A Day In The Life Of An Amateur Bootmaker

I feel like life has been slightly mental lately so my blogging time has been fairly limited. Whoever thought it was a good idea to hand-make a boot whilst working, trying to start a business & remain sane was crazyyy..

Yes, that line is meant to be straight
(insert crying emoji)

Anyway, where am I up to I hear you ask? Well, Dan is currently teaching me how to stitch my shoe together and honestly I’m worried it may be impossible! I am prone to exaggeration but it is most definitely the hardest part of boot making so far.

Disclaimer: If i’ve already said that, completely ignore me. I was a naive beginner boot-maker who had no idea what lay ahead….

I mean I should’ve guessed it by the sympathetic looks I got when they realised my next stage was stitching. The “awwww” & “oh, enjoy that part” should’ve given the game away at just how terrible stitching was gonna be!

So, I bet you’re wondering – whats so bad about stitching? Well, I’m about to tell you.. Stitching takes place when you attach the insole to the leather. You know the funky yellow stitching famous on Dr Martens? That’s basically what I’m attempting to do. Minus the machinery, all by hand, using a pig whisker, some thread & a bit of wax.

So how do you do it? Once again its literally like going back to the stone ages. First, you have to prepare the thread. Then I had to rub wax up and down the thread to make the pieces stick together. You then weave it onto a pig whisker which is used as a needle to get through the holes you make in the boot….. All sounds simple right?

The hardest part comes next. Those holes have to be made meaning I have a little stick thing with a needle on the end (i’m getting really good at these technical terms) which I have to pierce through the leather, the stiffener and the insole. All in all, not ideal for a weedy armed gal like me.

Dan told me that when he first attempted stitching, his dad made him do it all on his own. He told me it took him a whole day to do 1 boot and he was nearly in tears by the end of it. Well, he was not lying! Tears, tantrums, hunchbacks and cut fingers should be expected at this stage of shoe making…

But the end is nigh (I bloody hope so anyway!) And although the stitching lines are wonky, slightly bloody and definitely not perfect – at least I’ll be able to say I put my blood, sweat and tears into it!

Not to milk it but….. many fingers were injured in the stitching of this boot

Just a reminder that the real prototype is currently being made in a factory in Tunisia. I have a really good relationship with the owner and all is going to plan. I will have 2 prototypes made very soon, YAY!

If you want to keep updated on my journey and receive updates on when WildSole will be crowdfunding, please add your email via this link or comment below https://www.krowdster.co/l/27fc1

Muchos Gracias!

Gem x

2 thoughts on “A Day In The Life Of An Amateur Bootmaker

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