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Today we are going to talk about the Blake construction method. How it’s done, how it works and what are it’s advantages and disadvantages.
The Blake stitch method is one that is used by most luxury brands like Gucci and Prada in their shoes, it is the most popular method of shoe construction in Italy. So when you see a shoe that says Made in Italy and it has a sleek, slim silhouette, you can rest assured that it is a Blake construction.
A blake shoe is relatively easy to understand. The upper, the insole and the outsole are attached by a single stitch as illustrated in the diagram above. It is to be noted that not all blake stitched shoes have a cork filling, in fact most do not have a cork filling.
The Blake Construction method was invented by a man known as Lyman Reed Blake in 1856, it is a product of the industrial revolution. The Blake Stitch makes use of a specialized sewing machine, the first one in existence was known as the Blake Mckay sewing machine. This is a diagram of a Blake Mckay machine.
Blake stitched shoes get a bad rep online in many style forums, but the fact is that they are usually more affordable and have a slimmer profile as compared to a Goodyear welt shoe. In reality these shoes are generally of good quality and are durable too.
The achilles heel of a Blake stitched shoe is precipitation, that is that they are not suitable at all for snowy weather or for heavy rain, outside of that, these shoes will do just fine. So if you plan on wearing a Blake stitched boot in a Chicago winter, I would advise against it. Cold air can enter this shoe due to the nature of the stitch. If you live in Seattle or Vancouver, where there is always mild rain, these shoes will do just fine.
Do remember to take care of your leather and use a wax based waterproof polish or a waterproof spray on all your leather shoes and products.
Another aspect I should discuss is that Blake Stitched shoes are generally made of quality leather. This means they should age well.
Now lets discuss the Pros and Cons of Blake construction
- Cheaper to buy than Goodyear Welt shoes due to a less labour intensive manufacturing process.
- Sleeker designs and slimmer silhouettes are more appealing to many consumers.
- Used by most luxury fashion houses
- Blake stitched shoes are durable enough to last you for years.
- Exposure to Cold air due to tiny openings in the area where stitching occurs.
- Water can enter your shoe due to tiny openings in the area where the blake stitch is done.
- Not as durable as Goodyear Welt Shoes.
I hope you’ve enjoyed Today’s article and have gained valuable information from it.
Till Next Time