The team at ‘24/7 Valencia’ were invited to get involved, first-hand, in an espadrille-making workshop experience at HANDMADE, right in the heart of Valencia led by two of their talented artisans. HANDMADE not only sells beautifully handmade shoes in store, but also offers workshop experiences where visitors can put their hand to designing, sewing and embellishing a pair of espadrilles themselves!

Our artisans for the day, Sofia and Teresa started with an informative and fun explanation of the history behind the wonderful shoes, what they mean to Spanish culture, where the materials come from, and the different styles, shapes and meanings that espadrilles have evolved into today.

Alongside a glass of cava and a range of tapas snacks, we were given the main tools: the needle, scissors, hole punch and a lighter. Then came the difficult task of choosing the ribbon finish and colour to decorate our base with. Each participant is able to choose the size and style of their shoe base (there are more designs and shapes than you can imagine), the colour and material-finish of the ribbon, the style of stitching, and the charms and decorations that go on at the end as the finishing touch.

The team at ‘24/7’ decided to focus on custom-designing a pair of espadrilles in the ‘classic’ or ‘Catalan’ style, which involves using only two needles to thread the ribbons through the base. Once made by, and for the most humble people of Catalonia, espadrille shoes are now known as some of the most stylish shoes of today and come in many different styles. These include the ‘Pamplona’ style, which uses many needles and ribbons, creating a more secure shoe (for running from the bulls I assume), as well as the ‘Galiica’ style which uses 4 needles, and the ‘Andalusia’ style, which uses 8 needles and takes around 5 hours per shoe to complete. There are many more styles of espadrille made from differing amounts of ribbon, needles and threading techniques, each representing a different history.

After a wonderful afternoon chatting about, designing and threading our shoes, we tried them on and were shown how to tie the ribbons on our ankles. This interactive, engaging experience is such a great way to get involved in a crafty activity, learn about Spanish leather and shoe-making traditions, and of course, to come away with some new, comfortable, colourful shoes!

With stores across Spain, Italy, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, HANDMADE offer not only espadrille-making workshops, but a range of experiences, such as bag decorating and shoe painting too. Whether, you’re a local, or if you’re a visiting for a trip, designing your own traditional espadrilles with HANDMADE is a unique, informative and fun experience you can’t miss out on!

Report by Jenny Grierson

Article copyright 24/7 Valencia

Photo copyright Polly Watton/ ’24/7 Valencia’



Plaza de la Reina, 18


Tel: +34 931 806 768



Instagram: @handmadethebrand

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24/7 Valencia

24/7 Valencia is the definitive English Speaking guide to Valencia. Extensive Listings, up-to-date and informed articles on restaurants, chill out, clubland, football, culture, arts, books, woman and much more.
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