Made in England
Crockett & Jones has been manufacturing shoes in Northampton, England since 1879 and although the production process has evolved since the early days of shoemaking, much of the factory looks just as it did when it was first built.
REAL PEOPLE WITH SKILLED HANDS
The manufacture of high quality Goodyear welted shoes remains very labour-intensive, requiring a highly skilled workforce to carry out more than 200 separate operations during an 8 week period. This method, originated by hand-makers centuries ago, gives the shoes an exceptional degree of strength, durability and comfort in wear.
The Goodyear welted process spans several production departments, each necessitating a multitude of different skills and experiences to ensure the shoes are completed to our exacting standards. Many of the operations, relying on excellent hand-eye co-ordination, take years to learn and a lifetime to master.
Once a design or style is agreed on by our Managing Director, it is discussed with our Pattern Cutters. Pattern cutting is the initial design and development phase and as any established Pattern Cutter will tell you, “If a pattern is not perfect when it leaves our pattern room, the shoes will not be perfect when they leave our factory.”
With the leather stores bursting at the seams with high quality European calf, grain and suede, the clickers are eagerly poised with their knives at the ready. But not just any old knives…
The Closing Room has over 100 members of staff, a busy department indeed. More operations can be found in this department than any other in the factory, each one of them requiring dexterity and patience.
Preparation refers to the gathering of all other components that are required during the making of our shoes. In typical Crockett & Jones form, many of the components are produced in-house, including the cutting of heels, insoles and soles. The heel department and sole department are small workshops in their own right and work tirelessly to feed the factory beside them.
Crockett & Jones uses the term ‘Lasting’ to refer to ‘pulling the upper over the last’ thereby giving shape to the shoes. The last is a shoemaker’s foundation, and can be thought of as their most closely guarded secret. With heritage paving the way for the exceptional last development, Crockett & Jones are continually developing new lasts.
Making is where you will find the famed ‘Goodyear-welting’ stitching machines. As the first shoe factory this side of the Atlantic, to install the latest version of a welt sewing machine (c1910), the ever industrious Messrs. Crockett & Jones were able to scale up production to 600 pairs per day.
Craftsmanship is now in full flow and mistakes are costly. The Finishing Room is where a team of finishers are cleaning, preparing and adding the finishing touches to the soles, that Crockett & Jones customers appreciate so greatly.
The Shoe Room is the final department in the Crockett & Jones factory. This is where all shoes & boots are hand polished, checked, laced and boxed.