Aki Choklat for Lahtiset at MICAM, International footwear fair in Milan, Italy

This collection show at the Micam shoe fair from 3th till 6th of March represents the ultimate design. The design collection daringly connects Finnish traditions with modernity. Aki Choklat, the designer, hasn’t made any haphazard decisions. By exploiting the secrets of felt when creating his famous collection, he has basically reinvented felt material for the use of footwear and bags. His designs successfully play with two coloured gradated dyeing techniques. Find your very own combination of shapes and colours from our design collection!

Winter is the main season with felt boots. The Lathiset company was established by Alex Lahtinen in 1921 in Jämsä in the village of Partala, Finland and we have been on the same location since. We are in the middle of a nice Finnish country landscape with small hills and valleys and a lot of coniferous trees.

For our work we need wool. Lamb/sheep wool is the only fiber that can be used for this special kind of wet felting/fulling. (with of coarse some exceptions: camel, alpaca and some other animal fibers felt as well). The skill of felting is probably older than the skill of spinning. And with the knowhow we have collected over 90 years we produce these unique kind of footwear: they are seamless one piece of felt formed into desired shape. This process is used only in these kind of felt boot factories in Finland, Russia and some places on alpine region. The process starts with really big piece of soft felt that is then milled wet in hammer fulling machine to shrink and harden to the size and shape wanted. This process is chaotic and can only be guided by the person working, not controlled. A strong skill is needed to be able to tell just by the touch of hand what the process needs at any given time and when the products are ready. And after that another skilled craftsman puts lasts inside the shoe or boot after heating it in boiling water. In the process the felt is stretched and beaten to get the final shape.

The original collection has been pretty much the same over decades. Felt boots “huopikkaat” are a part of Finnish national identity, together with sauna and rye bread. Therefore it got a lot of attention in Finland, when we lauched our collaboration with Aki Choklat – an international shoe designer – to do something with this national icon.

Latest new additions to our collection Aki Choklat for Lahtiset we present in Micam, Italy. With Aki we have created not only new designs but new production techniques as well.

Aki Choklat for Lahtiset
MICAM, International footwear fair in Milan, Italy
3 till 6 March 2013
New fairgrounds of Rho Fiera, Hall 10, Stand F15

More shoes by Lahtiset at the Virtual Shoe Museum.