Carmina Shoemaker and fine shoemaking Featured

The Spanish brand uses traditional techniques and highest quality materials
by 25 November 2011

La salud no está en el plato, sino en el zapato…
‘Health is not on your plate but in your shoe,’ states an old Spanish proverb. This, like most proverbs, has more than a grain of truth. Shoes play a fundamental role throughout your day. They take you wherever you have to go, and for those of us who like walking, a shoe is so much more than just a pretty accessory. Talking about good shoes, we thought it would be a good idea to explore the way in which they are made, and for the best of the best, we turned to Spanish label Carmina Shoemaker.

The story of Carmina began on the island of Mallorca in 1866, where Matías Albaladejo opened a shop and began producing hand-tailored shoes. This trade was continued by his son who took the next step and established one of the first Goodyear welted shoe factories. This process was common at the time and it made the shoes stronger and more durable. By the third generation, the Albaladejo family owned one of the largest Spanish shoe companies, which by 1980 had produced one million pairs of shoes. In the subsequent years the market for luxury goods changed dramatically. Nonetheless, after analyzing the situation, the Albaladejo family launched Carmina Shoemaker with the objective of producing the ‘world’s best hand-crafted shoes.’

Carmina’s shoes are made with materials of the highest quality, by experts in the traditional art of Goodyear double stitching. The crafts process involves eleven steps covering approximately twenty days. Experts at Carmina have studied foot ergonomics and begin by creating a last, which will serve as the base for the shoe. The next step, no longer practiced by other manufacturers but considered essential by Carmina, is designing the shoe directly on the last.

The shoe designs are then transferred into two-dimensions, drawing the patterns which are then cut by hand. This is a very painstaking process as only select leathers, such as Genuine Shell Cordovan, are used to make the shoes. Once the pieces have been cut they are sewn together using cotton thread in yet another demanding task, necessary in guaranteeing shoe quality. The parts of the uppers are then assembled on the last and left to dry for four days.

The next step, fundamental for a Goodyear welted shoe, is known as welting. The welt, which is the strip between the sole of the shoe and the upper, is sewn together. The space inside the welt is filled with a natural cork compound that ensures comfort for the wearer, after only a few days of wearing the shoes. Next come the finishing touches for the sole and the placement of the heel. These parts are then stained and polished to produce a long-lasting shine. Afterwards, the shoes are waxed and burnished with care. Any last-minute details including laces and tags are added at this stage, and then the shoe is complete.

Passion, dedication and only the highest-quality materials are the ingredients necessary to produce the best shoes. Carmina guarantees exactly that.

Carmina Shoemaker boutiques

Further reading:
Sexy Shoes
The Postman Rings Again