Buying a pair of Crockett & Jones English handmade shoes, ensures you enjoy the fruits of a manufacturing process, so in depth it takes all who sees our work force in action, a while to comprehend the skill and concentration levels that are involved. Many visitors are simply astonished by the traditional craftsmen and women that make, by hand, such a high quality English product.
Before the shoes can be put into production a pattern must be obtained from the last; the wooden form in which the shoes are built around. This is somewhat of an art form and can take up to 10 years to learn but 20 to master. The recent advances of modern technology have quickened some of the stages, although all of the age-old techniques are still, very much, a necessity. The pattern is made into a single pair and test fitted to make sure that the desired fitting characteristics have been achieved; any adjustments can now be made to the pattern and a test pair re-made to make sure the pattern is perfect. It is crucial to get the pattern right at this stage, to ensure a comfortable fit, before bulk production begins.
The first stage of production is to cut out the patterns from the upper and lining leather and emboss or stamp sizes and style names onto the linings. The ‘Clicker’ is the highly skilled operative, named after the ‘click’ sound which the knife makes as it is removed from the leather, who is responsible for examining the leather for any defects, scars or growth marks before deciding which part of the leather to cut the patterns for the shoes from. A good clicker will be very knowledgeable about leather and the problems which can arise from it being a natural material, in order to maximise the usage whilst retaining the highest quality.
If you would like to find out more and see our skilled operatives at work, take a moment and watch our In the Making video.