Why You need Bespoke Shoes and Working With Veg tanned Leather


Why You need Bespoke Shoes and Working With Veg tanned Leather

Today I published the first lesson of my brand new Bespoke Derby Handsewn Opanka course. Just before we dive in deep I wanted to focus on why this course is so special and why you need it to make beautiful and comfortable shoes.

I personally love to work with leather in shoemaking, especially with veg tanned leather.

In this post we will discuss all the benefits of working with veg tanned leather in shoemaking and how this type of leather is useful to make bespoke shoes.

Yes, bespoke shoes that will fit you perfectly and only you. Because bespoke shoes are made according to your feet measurements and not just made on a standard shoe last that must “suit all” ,  and it never does.
I know most of you buy standard lasts (  made for order lasts cost to much) that is why in my new Bespoke Derby Opanka Course I will teach you how customize standard lasts. I will teach you how to take exact measurements of your feet to make your lasts perfect just for you.

To have perfect shoes, 100 % comfortable  from the first time ,you as a shoemaker or a beginner  in shoemaking need to customize your shoe lasts according to your feet.

If you have wider feet you need to enlarge you shoe  last.


Why to customized shoe last with Veg tanned leather

1 . Easy to work with

When you wet veg tanned leather it become very soft. So it is very easy to cut,  and to attach it on the curved places of the shoe last, to skive and achieve desirable shape and form.

If you skive or cut too much ( and you get smaller dimension than you needed), you can always attach another piece of leather and reshape it.

2. It becomes solid when it’s dry

After you will skive, sand the additional veg tanned leather pieces they will dry and will become solid like your plastic or wooden shoe last.


Veg tanned toe puffs and counters

In shoe industry there are different materials from which you can make your shoes and each of them has their own advantages and disadvantages that eventually influence on the quality and comfort of your shoes.

For example:
For toe puffs and stiffeners that will keep the shape of your shoes and protect you feet, there are few materials to use: chemical non woven sheets, activated with solvent( you already learn it in my courses), synthetic heat activated stiffeners and veg tanned leather stiffeners.

Fist two materials are cheap, but the quality of these toe puffs and stiffeners are far away from veg tanned leather toe puffs and stiffeners that has long history of use in shoemaking.


Benefits of Leather toe puffs and counters

1. First of all, Veg tanned leather is a natural materials and is the main advantage of working with leather toe  puffs and counters: you will not work with any toxic materials, only natural materials.


Leather counters are dense and hard, but they become soft and easy to work with when you wet them. Because veg tanned leather absorbs water.

When you will work with leather  toe puffs and stiffeners you need only to wet them in water to make them stretch in any direction.


2. Leather tanned stiffeners after drying become solid, but flexible.

When you will learn right approach to work with leather stiffeners you will create solid surface only where it needed( in the tip of the toes), but soft and flexible in the joints (bones area).

You will get much more comfortable shoes with leather stiffeners then with any other synthetic stiffeners.

This is another big advantage in working with leather stiffness, because with other two materials you will have no control on softness and hardness of your stiffeners.


3.To attach leather tanned toe puffs and counters you will use non toxic water based glue only!


4.You are Not limited in time using leather stiffeners.(we all love to work at our own pace, so that is big plus!)

You can wet leather stiffeners again and continue to work with later if you need to make a brake. With solvent activated stiffeners and heat activated stiffeners you are strictly limited. Once you activated and placed them in the upper, you need to proceed immediately and work fast as you can, while stiffeners and toe puffs are activated.


5. You can reach thin edges of  leather toe puffs and counters by skiving, that will guarantee good quality  and beauty of your shoes.



6. You can shape your leather toe puffs and stiffeners with the hammer till you will be satisfied with your beautiful heel and toe shapes.

Leather insoles

When you need to create insoles you can make them from cardboards or from veg tanned leather.

Cardboards are cheaper than veg tanned leather, but veg tanned insoles definitely make your feet feel happy, Because:

1. Your veg tanned leather insoles will be moulded to the bottom of the last, so they will keep round surface of the shoe last  bottom that repeat the curves of your feet.

These leather insoles will be much more comfortable than cardboard insoles as they can’t repeat the shape of the bottom last as leather insoles do.


2. Leather insoles is very easy to construct as you will wet them and will mould them to the last bottom.

After they dry, they become solid and flexible
3. With leather insoles you can create additional support to your arch zone to add more comfort to your shoes. This shoemaking technique you will learn in this Bespoke Handsewn Derby shoes course.


4. Leather insoles last longer than cardboard insoles.

Cardboard insoles may break down and they are sensitive to water.


Here are all the benefits of working with veg tanned leather to create your shoes, and that is why I am so excited about the new Bespoke Derby Handsewn Opanka course. There is much more new and interesting techniques that I will teach you in this course and you can check the first lesson and full description of the course here:

Bespoke Derby Handsewn Opanka Course

[ This course is exclusive course and available only with Mega Bundle ]

There are 3 Comments

  1. Posted by Lisa Reineck

    I have already purchased a 3 month subscription a while back, so now I am only interested in taking individual lessons. Do you anticipate that the Opanka Derby Shoe course will be offered by itself?

    • Posted by Sveta Kletina

      Not anytime soon

  2. Posted by lukwago john

    thank you for this opportunity.am a Ugandan by Nationality,I have a small workshop also but we luck some tools and materials.is there any possibility of getting them so that I improve my standard.if yes send me your contact.thanks