Once the design has been constructed and the raw materials have been chosen, the tickets arrive in the Clicking Room and are distributed to different team members. The ‘clicking’ name derives from the sound of the cutters knife on the brass bound pattern and is a process which has been used since the factory opened in 1886.
The leather is sorted and organised to issue the right quantity based on the ticket order. The clickers must also manage the waste by cutting as many pieces as possible from the same skin and the leather is meticulously checked for growth, wire marks, blemishes and colour inconsistencies, ensuring only the highest quality is selected. This process is undertaken by an experienced sorter as any undetected defects will become largely apparent later on in the process, such as when the shoes are burnished, and by this point the shoe cannot be saved and would be rejected.
We have a combination of highly skilled clickers and trainees. The trainees usually start by cutting the backers under the watchful eyes of our more experienced clickers, such as David (30 years with Cheaney) who will pass on their years of knowledge and expertise, whilst methodically hand cutting the outside components which require a keen and skilled eye.
Terry has worked in the Clicking Room for a year yet already shows great skill and accuracy in his work and works alongside David cutting linings.
Phylis is 79, works full time and has been with Cheaney for 39 years. She hand marks where the stitching will go and where the eyelets will be punched.
Although the majority of processes in our Clicking Room are executed by hand, several processes are undertaken by man-operated machines. Our Teseo machine, operated by a skilled machinist, performs more complicated cutting patterns such as gimping, our eponymous Cheaney logo is pressed into the socks and our Ultra machine will cut the linings. By contrast, the quarter of the shoe is hand written with Made in England by Teresa, along with the last number and the order number. This amalgamation of hand craft and machine operated techniques synchronize to ensure efficiency and accuracy, whilst keeping our traditional heritage.
Around 1,500 pairs of shoes a week are cut in the clicking room before heading to the Closing Room.