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Stairway to heaven
To witness the step-by-step process by which a pair of John Lobb shoes comes to life at its Northampton workshop is to see traditional craftsmanship and genuine skill in action. From the first step – the initial selection and quality checking of the calf skin – through to completion of the final product some 190 individual stages later, the quality of the raw materials and the fine attention to detail is always evident.
The full-grain leather starts its journey in the Clicking Room, where the various sections are cut by hand, passes through the Prep Room, where the highly skilled hand-sewing process takes place and decorative patterns may be punched into the toe, and onto the Closing Room, where the various elements of the upper are brought together.
Brown Dune Calf
The completed upper is then transferred to the Assembly and Lasting Room, where the shoe begins to take its shape on the last, before heading into the Making Room where the signature Goodyear stitching process imbues the shoes with their Northampton-made durability. Only after this can the John Lobbs proceed to the Finishing Room, where many of the finer artisanal elements are added, before the finishing touches are applied in the Shoe Room.
It’s a journey that takes some weeks, and many man-hours of painstaking labour, but the result is a pair of the finest men’s shoes – beautifully crafted, quintessentially English, unmistakably John Lobb.
N°37 / Holing out
Leather sections are marked and then holed out with an awl prior to hand sewing.
Clicking & hand sewing preparation
Thread making and hand sewing
Upper edge staining
Side stapling and nail removing
Wrinkle chasing and tapping up