Guate Boots - notes from the field
Read on to learn more about some of the improvements and processes we're doing for Round 2 of Guate Boots!
Yo folks, wanted to give y'all a little update
on our efforts in Guatemala and a little forewarning that we are
running out of space in Round 2 and that the price of our boots for
round 3 may be going up a bit more. DEADLINE IS THURSDAY NIGHT!
We have just released a whole bunch of beautiful vintage huipil
tapestries so go check them out if you haven't reserved your pair. Now, I
wanted to give y'all an update on the boot making front and the
wonderful strides we're taking.
First round, we made a quality boot but it lacked some of the special finishing touches that define master shoe making. What can I say.. they were our first boots and we still love them very much! We have since made big steps to get us closer to having one of the best made boots possible. For instance, the soling material is now a natural rubber mix that should extend the duration of the sole as well as the comfort significantly. We are also offering a very nice finished leather sole which will last a very long time. Keep in mind, no shoe will last forever, so you have to take care of them, and when the sole wears out, simply take them to a shoe hospital and they can fix your baby right up. That's one of the benefits of using traditional shoe-making techniques vs conventional mass produced shoes that tend to use shoddy materials.
Additionally, we have upped the quality of the inner lining with a very nice Mexican pig skin leather that is very durable, comfortable and quite pleasing to the eye. Pig skin is a standard in artisan boots, provides a nice breathable quality, and smells wonderful. We have also reinforced the back of the heal in order to be doubly sure you will get miles, miles and miles out of these puppies. We are also crafting beautiful insoles to provide a bit more comfort and quality.
We have lined the entire textile with piping with the same leather your boot will be made of and done a really fine job with that aspect. It adds a very refined look as well as will protect the textile from wear. (Note: if you see any part of your textile fraying we recommend using a lighter to burn the singes, this will help the textile to stay properly in tact and is simply good maintenance. Don't pull the thread! And it's not a bad idea to waterproof the textile with scotch guard or something of that sort.) We have also folded the back strap of the boot that helps to hold the textiles together, provides a functional loop to help get your boot on, and frames the textiles beautifully.
On the tongue, we have reinforced the tongue with a second piece of leather branded on both sides. On the outward facing side a beautiful Teysha Triangle impression and on the inside the Teysha mark. This provides a bit more comfort, a more refined look, and those of you who like to hang out with your tongue out... I'll just say it looks bad ass.
Last but definitely not least, the soling of the shoe is of extreme care. All of it is welt construction which is one of the more challenging techniques in artisan boot making. Takes a lot of time and care. We are putting 6 to 7 stitches per inch in the mounting of the sole. This provides a tighter, more secure construction as well as a very elegant look. Shoemakers use this as a measure of detail and expertise. 6 to 7 stitches is a very high standard where as cheaper boots usually have 4 or so. The nicest having 9, but that's not necessary for a more casual boot. (You can bet we'll be doing 9 when we start rolling out some more formal footwear)
On the tapestry side... well let's just say we are finding more and more women and communities every week and with that some of the most excellent art works we have come across in Guatemala. You are getting the premium. We are also working to improve our lower end textiles for those looking for a more budget friendly boot. Our newest friends in Atitlan are going to be amazing collaborators in creating naturally dyed, small farmed textiles that are really just awesome.
With that said, these improvements have an inherent cost of time, material, and expertise. That means they have a financial cost as well. So the reality is, our boot is evolving and the price must evolve as well. We are keeping price where it is through the end of this round but cannot guarantee the boot won't be more expensive next time around as we continue to improve these techniques and find higher end materials. So... fair warning!
All in all. We are making a very badass boot and are incredibly excited to offer you this kind of quality. I (Travis and Team Teysha) wanted to let you know all of this so you knew what you are supporting and to also say YOUR BOOTS ARE GOING TO BE AMAZING!!!!!