Alpaca Rope Soled Slippers
Although I started Shoemaking making Rope Soled Slippers back in 1976, I very rarely make them today. Why? Well, they are a real pain in the neck to make, especially now that I am getting older.
But, every now and again I come across a fabric that is as rare, luxurious and special as my Rope Soled Slippers.
So when I came across a soft, silky shawl made from the fleece of an Alpaca named Dolly from www.birdfarmalpacas.com/, just 15 miles south of Aberarth and heard the back story behind the shawl, I just had to buy it and make a pair.
The wool was hand spun then woven into a shawl by a local weaver - www.thenaturalfibre.co.uk/link/curlew-weavers-woollen-mill
Alpacas only yield two kilos of 'wool' a year. The fibre is hollow and is 5 times warmer and 7 times stronger than sheep's wool. It's also has hypoallergenic and antibacterial qualities. It's known as the Fibre of the Gods and once was used exclusively to make clothing for royalty.
I first mounted the Alpaca tweed onto thin gold kid leather then fully lined the uppers with a rich, conker brown, super soft, Kid suede. The brass eyelets are plated with 24ct gold and the laces are made from scarlet red glacé kid leather.
The jute rope soles are made from 200 feet of twine plaited into two square eight plait ropes which are sewn into soles, then invisibly stitched to the uppers.
They are signed and dated 5.6.17.