The Art of Shoemaking

From dealing in the finest products from Italy, Spain and Japan, but we believe we need to get India on the map.
Sola Doro, based in Bombay (Mumbai), was founded by a young entrepreneur, Zeeshan Merchant to deliver a finished product of handcrafted shoes to a value appreciating customer.
In a small factory, owned by a family that has be artisans since the past 46 years in Agra the land of the Taj Mahal, we found a partner for us.
Our shoes are made 100% by hand. A handcrafted shoe has that human touch which is incomparable to a machine made shoe. The leather we choose is the best Indian Leather available and our product is a 100% Made In India product.

Handcrafting Our Lasts

A last is a carved wooden form of a foot. It forms the basis for a handmade shoe. The shape is created by using the correct tools and of course, the craftsmen must have a delicate hand to make the last with accuracy.

A sheet of paper is wrapped around this last and a rough pattern is sketched on that sheet of paper.
Choosing the right last is important as it determines the shape of the desired design. A good shoemaker will always choose his/her lasts carefully before starting this artistic process. The last forms the basis of a handmade shoe and is also a guide for the shoemaker’s hand.

Choosing the leather

The way we see it at Sola Doro, leather is the most important part of this process. Choosing the correct leather is very complex and we have to look into every detail when it comes to determining the leather.
Our leather is outsourced from one of India’s oldest leather tanneries that has been in business for over a hundred years. Leather must be durable, but also soft enough to give you comfort.
We use only leather tanned in India. This does have its limitations as the climate in India is not suitable for cattle to yeild rich skins but Sola Doro craftsmen work extra hard to get the desired finish.
We use some of the best leather and we look into the texture of the leather very carefully. We then test the durability of the leather and only our Master Shoemaker’s deal with the finishing of the leather.

Cutting and Stitching : Upper and Inner

After we choose the correct leather, it is then cut into a pattern according to that rough sketch on the last. Our specialists in cutting then get on to the process of creating the pattern and carefully cutting the leather making way for stitching.
The exterior of the shoe is called the Upper and the inner sole layer is called the Inner. The leather cutting is then carefully placed on the last and our shoemaker proceeds to the stitching of the cutting on the last.

Stitching - Delicate Work

Stitching the shoe takes a very delicate hand. It is a time consuming process our shoemakers do not use machines to stitch the cutting according to the shape of the last.

Using strong Thread is extremely important. This ensures durability and a long lasting experience for a shoe. We focus on using the correct thread that will complement the cutting.

Marriage : Sole and the Upper

One of the end processes is to stitch and stick the sole onto the upper layer of the shoe. Our soles are made In-house and we work with newer technology to bring the lightest soles ensuring a comfortable walking experience for our valued customers.
Sola Doro craftsmen specialise in manufacturing lightweight leather soles, sheeth soles, flexible rubber soles and soles for equestrian and golf. This is because many of our craftsmen have had experiences in the top sole manufacturers in Agra dealing with international quality soles for export as well.

The Finishing

Where we differentiate ourselves is our final finish. Sola Doro is here to deliver a finished product with a finish that makes you feel good when you wear a pair of these handmade shoes.
Finishing is an important part of the process and quality control is a key norm. Quality is important and quality is what you remember for the long term. We use some of the best leather but our finishing on that leather cutting using some of the best creams and oils creates finesse. Below is a picture of our founder, Zeeshan Merchant with our shoemakers during quality testing checks.