Since I started to make sandals around 1976 I have made well over a thousand pairs. That may not sound like a lot, but let me assure you that all the sandals made at The Sandalman are all made by hand and most are hand sewn. No machines are used, other then the grinder to smooth the sandals exterior edge. All slots punched are not done with the use of an electric die clicker but rather done by hand. All slots that are punched are done manually, all stitching is done by hand with the assistance of a stitch awl with five cord nylon thread. Bonding is done with a glue pot, not sprayed in a booth and all straps are hand beveled to take the sharp edge of the leather. That is why they take between 7 and 10 hours to create.

All the tools that are used to create the final finished sandal. A square, punch awl, channel cutter, stitch wheel, edge beveler, scissors,exacto knife and pen.

The pattern is then made and used to cut the material out and slot placement is then determined based upon the clients foot contours.

My, how times have changed! Up until about 5 years ago, the only way I got an order for sandals was when my customer walked through my front door. Chose a strap style and then I would proceed to produce a cardboard pattern for them while they waited patiently until I perfected the pattern while showing them samples of leather. Today on the other hand most of my sandal business comes from the Internet. So now I must explain to the customer how to take the outline of there own foot, and what they must do to prepare their foot outline for an arch cushion support.

The example shown is a sandal that I am making for the Broadway play, AIDA.

Old world craft and technology have merged. In the Olde Toronto one would be able choose between a number of sandal makers. Today, I remain one of the only sandal makers around. . Imagine that in a city as big as New York that they had to find me on the Internet so I could make them a pair of old style hand crafted leather sandals.

It just amazes me!

Cory Bernatt

The Sandalman

The leather is then cut to shape and prepared for the slot cutting.

All the slot are then drawn onto the leather and then a cutter is used to punch out of the leather where the straps will be secured.

If arch cushions are being incorporated into the sandal then they are applied at this point. The sandals is then bonded between all the layers and arches are secured in between the multiple layers.

Once the sandal is assembled the edges must be sanded down to remove excess material and then they are sewn together in the case that they have arch cushions.

The soles are then applied and they are reground to smooth the edge and prepare for the edge enamel which is added to seal the side of the sandal and helps prevent excessive water damage.

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The Sandalman Leathercare
1181 Davenport Road (corner of Oakwood and Davenport)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M6H 2V3
Hours 11-6 Tuesday to Friday 11-5 Saturday
Closed Sunday and Monday
416-533-6-335 (same backwards)

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