Down to the Brass Tacks26th July, 2023
For 92 years, we have upheld the traditional methods of bootmaking established by Edwin Viberg. One of the most distinctive aspects of our footwear manufacturing process is the utilization of solid brass nails, tacks, and staples internally. We take pride in being the only global manufacturer that incorporates this type of material throughout our products.
The advantage of using solid brass nails, tacks, and staples lies in the non-corrosive nature of the raw material itself. Unlike commonly used iron nails, the brass does not cause the leather to rot over time due to perspiration and welt conditions. Instead, the brass oxidizes and develops a greenish patina while maintaining the integrity of the boots. This ensures a longer lifespan for the product as there is no internal leather rot caused by iron nails that could corrode the leather or fiber boards inside the shoe.
The challenge with using brass is the higher cost of the raw material compared to iron, as well as its relatively softer nature, which makes it somewhat more difficult to work with. However, the softness of brass is advantageous when it comes to bending and clinching these nails, tacks, and staples to the insole. In contrast, iron nails struggle to clinch properly due to their hardness.
In traditional handcrafted shoemaking, wood pegs were the primary means of holding the boot together. These pegs would be nailed in place and then expanded by moisture, securing the construction. The incorporation of solid brass provides a faster and more mechanized alternative while still preserving the integrity of the footwear. It allows for the product to be recrafted and resoled for many years without the need to replace the internal leather components that form the boot's chassis.
To uphold the tradition of utilizing solid brass nails, tacks, and staples, we have formed a partnership with a small nail manufacturer in Japan. This family-owned business, established in 1940 and now in its third generation, works exclusively with us to develop these special brass components. The precision of these Japanese-made nails, tacks, and staples is unparalleled, ensuring seamless operation of our vintage machinery.