The Art of Shoemaking
In spite of the technological progress, it is stil believed that Goodyear welt construction, initiated in the 18th century, is the best production technique as far as men’s shoes are concerned (Loake shoes, for example, are produced in this way).
Four fundamental advantages of Goodyear welted footwear are as follows:
• The shoes can be reconstructed, which means that worn out parts (such as the sole or the cork) can be replaced and the upper of the shoe can be pulled over a last.
• No glue is used, so the shoes last longer.
• The cork adapts itself to the way of walking, which makes the shoes more comfortable.
• The shoes are mainly hand-made, so each pair is unique.
• One pair can be in production for even up to 8 weeks (information provided by Loake). The entire process involves creating 75 footwear parts, which later undergo approx. 200 different operations performed by 130
8 basic stages of Goodyear welt production
CUTTING / “CLICKING”
The process begins with leather parts of the upper being meticulously cut out. The name ”clicking” comes from the sound which the hand cutting knife makes as it is removed from the leather.
…is the moment when parts of the upper are sewn together. At this stage, it is time for operations such as “machining” (reducing in size) an excessively thick piece of leather, staining and folding the leather piece’s edge to improve its appearance.
The upper is pulled over a selected last to be then attached to the insole, the heel and the sides of the shoe. Prior to that, the upper part of the shoe is left in a place where excessive humidity preventing the leather from getting into the right shape is removed.
A “welt” is a leather strip which is sewn together with the upper and the insole, and which will be later attached to the sole. Thanks to that, a skilled shoemaker can resole the shoe in future.
Stitching the sole to the welts guarantees durability.
The edges of the sole are trimmed to a desired shape. It is a highly detailed work, and therefore is done “freehand”.
BURNISHING / DRESSING
The last operations are burnishing, dressing and polishing shoes. This time-consuming activity is done entirely by hand. In further parts of the production process final details are being looked into, e.g. cutting out a so-called gentlemen’s notch.
Warsaw’s Arkadia, one of the largest shopping centres in Europe, boasts the widest offer in the capital. It features 240 units including 190 stores, 20 services and 30 restaurants and cafes. The centre’s second floor accommodates an entertainment section with a 15-screen multiplex cinema operated by the Cinema City chain. All Arkadia’s customers are invited to use free personal styling services, ask shopping consultants for advice and even book a wardrobe check in their homes. Suffice it to hold the Loyalty Card and use the centre’s premium offer. A professional stylist, shopping assistants and a myriad of attractions for the youngest ones – all this is available as part of a special offer prepared by Arkadia. The professional stylist familiar with the offer and, above all, with the latest fashion trends, will help them analyse their current style and provide expert, practical tips on how to choose clothing styles and colours suited to their body type, both regarding everyday wear and garments for special occasions. All that customers wishing to invite a stylist home have to do is choose the „Stylist” tab on www.arkadia.com.pl, click „Wardrobe check” in the menu and book an appointment on one of four dates available in a month. An appointment with a personal shopper can be booked in a similar manner. Arkadia also encourages its customers to use the services of shopping assistants who know everything about the centre’s offer and tenant promotions. They will provide advice, help customers with their shopping and carry bags to the car or to the exit door. Arkadia cares for the youngest ones, therefore it has arranged an interactive play area and a special corner with qualified childminders, its food court features areas with children’s equipment and customers can tend to their toddlers in parent rooms. It is worth noting that Arkadia holds cyclical events for its youngest customers involving numerous games and educational competitions during which they can both have great fun and learn something new about themselves and the world around them. But these are not all the amenities dedicated to shoppers. Arkadia keeps widening its offer that includes free services such as umbrella rental, telephone charging stations, an IPad available at the reception desk, comfortable and practical relaxation zones, WIFI in the entire centre and separate parking zones for family cars. All these services are available to holders of Arkadia’s Loyalty Card that can be obtained free of charge at the reception desk on the ground floor or via www.arkadia.com.pl website. Monika Lewczuk – Kuropaś – The spokesperson of Arkadia.