Red Wing’s Genuine Handsewn collection is part of the upcoming Spring/Summer 2012 season and is currently causing quite a stir. The footwear company are introducing a few brand new styles, sewn by hand and utilizing leather from the SB Foot Tannery. Standout pieces include the beautiful crepe sole deck shoes and new the chukka with contrast stitching, leather laces and a rugged Traction-Tred outsole.
Made in Maine — the traditional home of moccasin-style shoes — with quality leather and signature detailing, the entire collection is crafted using century-old techniques that have been passed from hand to hand, generation to generation. Skilled shoemakers fit the leather to the last and hand-stitch the pieces together to form the moccasin-shaped upper. This style of shoemaking is one of the oldest and most traditional methods of constructing shoes. Each stitch reflects the quality that generations of customers have come to expect from the Red Wing Shoe Company.
The first step in building a Genuine Handsewn is assembling the upper. During this initial phase, the leather is selected and cut to pattern. Fitting and sewing components, such as eyelets, are also selected. The second step involves preparing the leather to be hand sewn by immersing the upper in a mixture of hot water and leather conditioner. This softens the hide, making it easier to bend around the last.
Once these first two steps are complete, hand sewing begins. The upper is tacked and stretched onto the last and the upper-plug and vamp are then stitched together. Drying is next, allowing the leather to form to the shape of the last before the bottom of the upper and outsole are prepped and the two are attached, trimmed and buffed. The final step in the process is cleaning and conditioning the upper. Waxes, oils, and creams are applied and polished, enhancing the leather’s surface feel. The laces are added and the shoes go through their final inspection.
Well chosen leather options and constructions age old construction techniques continue to breathe newness into Red Wing’s offerings. Keep your eyes out for the collection, as it’s scheduled to hit stores sometime early next year.