Materials that make up an upper or lining can be leather or synthetic. Fabric is also used.
This course covers the characteristics and types of each. It also reviews the tanning process and leather finishing. This course highlights that the last is the most important tool to assure fit, shape, style and comfort.
The invisible materials, namely the toe box and back stiffener play a critical role in quality. Innovation in materials has affected the variety of options that can be chosen for outsoles.
The course reviews key types of soles as well as the manufacturing process. The emphasis is on what types of soles are most popular to use in today’s world.
Shoe professionals need to be aware of the different material options for all parts of footwear top to bottom, visible and invisible. Understanding that it all starts with the last enhances their knowledge.
We encourage all footwear professionals to take this course in order to identify and understand the materials that make up a shoe.
There are components that are not visible in the shoe but they play such an important role as far as quality is concerned. Insole board is the “spine” of the shoes but taping, backing and toe and heel reinforcing are examples of hidden components that can make the difference. Majority of shoes have a toe box and a heel counter in between upper and lining. Low quality components or no components at all often result into poor quality shoes. Focus of this lesson is to explain why these components are so critical. They can be made into different materials such as reconstituted leather, fabrics, non-woven compounds. Shoe manufacturers can choose to employ pre-molded or flat shaped components, thermo adhesive or with aregular surface. This lecture explains pros and cons of these choices
Even if final customer will never see a last, no doubt that this plastic mold is the most important tool used to manufacture shoes. Most important purpose of this mold is to give the shoe its final shape but the last influences not only the style but also the fitting and the comfort of the final shoe. Focus of the lecture is to show that the last is a manufacturing tool and its shape and volumes influence the entire process of production and heavily depend on the kind of shoe and construction we are working on. Decisions about how many new lasts have to be included in the next season collection are critical in a shoe company
Still 30% of the shoes in the world are made of leather. Focus of this lecture is to introduce to leathers used in shoemaking for uppers and those for lining. What animals and sizes are available and what are the characteristics of the different parts of a leather that can be used. How to recognize cows from goats, the difference between a calfskin and a wide cow hide. Characteristics of pigskins and at the end exotic leathers such as crocs or snakes. An overview of the most used tanning processes, mineral and vegetable. Leather suede finishes such as splits, nubuck and reversed suedes are explained and part of the lecture is dedicated of leather finishings available on the market. At the end of the lecture bonded leather, synthetics and the so called Action Leather are introduced
Synthetics or artificial materials and fabrics compete in the shoe production to be not only alternatives to leather but, especially synthetics, gained a very important place in the family of upper and lining materials. As far as synthetic materials are concerned this lecture explains that most of the materials available fall under two major families of coated and coagulated and what features you can expect from both. Fabrics that can be used for shoemaking are not the same that can be used for garments. Last part of the lecture shows characteristics of the fabrics that can be used to make shoes
The bottom components of the shoes are a huge world that requires years to be known in depth. Years ago fewer materials were available to make the soles of the shoes but today innovation in materials and processes have boosted the number of alternatives that designers and manufacturers can choose. Influence of athletic segment is strong even in the field of dressy shoes. First part of the lecture covers the families of materials that can be used to make soles: the traditional leather compared to the rubbers both natural ones and the huge world of the synthetic materials such as PU, PVC, EVA, TR. The second part of the lecture is dedicated to the way soles are manufactured and how this impact the design and the cost of the shoes: difference between using die-cut and molded soles. Many shoes on the market today have soles that have been assembled, putting together molded components and even molded parts with die-cut parts. Let’s discover together what is available and the characteristics Another important subject is the shape of the sole according to the heel. We will analyse how a sole for the dressiest breasted heel varies versus a sole combined with a more casual stuck on heel, platforms, wedged heels or full platforms. What can you expect in terms of design and comfort. Last part of the lecture is dedicated to soles that are widely used nowadays: soles directly built up on the upper. We will explain the differences between vulcanization and direct injection.