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  • Where can I learn how to make shoes?

    The are not many options available in South Africa. The Footwear Design and Technology School of SA is the only private school in the country teaching footwear design and manufacture. Because it is not funded by government it is an expensive option but a good option. If you do not have the funding to go this route it is recommended you find a job at a shoe factory as any machine operator. There are then options to study as an intern or on-the-job training. It will take approximately three years to become a fully fledged shoe machine operator which will enable you to make shoes. You will still then need to learn about patterncutting and design and further technical issues.  This will take another two years but the qualification will then be a level 4 qualification equivelant to matric / grade 12. It is thus highly recommended that a student interested in this field exits school in grade 9 and follows  the QCTO route (apprenticeship training). If you have the funds the FDTSSA is the best option.

  • How do I develop my own range of shoes.

    You cannot design footwear unless you have a solid training in footwear design. There are many individuals unrightfully calling themselfs footwear designers who travel to China and pick shoes off the shelve and import them to SA. This route is an easy way out as the Chinese / Italians / Brazinians etc will make you whatever you want. It is however not sustainable as the prices fluctuate. You thus have two options:
    1. Go study shoe design at FDTSSA and you will receive the necessary support to develop your ranges.
    2. You can utelise the services of FIS and we will develop whatever you want for you at a fee.

  • Where can I have my shoes made.

    FIS can manufacture your shoes for you in small volumes or have it manufactured through our partner companies for larger volumes. Sneakers and synthetics are difficult to make in SA so the East will be a better option. SA is good at the middle to middle-top-end leather footwear.

  • How much does it cost to develop a shoe range.

    This is a difficult question. It all depends on what you want develop and which of the components are readily available. A range of six shoes can cost as little as ZAR10 000  if only the designs, patterns and prototypes are made and all components, lasts and materials are readily available. And can cost as little as R3000 to tool it up for production.

    But it can cost as much as ZAR 50 000 for simple footwear if sole moulds, lasts, trim moulds, heel moulds have to be made and materials have to be sourced additional to the patterns and prototypes. The tooling for production can cost in excess of R20 000 per size in this case. 

    For technical footwear, these costs can sky rocket into the hundreds of thousands of rands.

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