A PEEK INTO THE WORKSHOP – OUR LEATHER

Craft and material go together. Always. The most essential material in our workshop is leather. Durable, resilient leathers for our sandals, carefully selected qualities for our bags. We work closely with “our” tanneries and very carefully choose leather that best suits the job. Especially as concerns the leather qualities, there is much to consider, as the type of leather, the tanning process, the dyeing and the eventual greasing can make for very different properties, from stability to look and appearance.
Nose to tail is a concept that comes from the kitchen, granted. But the idea behind it is also interesting for us sandal makers. With animal food products, sustainability means, amongst other things, to really use everything, simply because the ecological footprint improves when really everything that comes from an animal is used in products of the highest possible quality. The skin, or after its processing the leather, can be such a high quality product if it comes from a good tannery.
Leather has practically disappeared as a technical component, but in the field of footwear, clothing, bags and accessories, leather is still in high demand. Competing materials, and in essence that means plastics of all kinds, sometimes have good functional properties that make them first choice for particular applications. For sandals, this includes wearing in wet or damp conditions. On the other hand, there is always a waste disposal problem with plastic sandals, since they are made of quite different materials. Repair is difficult or downright impossible, and the raw materials used – especially mineral oil – might raise some scepticism as well. However, those who do disapprove of animal products will find good alternatives in plastic sandals.
The German and French tanneries from which we source our leather look back to a long tradition of craftsmanship. However, the importance of this particular craft has declined considerably in Europe. Even though Germany ranks third in Europe in terms of the number of tanneries, today only a few operations are left. However, these companies have filled a clearly defined niche: The manufacturing of high quality leathers in modern, environmentally friendly facilities. Mass production has long since moved elsewhere, often to Asia, and is carried out under conditions that are difficult to control.
How high quality a leather is greatly depends on the work and skill of the tanners. And of course on the raw material, the hides, that “our” tanneries source from the livestock farming in their region and select according to defined criteria. Using different processes they produce a variety of qualities. We source our sandal leather undyed, which means it comes to us in a light shade of brown or sand and in various grades. For the sole we need firmer and thicker leather, for the straps of our sandals and as cover leather, e.g. for our clogs, we like more supple types. The leather for our bags, oh the other hand, gets already dyed and then further processed in the tannery, e.g. by heavy greasing to receive pull-up leather.
We buy whole skins and cut them to size, dye straps or insoles for our sandals and shoes ourselves with aniline dyes, then grease the finished parts with good leather grease and polish them with a rag or soft brush. Which basically means: the leather we get from the tanneries is still not the final product. When we start working with the leather and processing it in the sandal workshop, we once again change the properties of the leather. Only then it will fit perfectly with our sandals and shoes.
As concerns our bags, the tanneries take over more some more preliminary work. Dyeing whole suede skins or heavily greasing leather is much easier done in the tannery than in our small workshop. And, of course, we can always rely on the quality of our tanneries.
We really like the character of the vegetable tanned leather. What’s more, it is very mild on the skin, only very few people react sensitively to the natural tannins. A certain amount of the tannins remains in the leather. That’s how it is supposed to be, since, after all, these tannins are what makes the skin leather in the first place. When the sandals are worn or the bags are used, the leather will slowly change again. Some say it is “alive”, but, fortunately, this is not true of course. The leather changes its appearance depending on how it is used and cared for, and the hue may change over time, which is quite typical for vegetable tanned leather. In short, whoever wears our sandals or carries our bags will contribute to the design, look and feel.  You can tell by the unique patina. Which is, come to think about it, a nice thought.

ADVICE, ORDER, SANDALS

Advice in our workshop. Of course, you can just come to the workshop and get all advice you might need. However, if you want to order a pair of sandals or shoes, we recommend that you make an appointment so that we make sure we have enough time for you. The appointment can also be arranged outside our opening hours (Monday to Friday 3.00 to 6.00 p.m.). Please allow 20 to 30 minutes for normal needs.

Once you have made your decision, we ask you to stand on a so-called foot-impression-box with both feet one after the other. This is a kind of footprint kit that shows us just where you normally put weight on your feet. We also draw the foot outline for both feet.

In the course of this, we also discuss the special requirements you may have for your feet. While we don’t make orthopedic shoes or sandals, and don’t do video or computer analysis of your gait or foot form, we will use our experience and expertise to address special needs.

Need some time: Handmade Sandals & Shoes Once we got your footprints, we can start to make your sandals or shoes. It’s handwork, and we do it on a first-come, first-served basis. We will give you an approximate appointment date for fitting or an estimated date for shipping, respectively. For some models – the ones you can not order online – we need you to visit us for a second appointment to fit the sandal or shoe.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION CONCERNING ONLINE ORDERS

Please note: Shape: The sole and footbed are shaped according to your footprints and therefore may appear slightly different from the pictures in the online catalog. This is not a deficiency. Color: The leather is dyed individually, and your monitor or display can show colors quite differently. The colors are therefore not binding, this is not a deficiency.

1. Make a footprint

Involvement of the buyer: We need your footprints for our bespoke sandals and shoes. When we receive an online order, we will send you a footprint kit and a small enclosed instruction. You must return the footprint kit to us before we can begin to work.

2. Adjust the Straps

When you receive the finished sandals, you need to adjust the straps yourself. Please see Video below. This collaboration is required; it is not a shortcoming and does not justify a price reduction.
Right of withdrawal and exchange: All our sandals and shoes are custom made and we only make them to order. The purchase contract is concluded by the binding order, you can not return or exchange the sandals or shoes. General Terms & Conditions: Please read our GTC before you make your binding order. We are obliged to provide you with these informations. When ordering online, you are required tick the respective box to confirm that you have read and understood our GTC . Further questions: Please check our “What you need to know” page first. If you can’t find the answer to your questions there, please feel free to contact us directly!