All our shoes are meticulously handcrafted.
But what does ‘handcrafted‘ actually mean?
Which steps are involved?
Find out more about the process.
1. Design: Every Design Tells A Story:
Every Atelier Stefani design begins with an idea inspired by our customers.
Whether it is a pair of wedding shoes to suit your dress on that special day or a pair of men‘s business shoes to get you through the corporate world. We will find the perfect style that matches your needs while delivering comfort, durability and class.
Time is taken during the design process to bring the idea to life. Once brought to paper, the idea takes form and starts becoming reality.
2. The Perfect Fit:
The making process begins with ensuring the perfect fit. At first we take detailed measurements
from the client‘s foot. Using these precise measurements we build the right last, where the leather upper of the client’s bespoke pair of shoes will start to take shape. There is an endless number of lasts in different sizes, shapes and heights.
3. Pattern Making:
This step is one of the most difficult ones as we transfer a 2D design onto a 3D last and back to a 2D pattern, which then becomes a 3D shoe.A trial shoe is created, allowing the client to get a sense of how the shoe will look like. During this fitting, final amendments are taken into consideration to meet the client‘s expectations.
All parts of our shoes are precisely hand cut.
The process of thinning out the edge of certain leather parts is called skiving. It enables a seamless transition of overlapping parts.
Once the edges are skived, we fold them over to give the leather parts a nice finishing.
With meticulous precision the leather parts need to be sewed together. Leather does not forgive mistakes. Once the needle punches a hole in the leather there is no way back.
Made To Last.
The leather takes on the form once we pull it over and mould it onto the last.
Toe puffs and heel counters are leather parts that we insert at the back and front of the shoe to maintain the shape. We use a certain stiffening paste that hardens out once dry.
The insoles are hand cut and moulded onto the last. They take form and ensure a more comfortable fit.
The upper leather is pulled over the shoe last and attached onto the insole.
The shank sits between the insole and outsole, stabilising the shoe.
Bringing All Parts Together.
Before we attach the randing, sole and heel, we make sure the shoe has the perfect fit.
It's the last stage at which changes can be made.
It‘s a thin leather binding that runs around the junction of the upper and sole, providing a clean transition between the parts. Rands add to the shoes‘ overall waterproofing.
It‘s a 3-4.5mm thick piece of the most durable leather. We press the sole onto the shoe and hand trim the edges.
It‘s the final part that has to be attached to the shoe. The heel is made of light wood or leather with a non-slippery rubber top. It‘s nailed from the in- and the outside to make the shoe as robust as possible.
Shaping the heel, sanding the edges, stitching and painting the sole are the last steps of the process. The finale is the polish.
With a hand rasp, glass and sand paper we bring shape to the sole and heel.
For a better look we round the edge of the sole by using a trimming knife.
17. Paint And Polish:
Water based leather dye and high quality polishing products guarantee an everlasting colour.
18. Stitching The Sole:
All our shoes are stitched to attach the insole to the outsole. This holds the shoe together and makes it last for decades.