How Rachel Simpson shoes are made- cutting out the lining
Posted on October 05 2021
Rachel Simpson shoes are known for their intricate designs and as such, many of the processes which go into making them can only be done by hand. One of these processes is cutting out the soft leather lining which has to be done both before and after the shoe is lasted (more on lasting to come).
Once all the pieces of the shoe have been stitched together, we now have what we call the 'upper' of the shoe. If you've never seen a shoe upper before it's been made into a finished shoe it can look rather strange- kind of like a flattened out version of the finished product! Two different types of sewing machine are used to create the upper- a 'flat machine' which is an industrial version of the kind of sewing machine you would have at home, and a 'post machine'. The flat machine is used to stitch all the flat pieces together, before moving on to the post machine when the shoe begins to become 3D- it's all very clever!
Before the shoe is then lasted (where it becomes a fully shaped, 3D shoe), as much of the lining as possible needs to be removed. If you know Rachel Simpson shoes, you'll know that we often feature small cut out shapes such as teardrops or Art Deco motifs in our designs, and it is these fiddly little shapes which have to be cut out!
In the photo above you can see the lining being carefully trimmed around the plaited t-bar strap of our Rosita shoe.
We don't cut all of the lining off however- some is purposefully left on to help the shoe keep it's shape as it goes around the production line. These lining 'tabs' are attached to the last until the shoe is almost completed, and it's these which then have to be cut away later- again by hand. In the photo below you can see our flat shoe, Amber having more of the lining removed after lasting.
As you can see from these images, cutting out the lining- whether it's before or after the shoe is lasted- is an incredibly difficult job which requires a lot of skill, a careful eye and a very smooth hand. One wrong move and the shoe is ruined, but luckily our team are incredibly experienced and know exactly what they're doing!
Click here to check out more blogs from our series showing you how your Rachel Simpson shoes are made.