And finally - the last and longest step - sewing! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ We use waxed linen thread to sew our shoes together. It's very strong and durable, plus it's made of natural materials. We also use glovers' needles - special extra-sharp hand-sewing leather needles that are strong enough to pierce through leather and resist continual pulling. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ We choose from a few different colours to complement the leather colours of the shoes - black, red, or cream - and we love the combinations that our customers come up with! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ In our workshops, the sewing stage is more than half of the time that people spend making their shoes. It's a wonderful, relaxing, meditative experience that lets people have slow, thoughtful chats with each other and find peace through repetitive motion. Can you tell we love this part? ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ There are a few special techniques that we share on how to start, finish, and fix any mistakes - every maker has to go to through a 'troubleshooting' training before teaching workshops! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ This is definitely #whatwereworkingon today, as we're teaching a shoemaking workshop at @thecreateplace this morning! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Photo by @kanahaya_alam
Next in our #marchmeetthemaker series and steps in making a pair of Juta Shoes, we have pinning. This is the most exciting part of the process for many people on workshops - it's when you can see the shoes actually take shape and begin to look like the finished product! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ It can be difficult to get the hang of folding the leather and pinning it down in the right places and the right way. If you pin at too shallow an angle, the leather can come unpinned while you're sewing, or the sharp edges of the pins can stick out of the soles and catch your fingers. Our expert teachers walk trainees through each stage of the process and make sure they get it right. For our makers, it only takes about ten minutes to pin down a full pair of shoes! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Photo by @kanahaya_alam
We love this powerful quote by Leymah Gbowee, peace and justice activist. It couldn't fit better with our #marchmeetthemaker Motivation prompt. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ “When you're depressed, you get trapped inside yourself and lose the energy to take the actions that might make you feel better. You hate yourself for that. You see the suffering of others but feel incapable of helping them, and that makes you hate yourself, too. The hate makes you sadder, the sadness makes you more helpless, the helplessness fills you with more self-hate... Working broke that cycle for me. I wasn't sitting home thinking endlessly about what a failure I was; I was doing something, something that actually helped people. The more I did, the more I could do, the more I wanted to do, the more I saw needed to be done.” ― Leymah Gbowee, Mighty Be Our Powers: How Sisterhood, Prayer, and Sex Changed a Nation at War ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #meethemaker #feministfriday #leymahgbowee #womensrights #empowerwomen #shepersisted
For those who missed our post on the first step of shoemaking yesterday, feel free to go back to catch up! If you know what it is, here's the second - cutting. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ We use very sharp kitchen scissors to cut our leather - we've found that it works better than more traditional leather scalpels, especially for our workshops where we're teaching new people. For our slippers, we cut out two pieces of the pattern, for our shoes and sandals we have four, and our peep-toe tassel slides have six. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ This point in the workshop is always lovely because everyone has their materials and soles ready in front of them, and can start to see their shoes taking shape. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ In our studio, when we're making up your bespoke online orders, this is also the time that our makers can take their work home with them - if they've got an errand to run, or more orders than they can fulfil in a day, or would just rather be home - they can take all their materials and equipment with them, and drop back the finished shoes later. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ So, for #marchmeetthemaker's prompt #howIlearned, we'll share a little secret with you - we all taught ourselves! Everyone in the Juta Shoes studio learned from other people in our group. Which means you can too! Come along to any of our shoemaking workshops to learn to make any of our styles in the colour and size of your choice - and have a delicious local lunch and lovely chat! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Photography by @kanahaya_alam
We haven't been keeping up well with #marchmeetthemaker at Juta HQ - so many things to do! - but we wanted to take part as much as we can to be part of this awesome making community. Yesterday was meant to be #handsatwork and today is #photography, so to combine them together we wanted to take you through the steps of making a pair of Juta Shoes. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ The first step is to find the right size, material, and style. On our workshops, you come to our studio and choose these yourselves, or when ordering bespoke shoes online we guide you through making the choices at home. We have a wide range of reclaimed leather and vegan materials in all sorts of colours and textures, all with their own stories of where they came from. We also have sole sizes EU 35-46, which is about a UK 3-11.5, so we fit most people. And we have several different shoe styles and designs that people can choose from and tweak slightly. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Once we have all that together, then we lay out patterns down on the material and draw around them. We minimise waste whenever possible by using our 'Tetris tricks', and keep the cut-offs for keychains and smaller projects - #reducingwaste! We use either a gel pen, soap, or chalk to mark the leather - it shows up well on even the darkest colours, and wipes off easily after. Then it's ready for the next step - stay tuned! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ All the photos in this series were taken by the amazing @kanahaya_alam.
The difference between a broken community and a thriving one is the presence of women who are valued. - Michelle Obama ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #internationalwomensday
On #InternationalWomensDay, we'd like to celebrate all of the amazing women that we work with. Our makers, our teachers, our stockists, our customers - and the men and non-binary people who love and support them! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ This photo is of the fantastic Rushna, one of our trainees, with a beautiful freshly-made pair of reclaimed leather slippers, and the photo is by @kanahaya_alam, another amazing woman!
These x-tra special silver tassel slides aren't on our website - we have a limited amount of this metallic leather so want to make sure we don't oversell. But if you like them, let us know, and we can make you a bespoke pair. Each pair of shoes sold provides meaningful work at the London Living Wage for graduates of our employability scheme, and allows us to continue providing our free programme and community space in Bethnal Green 💪 Photo by @kanahaya_alam
First forget inspiration. Habit is more dependable. Habit will sustain you whether you're inspired or not. Habit will help you finish and polish your stories. Inspiration won't. Habit is persistence in practice. – Octavia Butler