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Making a Lasting Impression: The Master Last Maker of Innolux’s Vietnamese Shoe Factory
July 18, 2014
In life, there are last chances, last dances, and those who are always the last to know. Happily, a shoe last refers to none of those things. On a brighter note, some things are built to last, and some are even said to last forever. A shoe last, provided it’s well-made, certainly can last a long time, if not quite forever.
Formed in the shape of a foot to fit a particular size or a custom design, a shoe last is a crucial part of the shoe manufacturing process. It can be made using a variety of materials including wood, cast iron, and high density plastics. Having the right last can be the key to success in shoe production. It can determine the quality of the shoe, its comfort level, and most importantly, how well it fits.
In order to create a high-quality last, you need a master last-maker. This is where Innolux has the edge in the region. Its Vietnam factory has a shoe-making tradition and history stretching back 40 years. The current owner’s father started his shoe-making factory in Taiwan, where he perfected his artisan craft. The son continued the family tradition, bringing the craft to Vietnam and developing it further.
Today, the Innolux factory has the state-of-the-art facilities needed to create a high-quality last. The factory’s top of the line CNC equipment molds the shape of the last using robotic computer technology.
However, while technology is certainly important, the quality of a last really depends on the experience and skills of the master who creates the first prototype. In fact, the skill of creating a good last can be considered an art form – which is where those 40 years of expertise prove their value.
The basic shoe last can be created by using sample references, drawings, or someone’s actual foot. Then the shoe master will start molding the basic shape of the last with the required materials, until the desired shape takes form.
This prototype is then scanned by a computer in 3D, using specialized design software. Finally, the information is transferred to the CNC machine that produces last duplicates and can grade any size automatically. The materials used need to be strong enough to withstand the forces of mass production, which is why high-density plastic is preferred.
Innolux’s Vietnam factory brings together years of know-how and modern production processes to produce high-quality lasts for the international market. Whether the customer is British, American, Australian or Japanese, Innolux can create the lasts that create the unique fit for each shoe.