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Secrets of the Shoe Trade - The Clicking Room

Secrets of the Shoe Trade - The Clicking Room

Clicking is the first stages of the production, upper leather (usually European Calf) and lining leather are cut, using predetermined patterns, before they are eventually passed on to our closing room where the uppers really start to take shape.

The Clicking room consists of 39 exceedingly skilled operatives of which some have been in the trade for over 40 years.

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Clickers are names after the ‘click’ sound that is made from the hand cutting knife as it is removed from the leather.

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A Clicker’s knife is totally unique to the Clicker. Each operative designs and grinds the blade of their knife to their own personal taste and working preference, as Paul, one of the Clickers that has been at Crockett & Jones for almost 40 years says, he likes to craft his knife ‘hooky’ like himself!

Each clicking blade takes around 15-20 minutes to craft: 5-10 minutes to ‘fetch’ the blade, (the term ‘fetch’ coming from the senior clickers asking the trainees to ‘fetch’ them a blade) around 5 minutes to grind and several minutes to perfect the blade on the strop (a piece of wood coated in thick cordovan leather)

Although a clicking blade only lasts a few weeks, the handles can last for decades upon decades.

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The clickers main responsibility is to examine the leather for defects, these come in the form of scars, growth marks or veins, before each pair is hand cut. A good clicker needs to be knowledgeable about the nature of the leather, in order to maximize the usage whilst retaining the utmost quality.

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