August 8, 2019

How To Fold a Shoe Upper?! Shoemaking steps

Shoemaking steps are very important in the entire process of making shoes. It  actually, every step in shoemaking is very important and influences on the next one. 

So let’s learn shoemaking the right way!

In the last few posts, I taught you 2 important  shoemaking steps that go one after another.

Let’s repeat what you have learned because this post will be about the third shoemaking step that follows the 2 previous shoemaking steps.  

You learned how to skive and how to reinforce the upper top line in shoemaking (one of the difficult shoemaking process for beginners in shoemaking!) 

If you followed everything correctly, each one of these steps, the next one that I will teach you today will be correct as well. 

That is the main idea! This is very important in making of shoes and I want that you as a beginners in shoemaking will know the proper, the best shoe making approach.

I taught you all these shoemaking steps for a reason, to demonstrate the importance of the first sentence with which I started 2 previous shoemaking posts:

Every step in shoemaking is very important and influences on the next one. 

And if you really want to learn more about entire shoemaking process you can read this post: "Beginners in Shoemaking Tools and Materials Definitive Guide 2023"

So, the next coming shoemaking step after reinforcing the top line is, folding.

You will learn one of the most important stages in the making of shoes, that is needed in the assembling of your leather shoe parts.

How we do folding in shoemaking?!

In general, to fold a shoe upper you need simply to fold the edge of the upper on the top of the reinforcement tape attached to it previously.  

It seems like a very easy process, and it is actually is, if you know the total approach including many small nuances and if you did all previous steps correctly. [very important]

Let’s learn what they are:

  1. After you attached the reinforcement tape put a glue again in the place where you will fold
  2. Start to fold with one of your hands and with the second hand hold a hammer to hit already folded edge to flatten it.
    Follow the edge of the reinforcement tape to fold evenly and accurate.
    This is one of the main reasons why you need to use this tape in shoemaking.
  3.  In the curved narrow places like the throat line, it will be difficult to fold without small cuts.

    So what you need to do is to make really small cuts along the neckline. The length of the cuts must be not more than 2mm. Do it with scissors. 
  4.  To fold upper that has sharp angles or that has curved places like quarters in Oxford or Derby shoes, you will need to avoid the creation of the folds. 

To avoid it you should fold it with the help of the awl and fold accurately following the reinforcement tape.

Keep all these nuances in your mind and watch a shoe making tutorial I made for you.

folded shoe upper in shoemaking

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About the author 

Sveta Kletina

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