We like to think it is the smallest footwear factory in the world.
The last is a model form carefully developed to ensure style, maximum support and a comfortable fit. We work with English sizes (including genuine half sizes) and our several lasts are developed in England by Britain’s best last maker to fit the average foot of ladies and gentlemen.
Courteney products are made from genuine gameskin leathers.
Helena, production manager, selects a Buffalo hide for an order of boots.
Cutting: Clicking is the traditional word for cutting. Misheck cuts the various parts and components that make up a boot or shoe. With his skill and experience he knows exactly where on the leather to place his pattern as he cuts the upper.
Closing: Closing is the title given to preparation, fitting together and finishing off the cut components to produce an upper ready for lasting.
Temba, Nhlanhla, Themba and Tafadzwa are in the closing section where they mark, skive, glue and stitch the upper together. They attach toe puffs, and buckles, hooks, loops and eyelets are fitted. The closed upper is now ready to be lasted and made into a boot.
Courteney makes its own rubber soles from natural rubber, originally from the plantations of Malaysia, on a British hydraulic 80 tonne press. Jabulani removes a sole from the press.
Making: Making is the name given to the department in which all the component parts of the upper and bottom are brought together to construct the boot or shoe.
Edward pulls the upper over the last on a toe last developed and modified by Courteney from an old German bed laster – and attaches it to the insole / runner. It is a very skilled operation to ensure the upper fits the last snugly and is positioned perfectly.
Enock then stitches the upper to the insole runner on a rapid stitcher which produces a lock stitch using a waxed thread. This is a rather complicated machine made in Denmark many years ago, but it is original and still the best made in the world.
Sole attaching. Enock primes the sole and runner before bonding using a two part cement, heat and hydraulic pressure.
Edge trimming: Edward is using a machine similar to a planing machine with an open cutter trimming off excess rubber. A skilled and rather risky operation.
Scouring: Nicholas sands and polishes the edge to a fine finish using a machine originally from John’s Dad’s making room at the Clarks’ Shepton Mallet factory in Somerset, England.
Nicholas fits the insock and laces, cleans and hand polishes the boot. Then, together with Helena, a thorough quality control inspection is made before packaging ready for the client.
phone: + 263 9 884098
coordinates: S20deg 09’ 25” / E28deg 33’ 02”