Steel-rule dies are crucial in perfecting the aesthetic of a boot. Sometimes referred to as cookie-cutter dies because of their playful appearance, these metal objects are made in a wide array of shapes and sizes.
Before placing a die to the leather, the Lucchese cutting department searches for a pair of skins that match perfectly, a process sometimes which can take days for one pair of boots. It takes a great deal of skill and precision in order to cut the leather using the dies because of how important it is that the boots couple well together.
Once the leather grain is precisely aligned, bootmakers then use a clicking machine which applies at least 20 pounds pressure on the die and leather in order to create an exact cut sans fraying.
A Study in Detail, Part 1: Lemonwood Pegs
A Study in Detail, Part 2: Hand-Stitching
A Study in Detail, Part 3: Lasting