Making Espadrilles in Barcelona

April 07, 2017 0 Comments

Spanish leather espadrille shoe hand made in Barcelona Naguisa brand

An opportunity came up on INSTAGRAM last week with the Barcelona shoe brand I adore, Naguisa. Their post announced a workshop to make a pair of their famed espadrilles (L´espardenya) from scratch! I jumped at the chance, secured a spot and now have myself these amazing pair of shoes which I made with my own two hands!   

I have always loved Spanish shoes for their effortless style and the high quality leathers they use. Naguisa´s shoes are no exception. The shoes I made are a traditional shoe worn since 1322 in Cataluna, Valencia and Murcia. They are made with a jute sole and are a feminine and modern take on the traditional shoe. Naguisa currently stock their range in 16 countries and produce a summer range of shoes each year. Like Petit Barcelona, they are chasing the eternal summer. So, what better way to spend a Saturday in Barcelona, than meeting new people, making shoes and getting to try on Naguisa´s new SS17 collection.


We started the day off with Claudia, co-founder of Naguisa (she is a product designer and owns the small business with her husband Pablo, and architect), kicking off the workshop with a quick introduction. All in Spanish and Catalan. As I listened intently, I soon realized that we were to go around the room and introduce ourselves. Normally in Australia this would be like water off a duck´s back but the panic kicked in as I realized I was 2nd in line to talk to the small group of 10 people. ABOUT ME. IN ANOTHER LANGUAGE!

Before I knew it, I was babbling away in Spanish and hoping to god people were following (I was using a lot of hand gestures to get my point across as per usual)...

Naguisa handmade Spanish espadrille shoes workshop Barcelona

Naguisa shoe workshop Barcelona handmade in Spain shoes


We were split into groups and shown all of the elements we were to tackle in creating our shoes from scratch. In 5 hours we should have our shoes completed and on our feet. After choosing our ribbon and back heel leather colour (which took me forever) we started cutting out the leather, nailing holes, hole punching the toe piece and sewing the elastic straps on. Whilst all of this hard work was happening, I took the opportunity to try on as many of Naguisa´s SS17 shoe collection as I could! The leather used on their shoes is beautiful and soft. The colour range is extensive and I could easily have walked away with 8-10 pairs.

Naguisa handmade Spanish espadrille shoes Petit Barcelona trying on shoes SS17 Collection

Source: @pablodesignos

    Naguisa handmade Spanish espadrille shoes workshop Barcelona

    Once the ribbon was threaded meticulously through the toe and heel piece, we rounded up the workshop by spending a few hours hand stitching the entire shoe onto the jute sole. This was very hard going. With a very large needle and waxy type string, we learnt to thread the string blanket stitch, through the tough jute and into the leather and canvas. Once I got into the rhythm of sewing, I was off and flying. 

    Naguisa handmade Spanish espadrille shoes SS17 collection Petit Barcelona

    Source: @pablodesignos

    My shoes are now finished and I´m so happy to say I have been wearing them everywhere. With jeans, harem pants and no doubt in Summer with dresses and jumpsuits. They are ridiculously comfortable as is every single pair in the collection. 

    Keep an eye out hopefully for a few of their styles in our store later this year!

    Lauren x



    Getting the right fit
    Petit Barcelona Fit Guide


    We often talk instore about the perfect fit. What we’re looking for, how it should feel, and how to overcome any niggly foot problems you may be having. 

    So, we asked Lauren, owner of Petit Barcelona, to sit down and answer a few questions that we’re asked regularly. Questions around fit, leathers and care of our sandals. 

    How do I find my size?

    The first thing you need to consider when buying a pair of Spanish sandals is the length of your foot. The length, not the width, of your foot will determine your size.

    Petit Barcelona Shoe Size Guide Women
    Petit Barcelona Shoe Size Guide Children

    Does width matter?

    Our Spanish sandals are made from the highest quality Spanish leathers, and will gently soften and mould to the shape of your foot. This will happen whether you have a narrow foot or a wide foot. Our Avarcas will give only as much as they need to.

    Tip: to speed up this process you can wear them around the house with a pair of socks (or two!).

    While our Avarcas are made to a standard size some leathers will better suit narrow or wide feet. 


    My shoes have arrived and are feeling very snug, is this ok?

    It sure is! We want them to feel a little snug across the front of your foot! This is the part that will soften and mould to your foot with wear.

    If your feet are within the stitching on the insole of the shoe you have the right size. Long toes may peep through the front of the shoe, others may not. This is a normal variance.

    If the shoe feels a little snug but you’re not experiencing actual pain, you have the right size.


    The back straps are quite loose or won´t stay up. Is this the right fit?

    Your back straps should sit firm on your heels. They will naturally fall to the widest part of your heel as they wear in. They will at first feel like they might fall off, but they won´t completely. If your straps are gaping, or sliding up and down as you walk, but your length is fine, then our shoes are not the right fit for your heel shape.  

    Many people who can´t wear back straps normally, choose our Platform Avarcas or Wedge Espadrilles, as the incline of the shoe means that the back strap stays up higher than the Flat Avarcas. 


    Should my toes be visible or not?

    As all feet are different shapes, the length of your toes are too. Whether or not your toes are visible is not an indication that your shoes fit or not. We like to think that when you haven´t had a pedicure, our shoes hide a multitude of sins! 


    I don’t think I have the right size. What should I do?

    If your Spanish Avarcas are snug to the point of pain you may need to go up a size. If your foot is within the stitching but the back strap is falling, you may need to go down a size.

    But don’t despair, our desire for the perfect fit is supported by our generous returns policy. 


    Easy, hassle free returns & exchanges!

    We offer free returns on your first pair of shoes.

    To get the returns process started, email us at Returns@petitbarcelona.com and let us know your order number and what you´d like to return or pop into our boutique store at Camp Hill.