You might remember that we had explored a sole sock idea with Mike when he came to visit us a couple of weeks ago. Our idea is for the sole sock to be made out of an “invisible sock also called footsie sock” which is bonded together with a soling material and then wrapped around the slipper to act as detachable indoor sole. Here is a picture to quickly show what we mean when we refer to the term sole sock.
Mike loved the simplicity of the sole sock idea and he had shared with us a clever way of creating the sole sock using a bonding technique instead of having to stitch around the soling material with a twine.
He suggested us to create two jigs made out of wood, the first jig was to help us stretch the invisible sock over the jig and then bond layers of foam, adhesive and soling material on top of the invisible sock on a stretched surface. This would allow the materials to stretch and then shrink together again when taken off the jig, making for a perfect sole sock which can then be slipped around the slipper. Here are some pictures to better put the process into words.We would then also have a second separate jig allowing us to stretch a sock over the jig for easy embellishing. Duncan helped us create those two beautiful jigs. There’s still some more work to do on the sock sole idea, so we will keep you posted on our progress over the coming weeks.
We also asked Duncan to help us make another slipper last. You might remember that we went to a lastmaker called Springline in the past to have our first batch of slipper lasts created. A last is used for pattern making, allowing us to drape a fabric over the last to give it a foot like shape. It’s also a good way of checking whether your slippers are the correct size after sewing the slipper together by putting them around the last.
A last ideally should be based on a real foot and is then given added volume and structure to allow for the foot to move inside the shoe/slipper.
Mike taught us how to make cardboard lasts ourselves based on our own feet and Duncan then used Kaye’s cardboard last as base for his wooden last. We also gave Duncan a wooden last which Mike and his friend Ingrid created for us in the past to help Duncan better understand the desired volume for Kaye’s last. You can see Duncan at work here. Isn’t he lovely!
Mike was so kind to share with us a video that he made on the importance of last making. You can check out his video below if you’re interested to learn more about the process or want to make a last yourself in the future.
Mike is providing some really useful tips on the anatomy of the foot and what to watch out for when making a last yourself. He’s currently teaching a class in footwear innovation at the University of Oregon and is supporting our Sole Masters with the project of creating a detachable outdoor sole for our slippers.