How to preserve espadrilles?

The origin of espadrilles is not known for sure. It's believed to be over 10,000 years old, and it resides without a doubt in the countryside. People who worked the land needed comfortable shoes that would hold their feet tightly, and espadrilles were perfect for that. 

How to Wash Espadrilles | La Manual Alpargatera


  The esparto grass, rustic and hard, gave way over time to the hemp, with the soles feeling soft and gentle, ideal for stepping into the garden, climbing rocks, or walking the narrowest paths.

It is a resistant and off-road shoe, but you have to know how to clean, conserve, and maintain it. That is why we at La Manual Alpargatera have decided to share some tips to prolong their life.

Hemp Sole Espadrille | La Manual Alpargatera

  There were no washing machines in the past. Today it can save us time and effort and keep our espadrilles clean. First of all, make sure your espadrilles are sewn to the sole and not glued.  
We usually only recommend washing flat and single wedge espadrilles. If so, go ahead. A short program with cold water, the idea is to spin them several times to get as much water as possible to speed up drying and improve conservation.  
To finish drying them, you can leave them in the open air, but be careful with the sun, which could dull their color. 


When drying them in the sun, the soles should face upwards to protect the canvas from the sun's rays and to increase the speed of drying on the sole, as this is where most water accumulates. 

How to Clean Espadrille Wedges | La Manual Alpargatera

If your espadrilles have ribbons, use a mesh bag. From experience, we know that the laces could get into a hole in the washing machine and block the internal mechanism. To avoid this disaster, we recommend that you put them in the bag to ensure that no ribbons are left loose.

Remember that the espadrilles with flat soles at 3 cm can be put in the washing machine, only if they are sewn by hand.

Typically, espadrilles should fit a bit lose so that when you wash them, you do not outgrow them, as they are made (or all of them or their lining) of cotton, this tends to shrink.

How to cClean Espadrille Sandals | La Manual Alpargatera

In the case of high-heeled espadrilles, you better not take any chances. They are usually two pieces stuck together with glue that, with the detergent and the movement of the washing machine, could soften and come off.

The washing machine is also not the best solution for double-soled espadrilles for the same reason. We do not recommend it.

How to Clean Espadrilles? | La Manual Alpargatera

How to keep them and maintain them?

Espadrilles are made of natural plant fibers, for optimal conservation, it is best to use them on dry soils. With water, the sole could become soaked, and, with the weight of the body, it could end up deforming. If this happens, you should wash them as soon as possible.

Be careful if you do it by hand, as it will be challenging to get rid of the excess water because it will take longer to dry, and they could be more exposed to humidity, which could damage them.

How to Preserve Espadrilles | La Manual Alpargatera

Also, as we have already mentioned, we recommend that you spin the shoes several times and let them dry in the open air (remember that it is always better in the shade so that the sun does not change the color of the canvas)

How to Tie your Espadrilles? | La Manual Alpargatera

It is essential to protect your espadrilles from humidity, but also the sun. The canvas of the espadrilles usually dries faster than the soles.

It can be dangerous for your white espadrilles, if they are exposed to the sun for too long, they can get a yellowish shade (the longer the soles are soaked - infusing - the higher the chance of this happening, that is why we recommend a short wash with cold water).

To remedy this, once the sole is completely dry, you can pass a little lye (chlorine) reduced with water (50%) to return its white color. Never dry the lye in the sun!

Another trick or help is to put newspaper inside our espadrilles as they will absorb any excess of water while preventing them from losing their shape.

Espadrille Wall | La Manual Alpargatera

Don't just wash them, pamper them. In La Manual Alpargatera, we defend the craft. We believe that doing things with our own hands brings value and unique personal touch. We encourage you to make your own cotton or linen bags filled with your favorite fragrance. Your espadrilles could smell of lavender, rosemary, fennel, or even dried roses.

Cut a small piece of fabric you want into a square. Fill the center with your favorite aromatic herb or dried flower petals. Finally, tie the material with a ribbon and put them inside your espadrilles.

If you don't have that much time, you can replace these bags with natural and organic essential oils, ideal for personalizing the smell of your espadrilles. It is as easy as applying a few drops on a piece of fabric and leaving it inside the espadrilles while they rest, thus avoiding oiling the jute. Besides, these oils will also improve the health of your feet.

We recommend using quality essences you know of. It can be any essence that suits you, tea tree, lemon, rosemary, or orange blossom, to name a few examples.

These little tricks will be perfect for autumn or winter. When storing espadrilles for the next season or any other reason, remember that your best option is to place them in a cardboard box, away from humidity, next to a small aromatic bag or a little bit of your favorite essence. That way, when you want to get them back, they will be waiting for you in perfect condition and incredibly scented.

Espadrilles with Jute Insole | La Manual Alpargatera

The best thing about an espadrille is the comfort it provides. In recent years we have seen a growing demand for insoles and foam to be added to this type of footwear, to feel the soft sole from the very first moment. However, jute is a material that becomes more comfortable as time goes by and therefore does not need any accessories if we have a little patience.

Walking barefoot on jute is a bit like walking on the sand at the beach. Learning to enjoy espadrilles "au naturel," as they are, will help us to benefit more from their advantages.