Introduction to Shoemaking
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"Introduction to Shoemaking"

5 Day Hands-on Workshop

Learn by doing... Experiential Education...
Start by Hand Making a Pair of Shoes for Your Own Feet.
Guided by Experienced Professionals.

This workshop is an Introductory Level Program that is designed to give people a simple, comprehensive foundation and fun experience in making shoes.

During the workshop you will make a fully lined pair of shoes for your own feet.

Nothing is pre-made or assembled from a kit. You will learn how to start from scratch to design the pattern and create all the individual pieces for your shoes.

Once you have a basic understanding of the principles, techniques and materials of shoe design and construction, you are only limited by your imagination.


Object of Workshop:

This program is the "Real Deal". In this workshop the Student Does All the Work. There are No pre-made leather uppers, no pre-made patterns, no pre-made components, no pre-made kits for putting together a mule, a pump, or a dress shoe.

We start with:
1. making the patterns,
2. cutting all the parts from raw materials,
3. hand stitching the leather pieces together using simple tools,
4. hand lasting the lining & uppers,
5. molding heel counters and toe caps,
6. cementing on the soles.

NOTE: Its vitally important that you learn how to do every aspect for yourself if you ever hope to go forward on your own.

You will also receive a list of resources for machines, tools, leather, soling, shoe lasts, and the supplies you will need to go forward with your shoe projects.

Many of our students have gone on to study and apprentice with Master Craftsmen in Europe, North and South America, as well as other parts of the World. We provide the Knowledge and Foundation Required for going forward.


For those individuals that only want to make women's high heel dress shoes, you should consider this point: It is vitally important that you learn the simple basics of all footwear construction, before attempting to make complicated patterns and styles requiring highly specialized structural components. During the workshop we will show you how to apply this basic knowledge to high heels, boots, sandals, etc..



The Foot:
The basic relationship of the foot to the rest of the body. How the foot works with an emphasis on how the foot relates to the function of the shoe.

The Shoe Last:
The solid form that a shoe is molded on is called a “Shoe Last”. The most important aspect of proper fitting footwear is the design, volume and shape of the shoe last.

Measuring & Fitting:
This is the first step to understanding the relationship of the foot to the shoe last and the finished shoe.

Pattern Design & Grading:
Learning to make patterns is one of the most important skills you can develop. We spend one whole day focused on Pattern Making so you will be able to go forward with creating your Shoe Dreams.

Insoles and Support:
One of the most important parts of a shoe is the bottom. This is the area of the foot that supports the entire weight and movement of the body.

Selecting Materials:
Each component is examined and analyzed, for proper application in regard to the function and style of the shoes being created. (upper & lining leather, insoles & outsoles, heel counters, toe boxes, etc.)

Sources for Leather and Materials:
We will provide you with current sources for leather and other components which are readily available, in small quantities, or larger quantities for production.

Hand Tools & Machines:
An opportunity to gain first hand experience working with traditional hand tools and machinery used to make footwear.

Resources for Tools and Equipment:
Finding just the right machines and tools requires some expertise. During the workshop we will demonstrate & share our insights and connections to help you invest wisely and achieve your goals.

Cutting Dies:
Steel Rule Cutting Dies are an essential element in the mass production process. They are an exact copy of the pattern drawing.



Morning - Agenda

Afternoon - Agenda

Day 1 Meet at Manresa Castle
Arrival & Orientation at ShoeSchool
Tools & Materials
Design - Findings
Stitching & Cementing Techniques
Presentation: The Sensitive Foot
Hand Tools & How to Use Them
Hand Stitiching Exercises / Projects
The Foot & The Shoe Last
Imprint Feet for Last Selection

Day 2 Pattern Making
Drafting the Shoe Last
Pattern Design & Creation
Cutting / Steel Rule Dies
Leather Selection
Cutting Leather
Molding Heel Counters
Videos: Last Making, Leather Tanning

Day 3 Stitching Leather Uppers
Eyelets / Findings
Complete Upper Stitching
Hand Lasting the Lining
Inserting Heel Counters / Box Toes

Day 4 Hand Lasting the Uppers
Review Outsole / Midsole Patterns
Shanks & Heels
Material Selections
Make Outsole
Bottom Unit Assembly
Machine Demonstrations

Day 5 Bottom Work
Building the Sole of the Shoe
Rough & Finish Sanding
Complete Shoes

Sock Linings
Finish & Polish

Pack It Up! Ship It Home!


Daily Schedule 8:30 ....Workshop Opens
12:00 ....Lunch
1:00 ....Workshop Resumes
5:30 ....Workshop Closes
6:30 ....Dinner


Introduction to Business of Shoemaking - Special Program 5 + 1

This program is for people that want the Full 5 Day Hands On Workshop experience, plus one day of Private Business Consulting, you can stay for an extra day to focus on the business aspects of your specific shoe project.



Student Interview Videos

Watch Streaming Video

See and Hear what the students have to say about their experience...

Introduction to Shoemaking

Introduction to Business

Distance Learning Project

Advanced Consulting

Cottage Industry Development


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