Creating your own personal look is easier when you choose pieces that have their own unique characteristics. For rich, multi-toned colouring, nothing beats the traditional dip-dying method – because no two dip-dyed shoes are the same. Let’s take a look at this classic shoe colouring process.
First the upper is stitched together to form the basic shoe shape from natural leather. At this stage the leather is simply vegetable tanned and non-coloured.
The upper is then dipped in a vat of the chosen colour dye. Here’s where some of those unique differences start to happen. The pores in the leather vary from piece to piece, meaning some areas absorb more of the dye than others, leading to varied colour depth and tones.
The uppers are then set aside to dry, giving the dye time to permeate the leather fully. The uppers are then washed in an industrial washing machine to rinse out any excess dye, before being left to dry naturally once more.
Lasting is next – the uppers are wrapped around the appropriate last and the shoe constructed with the addition of the soles. At Aquila these are most commonly Blake stitched in the traditional method.
Finally the finishing stage employs specially designed polishes which help to re-nourish the leather, bringing it back to its pre-processing condition. The polishes are neutral, clear polishes to ensure the desirable uneven colour absorption achieved in the dip dying process is maintained.
The final result is a shoe of unique properties, which goes a long way towards helping you build your own unique look. Aquila Rudi is a perfect example, a Chelsea boot with all of the rich colouring the dip-dying method is admired for.