Process of creating espadrille handmade soles
- Jul 24, 2018
- La Manual Alpargatera
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The process of handmade hemp soles
Description of the process from combing and braiding of the hemp tow, to the warping and the sewing of the soles.
To make hemp soles, hemp "bast" is used, which is "combed" to remove splinters and impurities, but not as much as if it were to be spun, since in excess it would be less comfortable (and would unnecessarily make the sole expensive).
Once the "tow" is clean, a braid is made by hand, in a uniform manner, and in the necessary thickness for the sole. With this braid, doubled, measure the length corresponding to each "size" and tie itself in such a way that it continues inside the circle, filling in a decreasing spiral but reducing the smaller circles so that one part has more braid that the other one and thus the part that is in front of the foot will be wider; This is the "warping" process.
Once hatched, only the stitching remains, the hardest and most characteristic part of the process. A very polished hemp thread ( thin cord) is used (yes, without tow, and a bit waxed), and along espadrille needle (also known as "almaráz"), with the eye near the tip and a thick wooden handle, which used to change shape according to where it was made, that must be comfortable to grip with force, although wide enough to push hard.
This almaráz must cross the sole to be able to pass the thread of hemp by the eye and to pull of it with force once it crosses the outsole to the width, to compress the sole until leaving it sufficiently compact.