Making Mohinders - the slow process of heirloom leather shoemaking
My favourite summer shoes are without a doubt my Mohinders slides. They are now over 5 years old and as soon as my socks come off in early spring they are my daily go-to shoes. Despite this heavy wear they look & feel better than ever!
Like everything that I buy for The Small Home, my Mohinders obsession started with me personally trying to hunt down a pair from this fab Californian brand for myself. They had sold-out everywhere... which obviously made me want them all the more!
We have been lucky enough to stock these brilliant shoes on our website for the last 4 years and I am not expecting any repeat purchases from my customers as these shoes are made to last a very long time!
So what makes these authentic shoes so great? Read on to discover the traditional craftsmanship & natural processes that sets Mohinders apart from modern day shoe making...
Athani in India is the home of heirloom leather shoemaking, where hide is transformed into leather to create the stylish and sustainable sandal - the classic Mohinders.
The 37-step process... each pair of Mohinders is handwoven in a 37-step process, using techniques handed down from third-generation shoemakers.
Home base... home is a tiny village surrounded by turmeric and sugarcane fields, based outside Athani in India.
Creative collaboration... small groups of highly-skilled artisans – often relatives – collaborate in workshops, usually based in the maker’s own homes.
Specialist skills... each artisan works on a different part of the process. Precision-cutting thick leather and regular stitches, done by hand and without guidelines, takes years to learn.
Cavani weaving... the upper and midsoles are woven together in a braid-like strand which creates a natural, durable bond.
Traditional tanning... buffalo hide is tanned in small batches in family-run micro-tanneries. The hides are stitched into bags, tanning solution is poured in and takes serval days to seep out. This is known as ‘bag-tanning’.
A natural solution... water, acacia tree bark and crushed myrobalan nut comprise the simple tanning solution This vegetable-dyed leather has rich caramel tones which age beautifully.
Iron-dyed leather... the deep black comes from a natural dye which, when mixed with iron, creates a fade-resistant colour-fast dye that doesn’t rub off on your skin.
Traditional versus industrial... making leather traditionally takes around a month and creates high-quality biodegradable leather. Cheaper, modern options use chemicals to turn hides into leather in a day.
Sustainable style... the use of non-industrialised methods and materials minimises environmental impact.
Traditional techniques with modern upgrades... padded insole, soft leather lining and durable sole are modern additions which enhance the Mohinder experience.
Fit... like all good things, they come to those who wait... there is a 'wear-in' with Mohinders shoes. The super durable, naturally tanned, buffalo leather feels firm when new but the leather quickly softens and the shoes moulds perfectly to your foot.