Cobbler Shoemaking Definitions for the Clothing & Footwear Industry
Shoemaking is a traditional handicraft profession, which has now been largely superseded by industrial manufacture of footwear.
Shoemakers or cordwainers may produce a range of footwear items, including shoes, boots, sandals, clogs and moccasins. Such items are generally made of leather, wood, rubber, plastic, jute or other plant material, and often consist of multiple parts for better durability of the sole, stitched to a leather upper.
Most shoemakers use a last made traditionally of iron or wood, but now often of plastic on which to form the shoe. Some lasts are straight, while curved lasts come in pairs: one for left shoes, the other for right shoes.
The shoemaking profession makes a number of appearances in popular culture, such as in stories about shoemaker's elves, and the proverb "The shoemaker's children are often shoeless". The patron saint of shoemakers is Saint Crispin.
Some types of ancient and traditionally-made shoes include:
The Society for Creative Anachronism offers some advice about making period shoes.
Current crafters may use used car tire tread as a cheap alternative to creating soles.
Chefs and cooks sometimes use the term "shoemaker" as an insult, implying that the chef in question has made his food as tough as shoe leather.
Rabbi Yochanan Hasandlar, a famous sage of the Third Century AD, might have earned his living as a sandal maker, though the nickname might also indicate that he was a native of Alexandria.
Pope Urban IV, born Jacques
Learn more about shoes.
Order of the Knights of St. Crispin, an American labor union of 50,000 shoemakers c. 1870
"Bespoke Shoemaking a guide to handmade shoemaking", a book teaching traditional hand shoemaking.Nike
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