Earlier this year we experimented with some natural indigo dye and its effect on various leathers. In addition to dyeing raw materials, we also submerged an entire finished Service Boot in the vat of indigo. The original boot was made from Horween's Natural Essex which is a full-grain, undyed, vegetable tanned leather . After multiple dips the upper leather, insole, and midsole fully absorbed the indigo and were left a rich, uniform blue. The brass eyelets and white nylon sole stitch remained unchanged. While the concept is not entirely ready for production yet, we will continue to explore what effects can be acchieved with Indigo and other natural dyes. Click through for more photos of the process.
A few months ago, when clearing out a storage room at the factory, we came across an old wooden last in an Infant Size 7. We thought it would interesting to see if we could adapt our materials and production methods to such a small scale so we set out on making a single pair of Service Boots. Despite the tiny size we used as many of our usual materials as possible including brass nails, #2 eyelets, and full weight upper and insole leather. We managed to preserve the stitch pattern, bellows tongue and overall proportions of the adult size Service Boot. Unfortunately, we have no plans to begin producing children's footwear, but this sample can be seen on display at VMC in Zurich. Click through for more photos.
Twice a year we travel to Berlin to exhibit at one of the world's largest and most impressive trade shows: Bread & Butter. Last month we were there showing a collection of shoes and boots that will be available for purchase this coming Fall season. While the trade show is an opportunity to show stores and press all of the new things we've been working on, it is also a chance to connect with old friends and customers. We are always amazed at the level of support we encounter abroad and there is nothing better than seeing a well worn pair of Viberg Boots stop by our booth. Click through for more photos of the booth and some of the boots we crossed paths with.
Today we released a very limited run of Service Boots available in both Black and White Painted Horsehide. The leather is from the famous Guidi & Rosellini tannery in Italy, which is known for their unique tanning processes and finishing techniques. This heavyweight horsehide came to us with a thick, painted on finish. After some experimentation we decided to remove some of the painted layer, giving the boots a unique distressed appearance. After cutting the upper, each piece was steamed and then wet sanded by hand. The completed boot was then given a heavy coat of beeswax to help preserve the remaining finish and to restore the moisture lost in the process. We avoided using metal eyelets or a rubber outsole to keep the details as simple as possible and to highlight the complexity of the leather. With wear the natural vegetable tanned horsehide will darken and patina, while the remaining paint continues to chip away. The entire run was limited to 10 pairs and will not be available again. Click through for some detailed photos of the manufacturing process.