rawhide and skin, primarily cattlehide. It can be produced through different manufacturing processes, ranging from cottage industry to heavy industry.-Forms:...

, wood
Wood
Wood is a hard, fibrous tissue found in many trees. It has been used for hundreds of thousands of years for both fuel and as a construction material. It is an organic material, a natural composite of cellulose fibers embedded in a matrix of lignin which resists compression...

, rubber
Rubber
Natural rubber, also called India rubber or caoutchouc, is an elastomer that was originally derived from latex, a milky colloid produced by some plants. The plants would be ‘tapped’, that is, an incision made into the bark of the tree and the sticky, milk colored latex sap collected and refined...

, plastic
Plastic
A plastic material is any of a wide range of synthetic or semi-synthetic organic solids used in the manufacture of industrial products. Plastics are typically polymers of high molecular mass, and may contain other substances to improve performance and/or reduce production costs...

, jute
Jute
Jute is a long, soft, shiny vegetable fibre that can be spun into coarse, strong threads. It is produced from plants in the genus Corchorus, which has been classified in the family Tiliaceae, or more recently in Malvaceae....

 or other plant material, and often consist of multiple parts for better durability of the sole, stitched to a leather upper.

Traditional shoemaking

Most shoemakers use a last
Last
A last is a form in the approximate shape of a human foot, used by shoemakers and cordwainers in the manufacture and repair of shoes. Lasts typically come in pairs, and throughout their history have been made from many materials, including hardwoods, cast iron, and, more recently, high density...

—made traditionally of iron or wood, but now often of plastic— on which to form the shoe. Some lasts are straight, while curved lasts come in pairs: one for left shoes, the other for right shoes.
Traditional shoemakers used to use more than 15 different techniques of making shoes. Some of these are: pegged construction, English Welted (machine-made versions are referred to as "Goodyear Welted" after the inventor of the technique), goyser welted, Norwegian, stitchdown, turnout, German sewn, moccasin, bolognese stitched, and blake-stitched.

Some types of ancient and traditionally-made shoes include:
  • Furs wrapped around feet, and sandals wrapped over them: used by Romans
    Ancient Rome
    Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

     fighting in northern Europe.
  • Clogs: wooden shoes, often filled with straw to warm the feet.
  • Moccasins
    Moccasin (footwear)
    A moccasin is a slipper made of deerskin or other soft leather, consisting of a sole and sides made of one piece of leather, stitched together at the top, and sometimes with a vamp . Though sometimes worn inside, it is chiefly intended for outdoor use, as in exploring wildernesses and running from...

    : simple shoes, often without the durability of joined shoes (although different types of leather have different wear characteristics).

In modern times

Current crafters, in developing regions
Developing country
A developing country, also known as a less-developed country, is a nation with a low level of material well-being. Since no single definition of the term developing country is recognized internationally, the levels of development may vary widely within so-called developing countries...

 or supply constrained areas may use used or surplus
Surplus
Surplus means when there is more supply than demand, as in extra resources.Surplus may refer to: dumd* "The Surplus", an episode of The Office* Surplus: Terrorized into Being Consumers, a documentary film...

 car or truck tire
Tire
A tire or tyre is a ring-shaped covering that fits around a wheel rim to protect it and enable better vehicle performance by providing a flexible cushion that absorbs shock while keeping the wheel in close contact with the ground...

 tread sections as an inexpensive and plentiful material resource
Resource
A resource is a source or supply from which benefit is produced, typically of limited availability.Resource may also refer to:* Resource , substances or objects required by a biological organism for normal maintenance, growth, and reproduction...

 to make strong shoe soles or sandals with.

