Materials / Care
Tanneries / Merchants
Leathers are carefully sourced from reputable accredited Italian and British tanneries that work to high ethical and environmental standards, among these are A & A. Crack & Sons, Badalassi Carlo and C. F. Stead. As a maker I am blessed to use these fabulously precious materials in my workshop.
I specialise in artisan leathers simply because they offer instant aged beauty. Expect perfect imperfections throughout. Like knots & grain in real wood, these materials are a canvas of their origin, with marks, wrinkles & scratches worked into each item, embracing the hides individuality to create a unique product which develops rich patina with use. Colours have been carefully chosen to ensure your footwear, bag or purse becomes an everyday, every season, go to accessory.
Many leathers harden during the lasting process as they are sculpted to the shape of the final shoe or boot. Do not be put off by this firmness, after a few wears they will soften and become supple and mellow. The leather insoles will allow your foot to bed into the sole creating its own unique cradle.
Prices vary depending on the leather costs to myself as well as other factors, such as lining, etc with the tannery name / origin (if known) stated on the product description.
Adhesives & Threads
The adhesives I use are the lowest in nasty chemicals (toluene and MEK free) I could find whilst still being highly effective. Stitching threads are British made, superior quality, rot proof and abrasive resistant. My old sewing machines are terribly fussy, they only like to sew with the best.
Always make sure that your shoes are kept well polished to avoid unnecessary wear. Any good polish will do, my preference being old fashioned dubbin (very sticky to apply), just use a small amount and rub in well. Dubbin is the most marvellous leather treatment balm made from almond oil, bees wax and other natural products. Any polish made from natural ingredients is a winner. I also recommend Renapur which smells almost edible. You can buy this on Amazon here.
Polishing your shoes will darken the finish on all leathers apart from the satin finish ones. The *antiqued finish leathers will lighten with wear as the waxes and oils in the leather are displaced. It's a useful indicator that a jolly good polish is needed to replenish both the colour and the finish. If there is any fading then you can use a tinted shoe cream available in shoe shops or online.
Veg tanned leathers develop their own unique patina over time, the colours darken and become rich and burnished. Polish them each month, make it a date ♥ and love them, they will be with you for a very long time.
Fairysteps are all season shoes. Mine have gone boulder hopping at the seaside and the Moors, as well as running and rambling. As with all leather shoes you should avoid wearing in excessively wet conditions as it may cause stretching. I clean off the mud, pop them somewhere lukewarm (not on a radiator), and when dry I give them a polish. The ribbons even get a wash in the sink with warm water and hand soap. My shoes are then ready for the next adventure.
Barefoot comfort soling
I believe that your shoes should feel just like slippers, all day, every day, and our shoes do just that. With all leather interiors your new shoes will naturally give with wear, gradually moulding to your feet and offering glove like comfort.
We use a very durable, highly flexible, lightweight, cushioned, non slip soling. There is no heel, just like Mother nature intended, with the soling offering a good level of bounciness and protection. When the time comes your shoes can be resoled by your local cobbler, thus extending the life of your beloveds and avoiding landfill sites.