Product development and pig suede. The story behind the scenes
This time, the newly released Mikey and Shorty have pig suede uppers.
Blue Over designer Watari will introduce the pig suede in his own words.
Mikey and Shorty released this time in pig suede. I would like to write about why we chose this material for the upper and what its strengths are.
First, when I encountered the material, this pig suede was among the products sold by a leather shop that purchases the lining material (inside of shoes) used for various Blue Over models.
In the shoe industry, pigskin is a material that is relatively often used for lining.
Pig shoes are thinner than cows, and are breathable and absorbent, making them comfortable to wear. However, the pig suede we used this time is not the kind used for shoe linings, but is used for leather accessories, etc., and is characterized by its slightly thicker and glossier texture.
In terms of atmosphere, it has a texture and appearance similar to the pig suede found in NB's products made in England and USA. It's moist, feels good to the touch, and has a glossy feel. The chrome tanned base is brushed with sandpaper and oiled for a truly luxurious finish.
Another good thing about pigskin leather is that it tends to be thinner than cowhide. The velor normally used for Mikey is thick velor, and even if it is smooth leather, the upper material is usually 1.6 mm thick.
If the leather is too thick, we apply a process called sukiki to make it thinner, but if the leather is too thin, we apply a process called lining, which involves pasting a reinforcing material together.
This pig suede is about 0.9 mm, so we lined it and monitored its strength.
Cow hides are usually imported from North America, but this pigskin is made from domestically produced hides. Since the leather is made from meat that is consumed domestically, it can also be said to have a healthy material background born from the cycle of business.
However, on the other hand, the supply of raw leather was irregular, so the shoe production schedule sometimes did not go as planned.
Also, this is what I found out when I actually purchased the leather, but the design side of this suede is usually the floor surface (in other words, the back side of the silver surface). However, when I checked the leather that arrived, I felt that the silver side had a richer expression.
While the floor surface had a relatively uniform and regular appearance, the silver surface was uneven and tasteful, giving it a leather-like appearance.
Therefore, the Mikey and Shorty that we produced this time are all made with the silver side facing out.
Exposing the back side of the leather instead of the designed side specified by the leather shop requires thorough inspection of the product, which is difficult in large-scale production.
It may be said that it is only possible for a small brand like ours to be able to decide on the design by actually seeing all the raw hides used in production.
A suede model with luxurious specifications that features pig suede all over. The shoelaces are made from waxed round cords, giving the pair a more chic and tasteful look. There are two models: Mikey and Shorty TR. The release comes in three colors: dark navy, camel, and navy.