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April 08

Behind The Scenes: Miista Production In Spain AW13

By Ella Miista
We don't have any scientific evidence to back this up but we assume most women love a good pair of shoes. But, there is more to shoes than meets the eye. Before they ever reach shops and become the subject of joy, quite a bit happens behind the scenes. For a while we've been posting videos on our Instagram to show you the world of shoe production and you've been loving it! We've now decided to go deeper and explain the processes more thoroughly. To do so, we sat down with Una who oversees the production in Spain. This post serves as an introduction. When Instagram launched its video feature, we started recording what happened in the factories during the production of our AW13 collection Midnight Waters. It's not a definitive overview of the process but rather a sneaky peek to shoemaking. Sit back and enjoy the ride but do check back soon - we'll also be doing a separate post on the SS14 Aquascapism collection with more videos! The first videos is of the Clara boot’s back strap being stitched. The machinist is using a post-machine - it’s different from a flatbed or an apparel machine. It stands on a big arm and has a wheel to the right of the needle which creates greater visibility in a tight space. Clara Flip Paint being back part moulded. A piece of thermoplastic stiffener is inserted between the lining and the upper of the shoe. Then it’s put on a heated mould for a few moments and then quickly moved on a freezing one. This process sets the shape. The Emi over the knee boot being hand lasted. A last is a plastic mould the shoe or boot is built on. All patterns are created to reflect the exact shape of the last. Shoes and boots are normally lasted in two stages - the front and back part. Depending on the style of the shoe, it can be lasted by hand, with a machine or a combination of both. In this video we see the Emi boot having its front part hand lasted. Though seemingly easy, it’s a very precise process and mastering the craft takes some time to achieve. When lasting a shoe there should be equal lasting allowance around the base of the shoe. The upper should be flush to the last to ensure a good silhouette and fit - essentially this means the upper follows the line of the last. Yolanda being brushed on a roller to bring out the natural florentique shine. We use different leathers for our shoes and for each specific one, we need a different type of brush. In this video a medium to hard brush is used to bring out the natural properties of the florentique leather. A small amount of wax is added to the brush to enhance the natural gloss of the leather. This one is Sandra Burgundy being brushed. At first the leather has an all over matte brown appearance but when it's brushed with the cotton roller and natural wax, the burgundy tone and shine comes through. Here Allison is sanded to remove bulk from the base of the shoe. Sanding is crucial for two reasons. Firstly it reduces bulk and secondly sanded leather absorbs adhesive better. This creates a better bond and fit between the sole unit and the upper. The sanding roller rotates at an incredible speed. A steady hand is a must to not slip over the edge.
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