Closing

Flatbed and post machine used to get shape

This is a shoe that has been "closed" (sewn together) and is having a few days in a sauna (!) in order to make it ready for the lasting process, when it is stretched over the last and made to conform to the shape of the last.

This is a shoe that has been “closed” (sewn together) and is having a few days in a sauna (!) in order to make it ready for the lasting process, when it is stretched over the last and made to conform to the shape of the last.

This is where the shoe becomes a rather floppy and silly-looking 3D shape. The various parts of the upper are sewn together, or “closed” to make a sole-less shoe with no strength or rigidity. Flat-bed sewing machines are used for some of the work and “post” machines are used where the sewing process creates a curved shape (e.g. where the vamp meets the quarters in the shoe shown here). There is an even tighter curve where the heel is formed. At this stage, a “toe puff” (a pre-moulded section of vegetable-tanned leather) may also be inserted into the toecap to strengthen it.