Our loyal slipper customers may have heard me talk proudly about our moccasins being ‘entirely handmade from natural materials’. But it is easy to overlook the word ‘handmade’ these days, with many big brands using the term to allude to an artisan supply chain, when in fact, their products have been mass-produced and then, perhaps, hand-finished in a factory workshop.
When I visit my makers in Poland, I am reminded of the skill and workmanship that goes into our moccasins.
So, here’s a quick lesson in moccasin making… I don’t think you’ll be trying this at home!
The most frequently asked question about our slippers is, what are the soles made from? The answer, suede! Traditionally, an undyed & unprocessed thick suede is used, it is soaked in salinised liquid and then is moulded into shape using traditional wooden moulds. This salination process is what gives these traditional soles a blue/grey colour.
The suede soles are left to dry and then trimmed and perforated around the top edge, again by hand.
Poland is known for its traditional folk embroidery and the women who skillfully stitch our hand-embroidery are masters of their craft. They use carefully sourced rare-breed yarns, dyed in small batches from small British Mills.
Now for the really hard bit, the sheepskin uppers are stitched together, and attached to the soles. I attempted this myself and my hands ached just completing one stitch. Very few traditional Polish moccasin makers still do this process by hand as it is very time consuming, but we love this handmade process and feel it completes the slippers.
Our moccasins are then finished, by hand of course, and even given a little brush with a comb. So that’s one shoe done, now on to its pair!