Pom d'Api draws and produces children quality shoes since 1973. A savoir faire transmitted from generations to generations. From the first sketch up to the finishing, a Pom d'Api model needs more than 200 steps of production, some unsuspected, but always required. Through this making-of, we wanted to share with you our passion for this unique profession.
All begins with the expertise of the last
All begins with the expertise of the last. The first idea of the shoe must be materialized into a volum form . This step is crucial and extremely accurate. The width of the footwear, the volume of the instep and the degree of the raise at the front are all characteristics to take in count precisely. Then, a plastic shell is molded on the last to allow the pattern designer to draw on the upper.
From the sketch provided by the design office, the pattern cutter will reproduce the upper on the last with a thin graphite pencil. Years of experience are needed to acquire the precision required to trace over the last. The shoe will be excatly the same than the final result, in every detail.
Adhesive paper is applied on the last. It will allow to transpose all the elements of the upper through transparency. Taken off manutely, the paper is then layed flat on cardboard. After a precise cut of each piece, we obtain the pattern of the shoe.
The pattern obtained will allow the pattern cutter to cut each leather pieces which compose the upper of the shoe, also includes the inside lining. The pattern beeing in realized for a specific size, called the base, the dimensions of the pieces needed to the confection of the adjacent sizes are obtained by gradation. Several bases are needed to create a range of sizes, the morphology of the foot evolving so much the first few years. Each of these bases will have to go through the last drawing and the pattern cutting. Once the first sample is made, several fitting are done to verify the shape of the model and the accuracy of the fitting properties, we then speak of « Mise au point ». The pattern cutter will then eventually change details of the original pattern if needed.
The inside sole, named whole lengh sock, is worked during the cutting of the leather. The preparation needs several performing steps. Following on the model and the mounting technique, the process can contain delicat process. It is the case for the model presented in the making-of, the preparation needs requires a unique savoir faire.
Following the same process than the leather pieces of the upper, the insole is cut in a selected quality leather. It is then hand died in a mixture of natural dyes. The golden label is then affixed, this process is called « Marquage à chaud » or Branding.
a pair of shoes from Pom d'Api needs more than 200 steps of production
The inside sole is pierced very precisly on 10 points, positionned in the inside and the outside of the sole, to fit the upper during the up coming process of the lasting to come. During this operation, it is essential to be extremely accurate. The powerfull light above the workspace gave the name of this delicate process.
Then, the inside sole is positionned in a custom made mold then mechanically pressed to give the wanted shape. It is called the preforming. An essential step for the models with a arched foot and/or a back enhancement, like in this case. The whole lengh sock is ready to be added to the outside sole during the fixing.
A savoir-faire transmitted from generations to generations
To resume these diverse stages. The idea is materialed to the last, on which the pattern cutter draws the upper. From this sketch is made the pattern from which are cutted all the pieces of the upper. During this time, the inside sole is also prepared. Finally, by adding other elements which compose the model such as the stiffner and the cap (rigid pieces which are put on the heel and on the front of the shoe between the lining and the leather) or elements for fastning ( zip, buckle, eyelet...), the model is ready for the stitching and the lasting.