When thinking of any investment to make in the area of small and medium scale industries, it is advisable to consider those projects that have local raw materials content. Production of shoes falls into the category of these projects that have all the required raw materials locally.
Shoes are worn not only for the protection of feet but also as an expression of fashion. Shoes are essential consumable product. Everybody needs shoes. We don’t just buy them to protect our feet; shoes are a popular way to express our style and fashion sense.
With a population of over 180 people, Nigeria remains a virgin market for the footwear industry. It’s not just the size of Nigeria’s market that’s attractive to the footwear industry, but by the fact that Nigeria is also richly endowed with the raw materials, impressive talent and affordable labour that gives it the edge to build a multi-billion naira footwear industry.
Nigeria is leading the footwear revolution on the continent. In 2013 alone, Nigeria earned over N150 million from shoe exports, which ranks it a leader in the global leather goods industry. And this is only the beginning.
You too can start your own footwear brand
Like I mentioned earlier, Nigeria’s footwear market is still virgin. With high population growth, developing economies and a demand, there’s still a wide gap between the demand and supply of suitable footwear to satisfy the market.
If you want to get into this sector of the economy, you need raw passion, creativity, curiousity and determination to succeed in the footwear business.
Materials needed for shoe making
There are many different materials used to make shoes. The materials needed to make shoes depends on the type of shoe being made. A variety of materials are used for making shoes includes; Leather fabrics, plastic, rubber, fabrics, wood, jute fabrics, and metalare. Others are leather from chicken feet, synthised rubber, cow hide, tanned cow genitles, aspestos and cloth.
Details of this are explained below:
•Cutting board- this is yours work area, and it comes in 3 sizes :
450x300x3; 620x450x3;900x620x3. Most people uses the 45cm (the first one) as this one is for personal use.
•Adhesive tape – to make it easy on yourself, please pick up good and quality tape, that holds on the last. There are different widths, 2 cm, 5 cm, 14 cm. I don’t like to mess up my workspace with unnecessary things so I use the 5 cm wide tape. Because it is good for attaching it on the last and I cut them when I need more narrow stripes. Check my tutorials I do that a lot, very useful trick.
•Cardboard- I use it for pattern making, there are many types and most of them are good, but I use Duplex, it’s 180-200 gram. It must be flexible but not too flexible.
•Metal ruler – not less than 30 cm.
• Flexible Measurement tape – There is a specific type for shoemaking, it doesn’t have the iron peace at the end, like the one that tailor uses. If you can’t find the shoemaker tape, you can cut off the metal peace but remember to always add 1 cm to your measurements.
•Compasses – This one will save you a lot of time in pattern making and to be accurate in your work and to avoid mistakes, use it!
•Utility knife – He can be your friend for awhile so pick a good one. First of all you will use it to cut your pattern, cardboard, tape and even leather. Beginners also can use it to skive the leather for absence of good skiving knife or skills.
•Blades for utility knife- They are not less important than the knife itself. As there are many different knives, there are many types of blades as well, what you need to look for is blades with 30 degrees angle.
• Shoe last- find the right last for the model that you wish to make. Although, there is last for each model, for beginners. I will recommend to start working on last that is suitable for few types, like Pumps/Derby/Oxford. It will allow you to try different models.
Shoes are one of those products that we wear daily and is a necessity. Although this is a necessity, no one ever seems to ever wonder how the shoes that everyone wears are produced. Well in the manufacturing process there are many steps, parts of a shoe and as well as materials. There are many different materials for shoes. There are certain ones for sport shoes, dress shoes, boots, sandals and more. Some materials are used to make the footwear comfortable, to be able to protect from injuries, or to make it look very exquisite.
Shoe making can or is considered a traditional handicraft profession. There are many parts to a shoe such as the sole, insole, outsole, midsole, heel, and vamp or upper. More than 200 operations are required for making a pair of shoes. However, with the development of modern machines, a pair of shoes can be made in very less time as each step in its manufacturing is generally performed by a separate footwear making machine.
There are also many departments when it comes to manufacturing the product such as click or cutting department that deals with the top part of the shoe and use leather or other materials to cut out various shapes that will eventually for the upper. It is the first process in the making of a pair of shoes. Leather is usually used in this department where the leather is carefully selected and the clicker will proceed to cut the shape of the upper, by hand, from the high quality hides.
This is a skilled and specialist job because any flaws in the leather must be worked around, and as leather is very expensive any waste must also be kept to a minimum. After this process there is the closing or machining department which deals with sewing all the components together and as well adding the eyelets where the shoelaces would come from.
Next is the lasting and making department which deals with molding the finished uppers into a shape of the foot and as well as adding the plastic shapes that stimulates the foot shape. In that department they add all the soles to it as well. Then there is the finishing department which mainly deals with trimming heels, polishing and buffing soles, making sure that the edge is waxed, waterproof, stained and polished, adding finishing touches and then finally making it finished.