*photo credit: @biancamariaoliva
What are Friulane Shoes?
Friulane Shoes are also knows as Papusse or Venetian Slippers, currently very popular with all those in Vogue and also with those who like the classic Italian style of children's clothes for boys and girls. These girls and boys velvet shoes in the Mary Jane or classic slip on style, with a light rubber sole are all sewn together with a signature contrast 'strega' stitch. Friulane shoes are an elegant touch to the wardrobe of any boy or girl, they make a very special newborn baby present and come in sizes from 19 - 31 on Baboushkini, made by the adult and children's Italian shoe brand Papusse Milano. We love them with ribbed tights and corduroy in the winter, with pretty girls dresses and boy's smart shorts in the summer...
They're from Venice, aren't they?
No, not exactly! Common associations with Venice began after the first world war, when Friulane slippers came into favour with gondoliers. Comfortable, moulding to the foot of their owner, the stitched rubber sole of the friulane is non-slip and wouldn't damage the precious painted wood of the gondola. BUT in fact, although not far from Venice, the history of the colourful velvet scarpets with their signature 'strega' stitch starts in the little towns of the Friulian mountains...
The story of this tradition is one of women and family. The shoes were first made as an alternative to work clogs, by women, for whole families including for the children. Soles were made from old bicycle tyres, and the upper part of the shoe from waste fabric like jute. The classic colours worn most today - like beige, blue and burgundy - are derived from the natural colouring processes of the very first friulane scarpets. Beige was achieved from boiling walnuts, green from juniper, burgundy from onions, blue from the ash tree and purple from blueberries!
photo credit: Papusse Milano
Velvet began to be used for special occasions, and young brides would hand craft black velvet slippers for their fiancees. Undeniably elegant, imbued with tradition and craft, they became an luxury item, and were adopted by the gentry. Italian aristocrats of the 18th century are said to have enjoyed gliding silently around their estates, slipping unnoticed into the rooms of lovers...
A little bit about Papusse Milano
We've chosen to work with Papusse Milano to stock velvet Venetian slippers for children in the UK. The quality is unparalleled, and Carlotta, the founder of Papusse stands for values we love: fine Italian shoe making, using rare centuries old technique inherited from bygone generations. a passion for beauty and operating according to responsible business practices to create a conscious shopping experience. She says:
''Luxury is the value of a product, but it is also the value of time when we enjoy the product itself: luxury is ultimately a human value, authentic and meaningful.''