The truth behind the fibers we use to make our espadrilles
Esparto grass, hemp, jute, sisal, cotton
Nowadays, many surfers browse the net in the search for espadrilles but due to the common misguidance and lack of information they use words like “hemp wedges”, “traditional sandals” or “hemp shoes”… Frankly speaking, if they end up finding what they are looking for it is because the companies that sell espadrilles by internet have adapted the terms to include those mistakes instead of correcting them.
This fact only ensures the continuation of misleading information and causes confusion between the meanings of hemp and jute (which many people identify as the same thing) or between shoe, wedge, sandal or espadrille. These terms are all related to footwear, but each has its own features and singularities.
In this section we’ll try to shed some light on this subject while we travel through the history and geography, the aesthetics and the human side of the world of espadrilles. We’ll do it in a humble, honest and professional way. Unpretentiously but without denying who we are and what we are good at. #HumansMakingEspadrilles
The term wedge obviously refers to the higher heel that some espadrilles have, while espadrille is used internationally and it comes from the word esparto (Stipa tenacissima), the grass fibre they were made with in the early days.
Cotton (Gossypium hebaceum)
Hemp (Cannabis sativa)
Jute (Corchorus capsularis)
We must explain that LONG time ago, the production changed and hemp (Cannabis sativa) became the main fabric to make espadrilles. Afterwards, this plant started being persecuted and turned into a problem for the industry that subsequently replaced it by jute (Corchorus capsularis).
That being said, we must explain that LONG time ago, the production changed and hemp (Cannabis sativa) became the main fabric to make espadrilles. Afterwards, this plant started being persecuted and turned into a problem for the industry that subsequently replaced it by jute (Corchorus capsularis). Nowadays, 99% of the espadrilles are made of jute . More than 80% of jute is grown in India and Bangladesh, the latter being the biggest exporter to make espadrilles.
That’s the reason why when we read “esparto grass espadrilles 100% made in Spain” or “hemp sandals 100% made in Spain” we regret the lack of seriousness of form and content as well. The source of fabrics shouldn’t be overlooked, neither should something be sold by a fancied name. We would rather clarify the concepts instead of giving continuity to the mistakes or adjusting them with a commercial purpose. In our point of view, our customers and friends deserve greater respect.
And we’d like to do our bit starting from the source of the fibre we use to make our espadrilles: Jute.