Mallorca is not only a popular holiday destination. The exclusive shoe manufacturer Alta Zapateria has also been based on the Balearic island for over 150 years. Initially a small and fine shoe workshop, the shoemaker made its big breakthrough with its exclusive, welted shoes under the trademark Carmina Shoemaker.
Today, Alta Zapateria is one of the largest shoe manufacturers in Spain and is present with its own sales outlets from New York to Paris to Hong Kong or Sydney.
The traditional company is now being run by the third generation and is being carefully developed by owner Antonio Albadalejo. Even the King of Spain is said to be one of Carmina's customers.
Balancing act between tradition and high-tech
Every Carmina shoe is handmade, the production of a shoe involves up to 300 steps. In the so-called Goodyear Welted technique, first the welt is sewn to the upper shoe. Then a cork compound is putty on the sole and finally the outsole is sewn to the frame from below.
Even though traditional craftsmanship clearly predominates, Alta Zapateria is also open to modern means of production. With the investment in a Zünd G3 cutter with projection system, the digitalisation of leather cutting has also taken hold. For CEO Antonio Albadalejo and his team, the main objective of the new acquisition was to preserve their many exclusive cutting templates in digital form. In addition, the new cutter should increase the precision in leather cutting and speed up the punching of the elaborate hole patterns: "In the tests, it very quickly became apparent that the G3 Cutter from Zünd perfectly meets these requirements. The unique combination of performance, precision and reliability convinced us. With the G3 Cutter, we rely on high-tech in cutting, but still maintain our identity as an exclusive shoe manufacturer with a traditional production method."
The advantages of digitalisation
Until now, the countless cardboard cutting templates were stored packed in boxes, and their care and cataloguing became increasingly time-consuming and cumbersome. With the digitisation of all these exclusive templates, production is now much more secure. In addition, model changes and modifications to existing cutting templates can be made faster and easier via the software.
The G3 Cutter is used for cutting patterns as well as in production. Only particularly demanding leathers, such as the very tough Cordovan horsehide, continue to be cut by hand due to the varying thicknesses of a hide.
Even if increasing productivity is not the first priority in the case of Alta Zapateria, the speed and precision with which the punching module punches hole patterns into the leather excites those responsible: "Manually punching the hole patterns is very demanding. Even the best shoemaker can't come close to the precision and speed of the Zünd cutter."