Thursday, October 1, 2009

From American to French with the slip of a shoe!








Espadrilles

A shelf of spanish espadrilles found in Barcelona

Espadrilles are casual flat- or high-heeled fashionsandals originating in the Pyrenees. They usually have a canvas or cotton fabricupper and a flexiblesole made of rope or rubber material moulded to look like rope. The jute rope sole is the defining characteristic of an espadrille; the uppersvary widely in style. In Quebec French, however,espadrille is the usual term forrunning shoes.


THE TERM ESPADRILLE IS
FRENCH AND DERIVES FROM THE CATALAN NAME FOR THE SHOES,ESPARDENYA, WHICH DERIVES FROM ESPART, THECATALAN NAME FOR ESPARTO, A TOUGH, WIRY MEDITERRANEAN GRASS USED IN MAKINGROPE. ESPADRILLES HAVE BEEN MADE IN CATALONIA SINCE THE 14TH CENTURY AT LEAST, AND THERE ARE CATALAN SHOPS STILL IN EXISTENCE THAT HAVE BEEN MAKING ESPADRILLES FOR OVER A CENTURY. TRADITIONAL ESPADRILLES HAVE A CANVAS UPPER WITH THE TOE AND VAMP CUT IN ONE PIECE, AND SEAMED TO THE ROPE SOLE AT THE SIDES. OFTEN THEY WOULD HAVE LACES AT THE THROAT THAT WOULD BE WRAPPED AROUND THE ANKLE TO HOLD THE SHOES SECURELY IN PLACE. EARLY ESPADRILLES WERE WORN BY BOTH MEN AND WOMEN.


MODERN ESPADRILLES

Once peasant footwear, espadrilles have grown in popularity, especially in Catalonia and the Basque Country, where many men and women wear them during the spring and summer months. Espadrilles can now be found designed by top designers which are manufactured in Bangladesh and Spain mostly. Modern espadrilles are predominantly for women, though some men's shoes are made in this style.

The soles of espadrilles may be flat, platform or wedge-shaped, and can be made of natural fiber or synthetic fiber rope, or flexible synthetic materials cast to resemble rope. Uppers may be made from nearly any substance, and may have open or closed toes, open or closed backs, and can be slip-on or tied to the ankle with laces. Thousands of varieties of espadrilles can be found, from inexpensive bargain brands to high priced designer brands.

These became highly fashionable in USA in the 1980s owing to the success of Miami Vice - being worn by "Sonny Crockett" (Don Johnson).

JUTE SOLE ESPADRILLES

A Classical/Basic Espadrille made of Jute Sole inBangladesh

Only second tocotton in favor as a natural fiber, jute is increasingly used in the manufacture of espadrilles. The soles of espadrilles are now commonly made with jute rope or braid, which is favored because of its eco-friendliness compared to synthetic substances. The natural bright white color of jute is a major design feature of modern espadrilles.

Bangladesh is the major producer of high quality jute, and has become a manufacturing centre for premium quality jute soles and complete espadrilles. Ninety percent of the world’s total production of complete espadrilles, as well as jute soles, is now manufactured in Bangladesh, although some manufacturers in Spain, France, and Italy import jute soles from Bangladesh to finish espadrilles in those countries.

Jute soles typically include fully or partially vulcanized rubber beneath the jute fibre for long-lasting espadrille shoes. Sometimes crepe soles are used as out-soles. Jute braid soles might include heels made of wood or EVA foam.

MANUFACTURE

The manufacture of espadrilles is generally more complex than that of sandals. The jute soles are the most critical part. The jute twine is first machine braided. These braids are then manually formed into the shape of the sole and hydraulically pressed with heat to form the final shape, and completed with vertical stitching. These basic soles are then vulcanizedunderneath. EVA foam or wooden heels are glued in place and more jute braids are wrapped around it to complete the soles. Uppers of different styles are then built on the jute soles to complete the espadrille.


7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Oh it is funny Marilyn , i know very good the espadrilles, it is so comfortable !!!!!!!
You could make some espadrilles for your new fairies called " Catalunya Fairies " lol !
I suppose that you walk better now with these shoes : they respect the foot lol!!!

Aude from France ( i was in Barcelone before , there is a lot of espadrilles here !!!)

William Bezek said...

That was the shoe of choice back in the 80's at San Francisco's Academy of Art College. We used to paint pictures on them to personalize.

Pattee said...

What a fantastic choice of shoe...
I remember these from was back.

Now do you own a pair or two?

When is Gail coming to France?

Give a hug to you and Gail when you see her.

France was/is one of my most favorite places.... along with Spain!
Pattee

Pat McIntosh said...

I'll take one in every color!!! I have been following your journey with a wistful sigh for each entry. I am visiting your Northern Ca. home this weekend and will cast your message of love toward your front door. Enjoy the rest of the trip.
Miss Pat

Lisa Gatz said...

They look so comfortable. those stripes certainly look French!

rochambeau said...

GREAT!!
You look good in them!I love espadrilles! Thanks for the tour!

Sharon said...

The French women are so elegant. The shot of your running shoe next to the espadrille really tells it all! My mouth has been watering since your first posting and now with the flea market I am just dying of envy here! Patrick & Patricia are here for a couple days on their way up the coast from Laguna. Wish you guys were here too. Your pictures are wonderful……..
xo, Sharon