To finish our 5 part series on the Cheaney factory, we now arrive at the Shoe Room; the final destination for our product. It will take a total of around 8 weeks from their inception in the Clicking Room to carefully being placed in their final shoe boxes, ready to be shipped to customers and retailers all over the world.
At the beginning of the shoe room, the shoes are socked, cleaned, dressed and any stitch marks are taken care of. Our brown shoes are antiqued in a process known as burnishing and this is done by eye by highly skilled men and women, with extensive experience in the delicate process. The shoes are also creamed to showcase a rich depth of color and the task is undertaken with care and precision to ensure the cream does not stray into the lining or stitching. They are then polished on a hard mop laced with a small amount of wax and then on to a soft mop to be buffed. Paul began in 1975 and has been solely hand burnishing Cheaney shoes ever since, a craft that he has mastered with many years of diligence and precision. Paul has been polishing for 2 years and the antiquing, creaming, polishing and buffing process’ is what gives our shoes their signature Cheaney finish.
Gloria (12 years with Cheaney) using cream to add a richer depth of color to a pair of antiqued brogues
Leander (5 and a half years with Cheaney) spraying a pair of our black calf leather shoes
Jen has worked for Cheaney for 12 years and she undertakes a multitude of finishing processes, one of which is finger polishing. It is a laborious process, taking around 20 minutes to finger polish the toes of a pair of shoes, which is an added touch we take, especially for the pieces from our Imperial Collection.
Left toe has been finger polished, the right is untouched
After the shoes have worked their way around the shoe room, they are then passed to the Cheaney final examiners, who meticulously check the quality of the shoe and cast a very critical eye over the finished product. Our examiners will oversee 300 pairs of shoes each a day.
Bob (10 years with Cheaney) conducting a final examination
Russ (36 years with Cheaney) conducting a final examination
Finally, the shoes are placed in our eponymous fabric shoe bags and boxed, thus ending their journey on our premises before they are shipped to stockists and customers worldwide.
Julie (10 years with Cheaney) preparing shoes to be boxed
Elvis (4 years with Cheaney) is the Shoe Room Manager