The Production Of Shoelaces
You might not give too much thought to shoelaces, but without them, life would be more challenging and a lot less fun. The first shoelace patent wasn’t created until 1790, with evidence of shoelaces dating back to Roman times
If you want to improve your knowledge of shoelaces, this quick guide to their production will set you off on the right foot.
Manufacturing of shoelaces
While there will likely be many ways to make shoelaces around the world, in the present day, with modern manufacturing equipment and technology, there is a common way to manufacture across leading factories.
There will be many shoelace braiding machines, each one containing around 44 bobbins, weaving the shoelace together.
From here, the shoelace drops, and the braiding process begins. The process has been likened to wrapping ribbons around a maypole, and the speed of the machine dictates how tight the weave will be. The faster the process, the looser the braid is.
Once braids are compiled, they are dipped into a liquid, usually acetone, allowing the laces’ ends to be tipped.
Once the ends are in place, the laces are paired off and then sent to the next stage of the distribution process.
Materials used to make shoelaces
You might be surprised by the versatility on offer in the manufacturing of shoelaces. They come in a wide range of materials.
Cotton shoelaces are cheap to make, easy to maintain, and can be created in various styles. It is no surprise that this is a prevalent form of shoelaces, found in a wide variety of shoes, including sports and fashion shoes.
This is a more durable type of shoelace, which has waterproof qualities because of the polyester. Therefore, don’t be surprised to see this style of lace on tough boots and work shoes. They are thicker laces, making them an excellent choice when the wearer is constantly on the go.
You’ll find this type of shoelace on boots and work shoes, as they’re more durable than cotton and have water-resistant properties because of the polyester.
Spun Polyester Laces
Spun polyester shoes are close to textured polyester laces, but these are smoother and have more uniformity. This is a flexible but durable lace, making them an ideal choice for people looking for the best of both worlds when it comes to dependability and style.
Nylon Shoe Laces
Nylon laces are highly durable and work very well under challenging conditions. These laces are more expensive than most lace types, but they offer assurance, and many consider them to be a tremendous value for money option.
Elastic laces, commonly associated with slip-on shoes, are perfect for those who want maximum comfort and convenience.
What is the most common shoelace tying styles?
There is great flexibility in how you can tie your shoes, but the most common shoelace tying styles are:
Straight bar lacing – This style is horizontal and parallel and is a clean look, fitting for formal footwear.
Criss-cross lacing – The most common method and recognised as an effective and efficient way to tie shoes. The most commonly used criss-cross lacing method is most commonly associated with casual footwear.
How do you like to tie your shoelaces? Do you use one of the most common methods, or do you have a unique technique? Hopefully, this quick guide on the production of shoelaces has given you something to think about when you next slip on a pair of shoes.
Take a look at our accessories pages for more laces and other shoe care