28 Oct

How Modern Dutch Clogs are Made

How Modern Dutch Clogs are Made
Clogs are one of the best shoe designed for the Dutch farmers. The shoe is made of wood, which is the critical material. The shoes can be dated back to the early twentieth century. Clogs guard the feet of the farmers from mud or injuries that may occur while in the field. Traditionally, the clogs were human-made. Machines are now used in the production of clogs.

PROCEDURE FOR MAKING MODERN CLOGS

There are now fewer clog artisans remaining in the industry. Machines have replaced the clog artisans making production faster. In the production process, only operators are required to watch the production process.

1. CREATING BLANKS 
Blanks are rectangular blocks cut out in different sizes to be designed into shoes. They are cut off from willow trees before being shaped into logs. The logs are then used to cut out blanks of different sizes.
2. SHAPING UP
In this stage, a shaper is used to design the outer shape of the shoe. A vinyl, which has a particular shape and size gives the blank the specific form. The machine would then design the shape of the clog using cutting blades.
3. SHAPING THE INTERIOR
A dual action borer cuts the interior of the shoe to the particular shape. The machine has three parts; the cutters and the tracer. The tracer goes to the vinyl and traces the design. One of the blades goes to the left and the other to the right shoe where they outline the vinyl. They scoop off the unwanted material using their ice cream scoop shaped blades. The operator runs the tracer, and the cutter mimics the tracer’s motion.
4. REFINING
At this stage, a refiner is used to remove any excess material. The refiner is entirely automated, and it ensures that the shoe is correctly done. It uses a tracer and two cutters which make the process a success.
5. DRYING OUT
The clogs are then dried out in the open air for up to six weeks. In other cases, they are also dried using a warm furnace which is warm hence allowing proper drying of the shoes.
6. FINAL TOUCHES
At this stage, the shoes are sanded by workers. Both the interior and the exterior are sanded making the shoe to be ready. The decoration process of the shoe is also done at this stage.
The modern production process is easier and faster. There are fewer employees engaged in the process. Machines ensure that errors that may occur are limited hence better quality clogs.
20 Oct

The Origins of Dutch Clogs

The Origins of Dutch Clogs

What do you think of when you think of Holland?

Chances are good that you answered that question with either tulips or wooden clogs. Despite worldwide popularity for the past millennium, we continue to associate the clog with Holland. While that may seem like it is playing to stereotypes, the Dutch have a long history with these notorious wooden shoes.

What Is a Clog?

Clogs are any shoes made out of wood. Although most clogs have a wooden sole and a leather upper, the Dutch variety is carved entirely out of one block of wood. Willow and poplar were the most common and preferred types of wood used thanks to their tough durability and waterproof nature.

Rise to Dutch Popularity

The oldest clogs ever discovered were found in Rotterdam and date back to the 1200s so we can safely assume that the Dutch were the original inventor of the wood clog. By the 1570s Holland has its first clog makers guild and the popularity of he clog spread throughout Europe. Clog we’re however, especially useful in Holland, as much of Holland’s terrain is swampland. The shoes were especially durable to water and muck. They were also loved for the protection they offered. Like most countries, Holland was historically an agricultural nation. The shoes provided extra protection to the foot when working with heavy equipment and animals during farm chores.

Decline of the Clog

Today, in any given city in the Netherlands you are unlikely to find anyone wearing clogs. However, you will find them in nearly every tourist shop.

As Holland became a more developed nation, and trade became better facilitated, clogs began to fall out of use and were replaced with classic leather shoes. Today only 30 Dutch Clog makers remain, and it is in fact a dying art. However their importance permeates rural culture. In the Dutch countryside clogs are still valued for the same reasons they were hundreds of years ago: they are durable and protect the foot.

The Modern Clog

Today although clogs look much the same as they have for hundreds of years, they’re much less labor intensive to make. Clog makers now have ample use of machinery to aid in the process. Tourism proves to be he largest source of revenue for modern clog makers. However the clogs found in tourist shops, often with intricate hand painted designs, are usually not suitable for wearing. More utilitarian clogs can be found in agriculture shops in the rural areas.