Mattina Factory Visit

Mattina and Shoe Silo are two brands familiar to many people who like dress shoes, however the factory behind, Suzhou Mars Leather Products Co., Ltd., may not be well known.

The company, founded in the 90s, has close ties to Japan’s footwear industry. The founder, Mr. Ma Weiping, returned from Japan and established this factory with the financial support of the president of the Japanese leather shoe brand Royal Union, and began the journey of OEM for Japanese brands for more than 30 years.

Everyone knows that Japan is currently the country with the highest penetration rate of suits and dress shoes in the world due to the company’s dress code. The demand for high-end dress shoes is also high because of the large customer base. Shoes made by Mars are at least mid-range or even premium in Japan. Some Japanese boutiques with international reputation also have their shoes produced here.

The brand of Shoe Silo is a try of deviating from ODM, and there used to be many physical stores across the country.

Mattina is a premium brand with a more international vision, and from the first time I saw Mattina, I felt that its status in China is the status of Crockett & Jones in the UK, the mainstream choice.

Before we entered the factory, I first browsed the shelves of historical products in the lobby, I really drooled, which is also the reason why I said the treasure place.

First, we came to raw material area, this barrel contains wood chips imported from the United States. It is more environmentally friendly, and the glue and wood chips have been mixed.

It is not difficult to imagine that these aspects can only be achieved by large-scale factories.

Before entering the production process, we also passed through the shelves of lasts, and the number was amazing!

The first step in the production is clicking.

As a large-scale factory, Mars has a press for clicking.

The use mainly depends on the demand, and using machine for a large amount is more economical.

The next step is the process of stitching the upper.

Going to the factory to see the actual production is very useful of learning knowledge.

Two midsoles. I’m curious, what is this one on the left? The answer is the midsole made of the fiber.

Turn it over, you can see that the canvas has been pasted, and this canvas connects welt and upper.

Why is there such a difference? This is a place that many enthusiasts don’t know, it’s also the first time I’ve seen this thing.

We may all take it for granted that the midsole is made of leather, but there are still many Goodyear shoes on the market only for 60 to 70 USD. Goodyear construction is the same, the machine is the same, so where is the price difference from? It is by raw materials, such as leather quality, such as midsole, outsole. The breathability and deformation ability of fibers are definitely inferior to leather.

If you see that some shoes have full sock lining, this may be an indicator the midsole is suspicious, however, best bespole shoes love to use full sock lining as well, which John Lobb St. James and Maftei prove.

The next step is to fix the midsole to the last, and upper stretches on the last. Here, workers are manually stretching leather around the waist.

As a large-scale factory, Mars has equipment, but some areas are manually optimized.

The heel is in the hand lasting.

The upper is well lasted, from the consumer’s point of view, the shoe is already OK. This leather looks very good!

However, as welted shoes, the key process is yet to come.

Attaching welt is the most critical step in welted shoemaking, Mars has the best craftsman in China.

After the welt is attached, fix the rest around the heel, and then fill in cork.

Shoes filled with cork.

Next, it’s time to stitch the outsole.

This is the machine that stitches the outsole.

When sewing the outsole, the upper of the shoe is wrapped in plastic film, so that it is not easy to scratch. Stitch density of Mars is higher than that of mainstream British shoes due it its finer needle.

The bottom has just been sewn, and one layer of the bottom has been uncovered, and the threads are all inside.

Then cover the outsole back with glue. The sole is already delicate.

This step is to grind welt and waist. The width of outsole and welt that the consumer can see are determined in this step.

After the heels are attached, the heels are sanded again.

Next is to paint welt and heel. This step looks simple, and the improvement of the texture of the shoes is immediate.

The edge of sole and heel is polished very shiny.

The familiar Vibram sole.

Next is the finishing of the sole. The single colour sole or a color for the forefoot and a color for the waist, which is the choice of various brands, and Mattina has two.

Use a strip of cloth to stick to the sole of the shoe as a dividing line, so that when you colour it, it does not bring the color to the waist.

After applying the paint, it is sanded, and the color is uniform.

We have seen a lot of finishing processes, although sewing process is the core, but these finishing processes is more important for the texture of leather shoes.

Finally, there is the waxing of the upper. The luster of good leather bursts out in an instant.

Well, that’s the end of the factory tour.

In this factory, there is also a good place, which is the factory store!! We know that there are many shoe factories in Northampton, and some shoes that have not passed the quality inspection will be sold in factory stores, and Mars also has them!

If you are interested, you can come here to buy Mattina’s seconds.

In addition to Mattina, there are also many shoes from Shoe Silo, don’t underestimate this brand, many styles will make you stunned.

Side laced, Brogue Balmoral, toe butterfly medallion.

Copper nails on the toe are definitely a very high-grade embodiment.

Mars factory store, if you come, you can really get a lot of treasures, and the price, I dare not say!

Let’s go back to the treasure land mentioned earlier! You don’t know how excited I was, the same way a child feels when he sees a bunch of toys.

I have a series of articles, Model Archive, I am learning about various dress shoe brands around the world, Japan is of course an important stop, so seeing the historical shoes here, it is really a treasure.

Trading Post is a Japanese specialty shoe store that represents many high-end brands, including Edward Green, Riccardo Bestetti, Paolo Scafora, etc., and its own shoes, the quality is also very high.

Johnston & Murphy, once America’s premium leather shoe brand, is now of course degenerate. Aristocraft is its top line, and if you ask some Vintage players, they definitely give it a thumbs up. Why is it produced in the Mars factory? Because a Japanese agent at that time was authorized to use this trademark, it found Mars to produce it. What level is that?

Open channel sole, toe rubber. At a glance, the sole smells of American shoes. It’s ordinary. But don’t hurry.

Hidden stitches on welt! Where can you see this on Goodyear’s shoes? John Lobb Prestige collection and Crockett & Jones Handgrade collection!

Union Imperial is the highest line of the Royal Union, and the price in Japan is about 850 USD, and this pair is handwelted.

Look at the width of the waist which confirms it is handwelted. It was on display for a long time, and the soles were moldy.


The long history of Mars factory and the grade of OEM products are the best proof of their strength, so in terms of quality, Mars products are very competitive.

And for me, a shoe lover, the shoes in history are an even bigger shock.

The land of treasures, factory shops, worth visiting.

2 Replies to “Mattina Factory Visit”

  1. 请教一下,沿条藏线一般怎么操作?一直没想明白这是怎么藏进去的。

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