Sunday, September 4, 2016

Oh patents! Elissabide’s "hidden" heel

Copyright © Françoise Herrmann

How do you attach heels to a pair of soft rope-soled espadrille? This is the problematic situation that FR853164 addresses, that is, one Elissabide’s many espadrille patents granted in 1939!

The solution disclosed in this patent, which is still widely used to date for all heeled or "wedged" espadrilles, is to insert a “hidden” heel that creates the requisite arch while retaining a flat roped sole. Thus, the inventive heel contrasts with conventional solutions consisting in providing  an externally attached and visible heel.

This patent further discloses all the details of the manufacturing process of the internal heel -- made to the requisite height of approx. 1.5 inches; out of wood, particle board, rubber or preferably cork; and cut so that it is tapered or "wedged" under the foot, and hidden from view, once it is bonded on top of a regular rope sole. 

To accommodate the heel within the sole, a strip of material is stitched all around the rope sole (see figure 1 extracted from FR853164), thus forming a receptacle for the heel. The strip is then folded on top of the heel bonded to the sole (see figure 3, also extracted from FR853164). 

The espadrille upper will be manufactured so that it has a profile that matches the shape of the tapered heel within the sole, and then attached using processes of bonding, Blake stitching or reverse stitching known to those skilled in the art.

The scope of the invention extends to varying height of the hidden heel, to varying materials used for the upper, as well as for the strip attached to the sole as a receptacle for the hidden heel, and to varying sorts of soles.

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