The Goodyear Welt process is a method of shoemaking that can be done either by machine or by hand. In 1874 Charles Goodyear devised a machine that mechanised this process making it much easier and more productive. However, even today, the operation of this machine requires a certain amount of skill from the operator.
It is one of the oldest, most durable and elaborate methods. It consists of sewing "the cut" with the leather frame and sole and then sewing the other part of the welt to the floor. Between the sole and the sole, a steel bar or other rigid component called cambrillón is inserted to strengthen the tread and a natural cork agglomerate that adapts to the shape of the foot and which, in addition to making the shoe more comfortable, serves as a natural insulator to the humidity of the ground.
SELECTION OF THE BEST LEATHERS AND SOLES
Berwick 1707 uses a selection of the best leathers on the market depending on the type of finish required. Our leathers come from the best French, English, Italian, Spanish and American tanneries.
The different pieces of leather that make up a model can be cut manually, which requires a high degree of precision on the part of the operator, with a die, exerting pressure on a sharp piece of iron or with automatic machines, incorporating new computer technologies to facilitate and speed up the process.
MAKING OF THE SHOES
All the leather pieces necessary to make the shoe are sewn together to form the so-called "cut", i.e. the union of all the leather pieces ready to assemble the shoe.
The manufacture of Goodyear Welt shoes involves more than 200 manual operations. Once the shoe is cut and the leather parts are assembled and sewn together, including the lining, it is mounted on a last with a leather sole with a protruding edge, which can be made of leather or a very resistant fabric called "wall", where a strip of leather about 1.5-2 cm. wide is sewn. This plant, also called "palmilla", leaves a hollow on the inside of the wall which is filled with a paste made of natural cork and an agglomerating paste for greater comfort and insulation of the floor. At the back, from the middle of the heel to the front, a metal piece of about 8-10 cm is placed to reinforce the structure of the shoe.
Afterwards, the external part of the leather strip is sewn to the sole, which can be made of rubber or leather, thus joining the leather body of the shoe, the sole and the sole by this double stitching. The outside excess is trimmed and polished by an operation, entirely manual, called "devirado", that is to say, the removal of the excess welt.
The various subsequent processes consist mainly of finishing the leather, inking and polishing the heels and edges, cleaning and packaging.
One of the main particularities of this manufacturing system is the result of a strong, compact but at the same time comfortable, flexible and durable shoe, very durable.
Goodyear Welt shoe purists change the soles of their shoes when they are worn out without damaging the structure of the shoe, maintaining its appearance and the previous adaptation to our foot.