Profession bespoke footwear technician

Bespoke footwear technicians perform activities in small production environments (e.g. workshops) where footwear is typically custom-made. They design, prepare, cut and sew, assemble and finish custom made footwear.

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Personality Type

  • Realistic / Conventional

Knowledge

  • Footwear equipments

    Functionality of the wide range of equipments and the basic rules of regular maintenance.

  • Footwear materials

    The characteristics, components, advantages and limitations of a wide range of materials used in footwear production: leather, leather substitutes (synthetics or artificial materials), textile, plastic, rubber etc. 

  • Footwear manufacturing technology

    Footwear processes technology and machinery involved. The footwear manufacturing starts in the cutting/clicking room , cutting the uppers and bottom components. The upper components are joined together in the closing room by following a precise order of specific operations: skiving, folding, sewing etc. The closed upper, the insole and other bottom components are brought together in the assembling room, where the main operations are lasting and soling. The process ends with finishing operations in the finishing and packing room.

  • Footwear components

    Footwear components both for uppers (vamps, quarters, linings, stiffeners, toe puffs etc.) and bottoms (soles, heels, insoles etc.). Ecological concerns and the importance of recycling. Selection of suitable materials and components based on their influence on the footwear style and characteristics, properties and manufacturability. Procedures and methods in chemical and mechanical processing of leather and non-leather materials.

  • Pattern grading

    Know about cutting patterns accurately and grading the patterns to obtain the size series in case of mass production. Know how to mark notches, holes, seam allowances, and other technical specifications. Make adjustments and obtain the final patterns for cutting in order to compensate any identified problems during sampling.

  • Footwear machinery

    Tthe functionality of the wide range of machines, and the basic rules of regular maintenance.

  • Footwear quality

    Quality specifications of materials, processes and final products, the most common defects in footwear, quick tests procedures, laboratory tests procedures and standards, adequate equipment for quality checks. Quality assurance of footwear production processes and fundamental concepts on quality including footwear quality framework and standards.

  • Manual cutting processes for leather

    Cutting rules, variance of the leather properties on its surface and elongation directions of the footwear pieces.

Skills

  • Apply footwear uppers pre-assembling techniques

    Prepare lasts and uppers, attach insole, insert stiffener and toe puffs, mould the upper on back part, and condition the uppers before lasting. Perform the above-mentioned operations both manually or by using machines. In case of using machines, adjust working parameters.

  • Create solutions to problems

    Solve problems which arise in planning, prioritising, organising, directing/facilitating action and evaluating performance. Use systematic processes of collecting, analysing, and synthesising information to evaluate current practice and generate new understandings about practice.

  • Apply footwear bottoms pre-assembling techniques

    Split, scour surfaces, reduce sole edges, rough, brush, apply primings, halogenate the soles, degrease etc. Use both manual dexterity and machinery. When using machines, adjust their working parameters.

  • Apply fashion trends to footwear and leather goods

    Be able to stay up to date on the latest styles, attending fashion shows and review fashion/clothing magazines and manuals, analysing the past and present fashion trends in areas such as footwear, leather goods and clothing market. Use analytical thinking and creative models to apply and to interpret in a systematic way the upcoming trends in terms of fashion and life styles.

  • Apply assembling techniques for cemented footwear construction

    Be able to pull the uppers over the last and fix the lasting allowance on insole, manually or by special machines for forepart lasting, waist lasting, and seat lasting. Apart from the main group of lasting operations, the responsibilities of those assembling footwear cemented types may include the following: bottom cementing and sole cementing, heat setting, sole attaching and pressing, chilling, brushing and polishing, last slipping (before or after finishing operations) and heel attaching etc.

  • Perform manual cutting for footwear uppers

    Be able to check and complete cutting orders, select leather surfaces, classify cut pieces. manual dexterity, as well as ability for identifying faults and defects on the leather surface are required. A very good visual capacity is also necessary in order to recognise colours, shades and type of finishes. Be able to use the following tools: knife, pattern templates, cutting board and marking needle.

  • Apply stitching techniques

    Apply footwear and leather goods stitching techniques using the appropriate machines, needles, threads and other tools in order to obtain the required model and to comply with the sewing technical specifications.

  • Apply pre-stitching techniques

    Apply pre-stitching techniques to footwear and leather goods in order to reduce thickness, to reinforce, to mark the pieces, to decorate or to reinforce their edges or surfaces. Be able to operate various machinery for splitting, skiving, folding, stitch marking, stamping, press punching, perforating, embossing, gluing, uppers pre-forming, crimping etc. Be able to adjust the working parameters of the machinery.

  • Prepare footwear samples

    Create, test and verify prototypes or samples of footwear against a predefined set of criteria throughout all stages of the manufacturing process. Revise the initial design concepts and implement technical improvements.

  • Create technical sketches for footwear

    Be able to use various sketching and drawing techniques, including artistic representation, by hand or by computer, being aware of proportion and perspective, to sketch and draw footwear, lasts, soles, heels etc., both as 2D flat designs or as 3D volumes. Be able to prepare specification sheets with details of materials, components and manufacturing requirements.

  • Practice innovative thinking in the footwear and leather goods industries

    Innovate and create in the footwear and leather goods sector. Evaluate new ideas and concepts to turn them into marketable products. Use entrepreneurial thinking in all stages of the product and process development to identify new business opportunities for the targeted markets.

  • Apply basic rules of maintenance to leather goods and footwear machinery

    Apply basic rules of maintenance and cleanliness on footwear and leather goods production equipment and machines that you operate.

  • Apply development process to footwear design

    Be able to understand the needs of the consumer and analyse the fashion trends. Be able to innovate and develop the footwear concepts from an aesthetic, functional and technological point of view by using a wide range of methods and techniques, selecting materials, components and suitable technologies, adapting new concepts to manufacturing requirements and transforming the new ideas into marketable and sustainable products for mass or customised production. Be able to visually communicate the new ideas and designs.

  • Create patterns for footwear

    Produce the mean form or shell, a two-dimensional representation of the three-dimensional shape of the last. Create scaled patterns for uppers and bottom components by manual methods from the designs.

Optional knowledge and skills

reduce environmental impact of footwear manufacturing perform packing of footwear and leather goods use it tools apply machine cutting techniques for footwear and leather goods implement footwear marketing plan work in textile manufacturing teams footwear and leather goods marketing planning automatic cutting systems for footwear and leather goods develop footwear and leather goods marketing plans