Despite the challenges dictated by globalisation and mass production, an ancient trade continues to resist in Italy with a limited number of shops and artisans. We are talking about the profession of the cobbler and the magical world of shoemaking. Let’s find out some curiosities!
How does artisanal shoemaking survive in Italy?
Some years ago, many imagined that only a handful of artisanal shoemakers would exist in Italy in 2023. Fortunately, things turned out differently. This is due to various factors, including cultural improvement, the greater desire for sustainability against disposable shoes, and the wish to personalise one’s footwear.
Also, the cobbler’s profession has evolved over the years: today, the shoe craftsman is light years away from the figure of the Sciuscià or the shoe shiner. A modern shoemaker still changes broken or worn-out heels and widens shoes for customers who experience pain or blisters. But that’s not all: today’s shoemaker also renews footwear using leather dyes, is an expert in personalising shoes (for example, by colouring soles or adding studs), and excels in the service of making bespoke shoes.
Cobblers in Italy today: how many are there and how old are they?
Quite a few! According to the register of the Camere di Commercio (Chambers of Commerce), there are almost 3.900 cobblers in Italy. If you think this profession is for older people, think again: only 8.7% are over 60 years old, whereas 37.9% are 50 to 60 years old, 30.9% are between 40 and 49, and 22.5% are under 40 years old!
How to become a cobbler in Italy?
To become the best cobbler, you should consider studying in Italy, a country with an established tradition in handcrafted shoemaking, where skills are handed down from generation to generation. You can find the best schools offering various courses with excellent reviews from verified previous students. One example is Studiainitalia: we provide professional cobbler courses in Italy for those who want to specialise in shoes for women and bespoke shoemaking. We also offer short-term leather shoe courses available year-round!
Source for this article: Blog by prodottiperscarpe.it