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Clicking & Sewing a Boot Upper

‘Clicking’ is the name shoe factories use for cutting the leather pieces… in years gone by all leather was cut by hand by ‘clickers’. They used a hand cutting knife and brass bound patterns.

Today we continue to hand cut using the same types of ‘clickers knife’… but mainly for new samples and developments… and for ‘made to measure’ boots… but for production of larger quantities we use steel cutting knives and hydraulic presses. Once the leather has been ‘clicked’ it goes to the ‘skiver’ who shaves the thickness off the edge of the leather ready for closing (sewing).

Sometimes a reinforcement is ironed onto the leather to make it stronger… this is called ‘the backer’.

So we have ‘the clicker’, ‘the skiver’ and ‘the backer’, they all prepare the leather ready for sewing (closing).

'The Clickers' knife

‘The Clicker’ clicking in the old way using a hand knife and pattern

‘The Clicker’ clicking using a modern press

‘The Skiver’

‘The Backer’

‘The ‘D’ Ringer’

Closing is the name shoe factories use when sewing the uppers… it refers to the process of sewing the upper to change it from flat pieces of leather into a shaped upper… sometimes this was done on the back seam… and so the upper was ‘closed’… it was ‘rounded’… no longer flat or open.

Closing the upper at the back

Sealing a waterproof Sympatex bootee

Using a zig zag machine to sew the lining flat

Once the upper is ready it is passed to ‘lasters’, ‘bottom scourers’ and ‘sole layers’ for making into a boot.