I brought my camera with me to China to take some photos and show you a little bit of what goes on behind the scenes of shoe making.
These are shoe lasts... They are essentially shoe molds. These determine the shape of the shoe, the heel height, and the size.
There are a few different methods of pattern making when it comes to shoes. One involves taping the last as shown here. The pattern maker covers the last in masking tape and then makes a 3D version of the designer's sketch onto the tape.
The paper pattern is then laid onto the leathers or fabrics to be used for the shoe. The leather/fabric is cut and sewn and then "lasted".
This is an example of a lasted shoe. It is carefully pulled and stretched onto the last and heated to fit onto it perfectly.
Some tools of the trade...
Here is an upper sewn and ready to go on its last
And here it is after it has been lasted and had the outsole and heel attached
Pretty cool, huh? I'll have some more for you in my next post :)
I'm going back to China next month and though I already asked this, few of you answered so I'll ask again... Is there anything specific you guys want to know about the whole design process? Anything about working in China you want to hear about?
Let me know :)