The Society for Creative Anachronism
Society for Creative Anachronism
The Society for Creative Anachronism is an international living history group with the aim of studying and recreating mainly Medieval European cultures and their histories before the 17th century...

 offers some advice about making period shoes for people engaged in the leisure
Leisure
Leisure, or free time, is time spent away from business, work, and domestic chores. It is also the periods of time before or after necessary activities such as eating, sleeping and, where it is compulsory, education....

 activity of historical reenactment
Historical reenactment
Historical reenactment is an educational activity in which participants attempt torecreate some aspects of a historical event or period. This may be as narrow as a specific moment from a battle, such as the reenactment of Pickett's Charge at the Great Reunion of 1913, or as broad as an entire...

.

In popular culture

The shoemaking profession makes a number of appearances in popular culture, such as in stories about shoemaker's elves
The Elves and the Shoemaker
The Elves and the Cobbler or The Shoemaker and the Elves is an often copied and re-made story about a poor shoemaker who receives much-needed help from elves....

, and the proverb
Proverb
A proverb is a simple and concrete saying popularly known and repeated, which expresses a truth, based on common sense or the practical experience of humanity. They are often metaphorical. A proverb that describes a basic rule of conduct may also be known as a maxim...

 "The shoemaker's children go barefoot". The patron saint
Patron saint
A patron saint is a saint who is regarded as the intercessor and advocate in heaven of a nation, place, craft, activity, class, clan, family, or person...

 of shoemakers is Saint Crispin.

Chefs and cooks
Cook (profession)
A cook is a person who prepares food for consumption. In Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Canada this profession requires government approval ....

 sometimes use the term "shoemaker" as an insult to others who have prepared sub-standard food, possibly by overcooking, implying that the chef in question has made his or her food as tough as shoe leather or hard leather shoe soles, and thus may be in the wrong profession. Similarly, to "cobble" can mean not only to make or mend shoes, but "to put together clumsily; to bungle."

Famous shoemakers

Rabbi Yochanan Hasandlar, a famous sage of the Third Century AD, might have earned his living as a sandal maker, though the nickname might also indicate that he was a native of Alexandria
Alexandria
Alexandria is the second-largest city of Egypt, with a population of 4.1 million, extending about along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea in the north central part of the country; it is also the largest city lying directly on the Mediterranean coast. It is Egypt's largest seaport, serving...

.

Pope Urban IV
Pope Urban IV
Pope Urban IV , born Jacques Pantaléon, was Pope, from 1261 to 1264. He was not a cardinal, and there have been several Popes since him who have not been Cardinals, including Urban V and Urban VI.-Biography:...

, born Jacques Pantaléon, was the son of a cobbler of Troyes
Troyes
Troyes is a commune and the capital of the Aube department in north-central France. It is located on the Seine river about southeast of Paris. Many half-timbered houses survive in the old town...

, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

.

Eva Shoemaker, a modern shoemaker, made her living by bartering with nearby colleagues. She tendered to the Notre Dame community in Los Angeles
Los Ángeles
Los Ángeles is the capital of the province of Biobío, in the commune of the same name, in Region VIII , in the center-south of Chile. It is located between the Laja and Biobío rivers. The population is 123,445 inhabitants...

.

See also

  • Cobbler
    Cobbler
    Cobbler may refer to:* A shoemaker who repairs shoes, rather than manufacturing them .** Cobbler apron, a type of apron that covers both the front and back of the body...

  • Cordwainer
    Cordwainer
    A cordwainer is a shoemaker/cobbler who makes fine soft leather shoes and other luxury footwear articles. The word is derived from "cordwain", or "cordovan", the leather produced in Córdoba, Spain. The term cordwainer was used as early as 1100 in England...

  • Order of the Knights of St. Crispin, an American labor union of 50,000 shoemakers c. 1870
  • Sandler
    Sandler
    Sandler is a surname derived from Hebrew "Sandlar" - "sandal-maker", i.e. shoemaker - which passed over to Yiddish with the same meaning. Thus, persons having this name are likely to have had a shoemaker among their ancestors, though it might be many generations in the past...

  • Shoe repair shop

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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