Boot Top Binding

This video is part of our "How to Make an L.L.Bean Boot" series, showing how our bootmakers are trained to make our famous L.L.Bean Boots right here in Maine.


CHANNELS: Our Heritage and Values

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This video demonstrates how to bind the boot top using the boot top cylinder machine. The binding for the boot top is a bit wider than the tongue binding. This binding covers the raw edges of the shearling and the leather, giving the boot top a smooth finished edge.

Stage your work to the right of the machine. Be sure the thread color and the binding color on the machine are correct. Adjust the machine to your proper height and turn it on.

Then, select a boot top. Place the top edge of the boot against the binding in the guide and press the stitch pedal to stitch the binding to the boot top. Make sure to keep a light and even pressure against the guide. Fold the pull tab out of the way as you bind the top.

Stitch off the end about an inch and stop. Pull the boot over towards you to cut it off of the binder. Inspect the stitches and make sure the edges are all caught. Then set it aside and select another boot top.

Place the boot top against the binding. Press the stitch pedal and sew the binding to the boot top. Fold the pull tab out of the way and keep even pressure against the guide as you stitch. Stitch off the end and stop. Pull the boot towards you and cut the binding. Inspect the stitches and set it aside.

Select another boot, and using even pressure against the guide, stitch the binding to it. Move the pull tab out of the way and stitch to the end. Cut the binding and inspect the boot top.

There should be at least a 3/4-inch tab on either side of the boot top, and the stitches are smooth and even. The binding fits smooth and snug, covering both the leather and the shearling.

Continue binding the rest of the boot tops. When you finish, be sure to turn off your machine.