What do Shoe and Leather Workers and Repairers do?

Construct, decorate, or repair leather and leather-like products, such as luggage, shoes, and saddles.

  • Cut out parts following patterns or outlines, using knives, shears, scissors, or machine presses.
  • Construct, decorate, or repair leather products according to specifications, using sewing machines, needles and thread, leather lacing, glue, clamps, hand tools, and/or rivets.
  • Align and stitch or glue materials such as fabric, fleece, leather, or wood, in order to join parts.
  • Dye, soak, polish, paint, stamp, stitch, stain, buff, or engrave leather or other materials to obtain desired effects, decorations, or shapes.
  • Select materials and patterns, and trace patterns onto materials to be cut out.
  • Dress and otherwise finish boots or shoes, as by trimming the edges of new soles and heels to the shoe shape.
  • Estimate the costs of requested products or services such as custom footwear or footwear repair, and receive payment from customers.
  • Attach insoles to shoe lasts, affix shoe uppers, and apply heels and outsoles.
  • Cement, nail, or sew soles and heels to shoes.
  • Shape shoe heels with a knife, and sand them on a buffing wheel for smoothness.
  • Repair or replace soles, heels, and other parts of footwear, using sewing, buffing and other shoe repair machines, materials, and equipment.
  • Make, modify, and repair orthopedic or therapeutic footwear according to doctors' prescriptions, or modify existing footwear for people with foot problems and special needs.
  • Repair and recondition leather products such as trunks, luggage, shoes, saddles, belts, purses, and baseball gloves.
  • Place shoes on lasts to remove soles and heels, using knives and/or pliers.
  • Clean and polish shoes.
  • Check the texture, color, and strength of leather to ensure that it is adequate for a particular purpose.
  • Read prescriptions or specifications, and take measurements to establish the type of product to be made, using calipers, tape measures, or rules.
  • Inspect articles for defects, and remove damaged or worn parts, using hand tools.
  • Drill or punch holes; then insert or attach metal rings, handles, and fastening hardware such as buckles.
  • Attach accessories or ornamentation to decorate or protect products.
  • Cut, insert, position, and secure paddings, cushioning, and/or linings, using stitches or glue.
  • Draw patterns, using measurements, designs, plaster casts, or customer specifications, and position or outline patterns on work pieces.
  • Measure customers for fit, and discuss with them the type of footwear to be made, recommending details such as leather quality.
  • Stretch shoes, first dampening parts; then inserting and twisting parts, using an adjustable stretcher.
  • Nail heel and toe cleats onto shoes.
  • Prepare inserts, heel pads, and lifts from casts of customers' feet.
  • Re-sew seams, and replace handles and linings of suitcases or handbags.

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