Espadrilles or espardenyes are casual, flat, but sometimes high-heeled shoes. They usually have a canvas or cotton fabric upper and a flexible sole made of esparto rope. The esparto rope sole is the defining characteristic of an espadrille; the uppers vary widely in style.

Espadrilles have been made in Occitania region (France) and all over Spain, where they were the usual peasant footwear since the 14th century at least, and are still being produced as from old. The oldest, most primitive form of espadrilles dates as far back as 4000 years ago. Traditional espadrilles have a canvas upper with the toe and vamp cut in one piece and seamed to the rope sole at the sides. Often they have laces at the throat that are wrapped around the ankle to hold the shoes securely in place. Traditional espadrilles are worn by both men and women.

The manufacture of espadrilles is generally more complex than that of sandals. The jute soles are the most critical part. The jute twines are first machine-braided. These braids are then manually formed into the shape of the sole and hydraulically pressed with heat to form the final shape and completed with vertical stitching with Espadrille Needles. These basic soles are then vulcanized underneath. EVA foam or wooden heels are glued in place and more jute braids are wrapped around it to complete the soles. Uppers of different styles are then built on the jute soles to complete the espadrille.

More Info: