Footwear made with waste materials, but genuine Friulane are never glued together, always stitched
“Friulane” (Friulian slippers), or ‘furlane’, ‘scarpet’ or ‘papusse’ (according to the terminology used in the Friuli and Veneto regions), are shoes that originated in the nineteenth century from the Friulian peasant tradition, where nothing was thrown away and ingenuity stimulated creativity to reuse what was available. Today’s ultimate example of recycling and reuse according to the recent fashion trend that turns towards sustainability and environmental protection. Friulane, in fact, used fabrics and waste materials for the upper, such as jute coffee sacks, or the fabric from sacks for transporting seeds and grains, and bicycle tires for the sole. It was, thus, a handcrafted unisex shoe, for work or to stay at home. The most elegant version was the velvet model, which women wore on holidays, perhaps embellished with embroidery. And there was also a version for weddings. Tradition has it that women sewed them in winter and in summer they sold them in the markets in Venice; for this reason, they were immediately appreciated by gondoliers for their comfort given that they have to stand up all day. Also, the sole of the Friulane did not scratch the paint of the gondola. Halfway between the shoe and the slipper, Friulane are back in fashion and many brands make edits to the traditional model or interpret them freely according to the colours and materials of the moment, but always keeping the comfortable fit.
It should be noted that the Friulian terms, ‘scarpet’, ‘furlana’ do not indicate a model, but the type of processing used to create these shoes.
Luigi Andriolo of Creazioni Fratta, one of the few companies to still make this shoe according to tradition, explains to italianshoes how to recognise a genuine Friulana: “Needle, thread, and skilful manual work are among the few tools that, as in the past, are still used today to produce the Friulane, which are recognised for these characteristics: the reinforcement of the sewn-only heel, the sewn-only insole, the sole sewn to the midsole and not glued for maximum comfort; in addition, the seam between the midsole and the upper is made by hand with a needle and thread with a T-stitch”. So what is your advice to ascertain if a Friulana is genuine or not? “You have to lightly pull the sole with your thumb” – specifies Luigi Andriolo – “if you see a seam that joins the sole to the upper, you are dealing with a genuine Friulana”.
The seam between the midsole and the upper is made by hand with a needle and thread with a T-stitch
The sole is sewn to the midsole and not glued for maximum comfort
“Genuine” friulane by Creazioni Fratta