The giant yellow shoe form above the entrance is hung up and taken down several times a day. It is a ritual the customers will not do without, as a true characteristic of the shop. It represents the typical form used by a shoemaker, drawing the attention of the shoemakers who always found in this shop everything they needed for their trade. Inside the shop, the ticket numbers flash up on the display with the characteristic sound, but there’s always a worker who will repeat them out loud.
Now and again customers have somewhat unusual requests, given that the shop sells and repairs just about everything, giving new life to a wide range of items. So, advice may be asked for and doubts clarified:
“Look at this belt, all stained... Can it be saved?”
“Do have any of these?”
“You don’t have it in chrome?”
“I bought it in Spain and it wasn’t till I got home that I realised I didn’t like the colour…”
“I make bags. I’m looking for a rivet machine.”
“It was a polish with a distinctive smell, that’s all I can say. I have no idea what it was called...”
A never-ending litany of requests. Behind the long counter, the attendants make every effort to satisfy both the most prosaic and the most unusual needs, always with the same dedication, know-how and good service. Some clients are given tips from the masters, all they need to know about leathers and how to treat them.
Open since 1947, Casa Forra has always belonged to the same family, apart from a period in which it was sold to the employees, before the family bought it back again. It was the place to go to stock up on shoemaking tools and materials: specific scissors, tool handles, leather cutters, machines for making eyelets for laces. As more modern distribution now sees to all this in a more efficient way, the queues of shoemakers of yesteryear have disappeared, but that does not mean that the shop is not sought out by another fervent group of customers. Lovers of and newcomers to working with leather; people with a knack or creativity who like to give free reign to their skill – making, repairing, restoring and giving new useful life to all sorts of objects.
In addition to repairs on leather bags, garments and other items, one can also find in Casa Forra everything that has to do with leathers, dyes, leather tanning kits, shoe heels and soles, slippers, insoles, polishes, shoelaces, buckles, springs, closures and a friendly welcome. And that comes free of charge.
Leathers died in a wide range of colours; paintwork on leather; paintwork on motorcycle garments; restoration of oiled or waxed items; waterproofing of leathers, carpets, sofas