Before shoes were made with separate soles and uppers, they were made from a single piece of leather.
In many cases these shoes sported a decorated seam running from toe to ankle up the front. The decoration itself could be formed from different stitching patterns or colored thread as the seam was closed.
Long after shoes came to be made with soles and uppers, this portion of the shoe retained a vestigial decorative seam in the same location, usually embroidered with silk in either a satin stitch or a raised fishbone pattern (Pedersen: 97).
This project examined the pattern needed to create such a pair of shoes using vegetable-tanned leather, artificial sinew for stitching material, and colored linen thread for decoration.
Last updated April 11, 2019.