Shoe Sizing and Fit
How is the sizing for these shoes?
Our shoes are true to size. If you wear a size 8 buy a size 8. If you are a 8 1/2 then buy size 9 shoes. Because we offer a handmade shoes from handmade fabrics the shoes tend to be tight across the toes. We have yet to had a pair shoes returned because they failed to stretch. If you have a weird shaped feet and you know who you are, our shoes may stretch to some unique feet but it maybe best to see us in person for a fitting. Again, our shoes are true to size, buy your size.
How do the kilim shoes fit?
Buy your size. Our shoes are true to size. Our shoes are made by hand, but they are constructed on a wooden ‘last’ [form] that looks like a smooth wooden foot. There will be slight variations depending on the thickness of the kilim or the amount of tension the cobbler uses as he forms the shoes. In most cases these wooden lasts allow the shoemakers to make a consistent product of a given size time and time again. There are different lasts and the proportions vary from region to region.
For instance, our silk ikats and Suzan shoes for women we offer are built on an Italian last which produces that elegant slender form called a chisel toe. Overall, the shoes will be similar in fit to any other shoes you own. Keep in mind the shoe must always be comfortable in the length but will stretch in width.
Why are the shoes tight across the toes?
We have sold over 1000 pairs of these shoes and have not had a single pair returned because they failed to stretch.
Here is why, the yarns are hand spun and the kilim is hand woven. There is introduces variations in the fabric. Plus, there are several types of kilim and the wools used in our shoes are different thicknesses. There are wall kilim that are often thinner than floor kilim and the thickness is often the cause the shoe being tight. Whatever the style kilim, after some wear all the wools yards that are causing the shoe’s tightness will stretch as the shoes molds to the owners feet. Once the yarns have adjusted to the feet, they will hold the shape, and this is unlike many fabric shoes that seem to stretch and stretch. This aspect of molding to feet is really important for people that have, let us say, ‘unique feet’.
What is kilim?
Kilim is a traditional flat weave that can be crafted as a carpet, a table cover, a breadbasket cover, grain sacks or a wall hanging. Kilim is not a pile carpet or like an Oriental rug, but it is a hand woven and knotted carpet. The most common materials used in crafting these are wool or wool and cotton blends. Kilim is found across wide areas of Central Asia aka the Silk Road and north Africa.
Our kilim is purchased in the markets (aka souks) around Turkey. The carpets we use are of various ages and most will be dyed with traditional vegetable dyes and as a result there are variations in color and tones. The shades and patterns reflect the styles and culture of the local markets along the Silk Road. For us, these subtle variations are the appeal.
Beware! There is kilim that is mass produced, chemical dyed to be used for the specific tastes or colors of an export market. We buy used kilims only.
Are these shoes an up-cycled product?
Yes, this is always the case. In this process the carpet is reviewed to determine the best use with the least waste. Prior to cutting we the size and shapes of the patterns of the kilim and the size of the shoes will be considered and then made. Often a core piece will emerge that could be used as a side of a weekender bag or a purse. Other pieces will make coasters, change purses or book covers. Nothing goes to waste.
The up-cycle approach also allows us to acquire carpets that may have a damaged area from excess sun or wear but still have ample usable area for our products. Nothing goes to waste if we can help it.
How accurate are the colors in the pictures?
We make every effort to render colors or images as true as possible. We cannot be responsible for the display that your monitor may provide.
Care, Cleaning and Repair of Kilim Shoes
How can I repair unraveling or snags?
There will be rare cases when an area of your bespoke shoes will be snagged or the knots in the yearn will unravel. We have used a large curved carpet or canvas needle and applied sparingly a few stitches to secure the loose area. If it is a clear defect on a new shoe please send them back and we will replace them. If it is your normal wear and tear a small repair just allows you to add to their character.
Can you clean kilim carpet shoes?
As the dust and dirt starts to dull the colors of your shoes or if you have dinghy white areas you can make a light solution of 2 tablespoons of white vinegar and about a cup or more of warm, not hot tap water, dampen a cloth and wipe in a circular motion gently. If you have a microfiber cloth even better! If you have an oil stain a baby shampoo solution may be used sparingly, rinse well and dry slowly. As with all stains the quicker you address the issue, even if it is just water, the less likely it is to set in the wools. So, to answer your question they can be cleaned.
Can you resole these shoes?
Yes, and you should as needed. We prefer leather soles but there are excellent synthetic soles that are much longer wearing for those that use them as a walking shoe. Timely replacement of heals and soles with greatly extend the life of these shoes.
How long do kilim loafers last?
As long as you take care of them. We have some pairs in our family that are nearly a decade old but the question really is how well do you take care of them. We avoid daily wear, we avoid wearing them in the kitchen, we avoid rain, snow and salted sidewalks. We keep a good heel and a leather sole as a result we get years of enjoyment out of these unique shoes.
Suzani and Silk Ikat
What is Suzani?
It is a decorative fabric that is hand stitched using as many as five different types of stitches to produce lovely designs. It is typically stitched onto a canvas backing of white, ivory or black. It is often used a s a wall hanging and and exchanged by families as wedding gifts.
Our suzani shoes will stretch but it will take longer than the kilim. Again, they must be the right length but snug across the toes.
Yes, some people spray a protective spray over the shoes. We cannot be responsible for colors changes that could result. The fabrics are sourced from many different places, and we cannot assure which dyes and threads are used in the process.
What is Silk Ikat?
The yarn is bundled and dyed and then woven into fabric creating the unique patterns. Silk is very durable and resists tearing or ripping but its best quality is the way that it reflects light. Silk ikat will stretch in our shoes but it again not as quickly or easily as the kilim.
We have had customers that will spray a protective coating but we cannot assume responsibility for color changes or damage.
Linen and Wool
Why do you offer linen towels?
Linen has a rich natural color and is longer lasting than cotton. Once washed and dried several times it is more absorbent. Linen is fast drying and when taken to the shore it does not collect sand the way that terry cloth holds sand. Finally, our linen towels are a very generous size.
What is special about merino wool?
It is a long fine wool fiber that exceeds all other wool in several ways. One is the fine fiber that makes it so soft and durable. The second is that it absorbs odor causing bacteria making it easier to wear and requires less care. The third aspect is The soft fine fiber also accepts dyes and provides vivid colors. It is our opinion that merino wool it is the best type of every day garments.
What is the difference between saddle leather, bridle leather and veg tan leather?
These are all names for oil tanned leather which is the process to craft premium leather. Saddle leather and bridle leather will often have a difference in thickness depending on how it is used. This oil tanned process is slower to cure the leather and the materials and time makes the leather more expensive; for our money it is worth it.
There is another a tanning process that is very cheap and polluting using Chromium Alkaloids. This is a fast and nasty process and makes poor quality leather that will crack and become brittle over time. It is often used in low priced belts. We only use in our belts premium oil tanned leather.
How do you ship my purchase?
We use the US Postal service, and we ship usually within 2 days of receiving an order. We use the USPs because it offers insurance, tracking and convenient for most of us.
About the website and returns:
We provide this page to assure that your experience shopping with us is a good one. This site is expressly owned and operated by J Wilder Imports LLC. We cannot be responsible for the internet or network interruptions or the reliability of this site. We make every effort to provide up to date information on the site. If for any reason you are wanting to return anything for a refund, we will offer a full refund. All returns must be in good condition without damage. Thank you!