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The History of Die Cutting

Simply put, die cutting is a method of creating flat parts from roll and sheet materials but the process has a long and interesting history. Die cutting was created in the mid 1800’s as a way to cut leather for the shoe industry more efficiently. At the time the holes in the leather were punched by hand, which made making shoes very labor intensive. The process took substantially longer, and it also yielded many inconsistencies between shoes. The introduction of die cutting allowed cobblers to create sole patterns that could be reliably replicated through the die cutting process. The mass production of soles, in essences, gave birth to standardized sizes for the masses.

The invention of die cutting helped a specific industry, but through the years more and more applications were found for this process. It wasn't until the early 1900's when a lot of innovations were made. The early machines were run on a belt-system, but as technology advanced so did how the systems ran. One of the most important additions to the early 1900's machine was a swing-arm clicker press. This addition allowed for different shapes and sizes to be cut, while using different dies. For cobblers, this addition meant that different parts of shoes could now be made. Having a new attachment that could produce more products is great for the company and the consumer. The mass production of shoes drastically reduces the cost of purchasing them.

As we step into the 21st century, die cutting machines are infinitely more versatile and complex. As technology advances so have die cutting machines. The ability of the machines goes beyond anything the first cobblers could have ever imagined. At Colvin Friedman, we are proud to be part of this long history of innovations. We continually try to push the limits on what is possible in this field, and as a result we have been in business since 1949. Give us a call today and see how we can bring your product to life.

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