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A broad spectrum of materials and combinations are used today in shoe manufacturing. Leathers, synthetics, rubber and textile materials are counted among the basic upper materials. Each material has its own specific character and they differ not only in their appearance but also in their physical properties, their service life and different treatment needs. The choice of material significantly influences the life of the footwear and in many cases dictates its use.

 

Symbols of Structure

upper
sole
lining
 
Materials

Synthetic Materials

PVC, PU, rubber, leatherette and polymeric materials all have a similar look as leather but as far as breathing, absorption, flexibility is concerned their characteristics do not measure up to the qualities of natural leather. New upper materials in PVC and PU combined with comfortable linings are an advantage for designing and the next obvious advantage is their low price. Synthetic materials has inspired a rise of new colours, shapes and designs , especially in young fashion.

  • 1 Polymeric synthetic leathers are synthetic hides, which both in apperance and physical characteristics mimic natural hides. These are also much easier to care for in comparison to natural leather.
  • 2 Rubber based uppers are being used for special safety work boots,wherein textiles both natural or synthetic combined with rubber materials are used in safety or casual footwear.
  • 3 Waterproof membrane this special material which provides water resistance and breathability to footwear (for example Gore-Tex); It is a major element in hiking and sport footwear.
 


Symbols of Structure

leather
textile
smooth leather
other material
 

 Leather

The most used natural material with ideal characteristics for footwear. Leather breathes, is soft, with very good absorption ability; able to adjust to the individual shape of foot. We recognize several basic types of leather.

 
  • 1 Smooth leather has a soft structured surface with small pores, wherein defects are corrected by buffing to remove original grain and can be finished in glossy or dull surface with pigment.
  • 2 Aniline/Semi-Aniline leather with a smooth and highly glossy surface by Lacquere finish. In this type of leather surface is prone to mechanical damage, chemical impact, infusion and frost.
  • 3 Nubuck is top-grain cattle rawhide leather sanded or buffed on the grain side or outside, to give a slight nap of short protein fibers producing a velvet-like surface. It is resistant to wear and may be white or coloured. Sometimes Nubuck may give very similar feel to suede but the process is different. Suede is created from the inner side of a hide, whereas nubuck is from the outer side giving more strength and thickness along with the fine grain.
  • 4 Bottom leather is a type of leather used for soles of formal footwear, very prone to moisture and uneven surface. Embossed leather (printed). Embossed or printed leather is also used as insole for summer footwear. Embossed or printed leather is also used as insole for summer footwear.
  • 5 Oil/Waxy Pull Up Leather A leather bearing an oil/ wax finish that by design lighter colour when stretched. Its very natural and lively in look and used for casual shoes.
 

Upper Material

 
leather

Leather
The best upper material; natural, breathable and flexible; Having better strechibilty and adjusts to feet easily

 
leather

Textile
Characterized by a wide colour selection and lightness; used mainly for casual footwear.

 
leather

Synthetic
Used for a wide spectrum of shades, easy to care for, suitable for rainy weather.

 
leather

Leather
Hygienic, comfortable and flexible.

 
leather

Textile
Suitable for winter footwear because of its good thermal insulation qualities.

Lining Material

 
leather

Leather
Hygienic, comfortable and flexible.

Sole Material

 
leather

Leather
Has an elegant look, is light; solely designed for interiors; scrapes off easily; not suitable for wet conditions.

 
leather

Synthetic
Flexible, easy to care for; average resistance to wear; average thermo insulation qualities; slips in difficult terrain; not overly flexible.

 
leather

PVC
widely used as sole in various kinds of footwear maily due to price benefit. Its has moderate flexibility and abrasion property

 
leather

Rubber
has very good anti skid property and resistance to wear. widely used for safety and sport footwear.

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