Crockett & Jones

Secrets of the Shoe Trade - Preparation

After the uppers have been ‘closed’ and are starting to resemble the beginnings of a shoe, they make their way into the preparation department, where they begin to really take shape.

Secrets of the Shoe Trade - Preparation

This brings us to the top floor of the five storey Crockett & Jones factory in Northampton. Where there are three Crockett & Jones back part moulders.

Back part moulding is the process in which a ‘stiffner’ is inserted between the lining and the upper through a series of operations. The purpose of this is to mould the back part of the shoe to the shape of the last, making sure the required fitting qualities remain through regular wear.


The ‘stiffners’ are made in Italy out of a leather composite and are covered in a heat activated adhesive. These are inserted in-between the lining and the upper and put into the back part moulder where they are heated at 120 degrees for 30 seconds to activate the adhesive, they are then given the opposite treatment by putting them into the refrigerating back part moulder for 25 seconds to speed up the cooling down process and therefore holding the shape in place.


Read about secrets of the Closing Room here