After Lena cuts the leather pieces, the “kit” arrives at an industrial sewing machine to be stitched.
Here, the general shape of a pair of Swedish clogs begins.
And it is here, where a detailed eye and skill of hand is reflected on the final product, that precision is key. The best make a skill seem easy, as the leather pieces glide effortlessly beneath a sewing needle, marrying each to become a clog.
A step-by-step order must be followed, and must not be strayed. A toe stiffener is brushed on to Nubuck leather but isn’t necessary on Vegetable Tan. Then, the leather pieces are shaved down for stitching so each pair has a consistent feel.
Then, as if its second nature, a straight line of meticulous stitching is applied and the early shape takes form.
Meanwhile, a base is selected. The grain of each must be consistent to create a pair – horizontal grains are matched, just as vertical grains are. The weight of each base must also be consistent. One cannot be heavier than the other.
Router cuts are made to allow for the leather to be stapled, the depth of which depends upon the type of leather used. A lacquer is applied to the wood to give it a smooth appearance and increase its longevity.
After an hour of dry time, if the style calls for it, the wooden bases are dipped into color. Some black, some gray, some brown; the methodology is also second nature. After the color dries, the base is sealed before the pieces move on to the next station.
It is then, at this next station, that a Sandgrens clog assumes its shape.