Craft / July 2019

La Vida Carmina

In the case of Carmina, the Majorcan shoemaker, if you know, you know. And if you don’t, then lend us your ear…

 

All of Carmina's shoes, including these cordovan leather boots, are Goodyear-welted. Photograph by James Munro.

For nearly two millennia, going all the way back to Roman times, viticulture was the central cog of Majorca’s economy. The local wine was praised in print by Pliny the Elder — Mr. “In vino veritas” himself! Sadly, the industry came crashing to an end when, in the early 1900s, the island’s 75,000 acres of vines were devastated by phylloxera. Thirsty Majorcans were forced to seek a new revenue stream. Many turned to leather tanning and shoemaking.

Until the advent of tourism in the 1950s, footwear would serve as Majorca’s core income source. The town of Inca was Majorca’s shoemaking hub, and it was here, in 1866, that Matías Pujadas founded the cordwaining business that would grow to become Carmina. Instrumental in the company’s expansion its the integration, in the early 1900s, of Goodyear welting. After assuming leadership of the family business, Mateo Pujadas identified the potential in this new form of construction and transformed his father’s factory into one of Majorca’s first to offer Goodyear-welted footwear.