The journey of a shoe around the factory
The Imperial collection epitomises the absolute pinnacle of English shoemaking, with a stunning selection of shoes made using the finest leathers and featuring oak bark in-channel soles and hand-painted fiddle waists.
Our dedicated 15216 last is the epitome of subtle elegance, featuring a soft chiselled toe and cut deep under the arch to further emphasise the shape. Generous and comfortable in the width, this last's beauty lies in its accentuated curvature and sleek appearance. For loafers, our imperial 207 last offers the same clarity of design with specific alterations such as a slightly shallower instep and slimmer heel to aid comfort and support.
Higher grades of leather are softer, stronger and unparalleled in terms of consistency. For our Imperial collection, we have sourced the very best leathers from some of the most revered and established tanneries to ensure that the wearer enjoys comfort and quality for many years to come.
Tanning leather with oak bark can be traced back to medieval times and requires the leather to be steeped in oak bark for up to a year. This intensive tanning process creates a durable sole unit which represents the highest level of English craft and tradition.
Otherwise known as closed or hidden channel stitching, this process involves delicately lifting the very top layer of leather around the outside of the sole, ensuring the welt stitching is embedded discreetly, before gluing . The split edge is then carefully stuck back down and hand-painted for a distinctive finishing touch.. This time-consuming process can only be done by hand and is a testament to our talented craftspeople, resulting in a finer sole unit with added protection.
A fiddle waist refers to the distinctive carved section under the arch of the shoe. Combined with the slim profile of our Imperial lasts, this further accentuates the elegant shape and extra level of handwork that goes into these exquisite sole units.