The Process: How bespoke shoes are made
Notwithstanding the inevitable evolution and progress of any industrial product, the Spanish artisanal shoe continues to enrol enthusiasts and admirers by the thousands, because neither industrialisation nor the most advanced technology is capable of substituting the strong manual component necessary to create shoes of the highest quality.
Bespoke handmade shoes in XXI Century
The series of precise, manual tasks part of the manufacturing process of shoes of the highest quality are so numerous that the term semi-artisanal footwear makes perfect sense.
We cannot obliviate progress and improvements, but we must remain loyal to the essence, know-how and heritage of our expert craftsmen remains unaltered.
Cambrillón is the place for excellence, where creativity and patience, taste and ability, heritage and cutting edge technology converge. Is the place where the world-famous tradition of bespoke shoes, handmade in Spain becomes the epitome of elegance, excellence and savoir-faire.
At Cambrillón we are delighted to share our passion for shoes and the expert craftsmanship with you, so you enter the world of the art in shoemaking.
Sourcing the leathers and materials
Men’s shoes are almost exclusively made from animal skins, most commonly bovine such as calf, cow or ox skins that are used for both soles and uppers. At Cambrillón we offer a colour palette of over 50 different options between our leathers and sartorial materials.
The beginning of the process is when you design and order your pair of Cambrillón bespoke shoes. As your order is received it is processed at our atelier in Almansa, moment at which we select the different materials, according to the unique specifications of your design. The materials are then hand cut using as a base, our unique Cambrillón shoes’ models and patterns.
Pattern cutting and assembly
After our expert leather cutter has cut the materials of your choice according to the shoe model you have designed, a second step of a more delicate cutting of materials takes place, which depends on whether your design is full or half brogue.
This process, more than cutting as such, is a process that involves a delicate decoration process. It is a much more delicate step as the previous one, because it requires that each of the decorative perforations that your model has, needs to be made by hand, one by one and with great precision.
Once the pattern has been carefully created, the adroit hands and expert eyes of our experienced seamstresses are an invaluable part of the process since the soul and shape of your shoe has been carefully constructed and is ready to be passed on to our artisans in charge of the sewing.
Assembly and sole mounitng
Once the pattern has been carefully sewn together, between the lining and the upper the front support (puff) and the back support (counter) are inserted. The shoe upper is then fitted around the last using lost-head nails, distributed along the perimeter of the foot.
This is followed by the insertion of the Cambrillón in the narrowest part of the insole between the heel and the ball of the foot.
The Cambrillón is what gives the shoe the necessary rigidity and support. The insoles are nailed onto the shoe last, the toe and instep are shaped, and the heel is finally fixed to give the original pattern the shape of your pair of Cambrillón shoes.
In a Blake Welt, the upper part of the shoe is attached below the insole and sewn up to the sole. A single sewing process puts all the pieces together.
Once all of the different elements a pair of bespoke shoes has, has finally been integrated (meaning the sole, plant and pattern), they are ready to be carefully sewn.
There are different construction techniques used in men’s footwear, where those that offer the highest quality are Goodyear and Blake stitching.
Only after the process of hand crafting a pair of Cambrillón has finished, our artisans then paint by hand and one by one each of the soles, giving each pair of Cambrillón a special and unique touch.
Way beyond a simple shoe polish, our hand painted patina finishing is a true art and if you have chosen to have your Cambrillón shoes with our unique patina finishing, you must know that this is the crème de la crème of the handcrafting process.
The Patina process consists of meticulously applying by hand, gradual layers of paint. This technique grants an aged, and uniquely charming weathered feel to the leather which is further enhanced with the use and the pass of time.
The final result breathes uniqueness and can never be exactly replicated, resembling in its self, the beauty of manual tasks, the heritage and the savoir-faire of our expert craftsmen.
Hand painted patina hence being a very precise technique is perhaps one of the most secret and artisanal tasks along the process of making a pair of bespoke shoes.
This technique grants an aged, and uniquely charming weathered feel to the leather which is further enhanced with the use and the pass of time. The final result breathes uniqueness and can never be exactly replicated, resembling in its self, the beauty of manual tasks, the heritage and the savoir-faire of our expert craftsmen.
The finishing of your shoe entails a series of finishing operations, indispensable to bestow your pair of Cambrillón shoe with its defining, unique characteristics. The first finishing process is to hand paint the entire sole, according to the colour you have chosen your soles to be.
We then remove the last so that we can hand polish your pair of Cambrillón shoes. The polishing stage consists of the manual cleaning and polishing of the upper and the sole.
After being carefully polished, each shoe is delicately hand wrapped for protection with tissue paper. Each pair of Cambrillón shoes comes in our labelled shoe box, with a shoe horn and a Cambrillón dust bag to carefully store your custom made creations.