Wellington Boot Factories

Karen Henry China History Manufacture Nokia Rubber boots Short Article Wellington Boots

Shoe and boot making is still important today.

If you're interested in making boots then you'll find this page interesting.

Wellington Boots are made all over the world, including China, Eastern EuropeChinaJapan, and even in England.

Overview of Rubber Boot Making Process

Here is a brief summary of the manufacturing process for Wellington boots.

  • Rubber Tree Plantations are planted
  • Latex from Rubber Tree is extracted into buckets
  • Blocks of dried latex are stacked in open warehouses to dry in the open air
  • Blocks of dried latex are transported to the boot making factory by truck or boat
  • Blocks of dried latex are rolled flat using industrial rolling machines
  • Flattened rubber is cut into handling size by industrial band-saws
  • Pieces of rubber are assembled by hand into boots
  • Injection/Compression moulding is used for soles of boots
  • Assembled rubber boots are vulcanised in large industrial ovens
  • Boots are subjected to quality inspection
  • Finished boots are packed and distributed
  • Boots are sent to retail shops


Did you know, Nokia the mobile communications company started by making rubber Wellington Boots. 

These videos show you how the Wellington boot manufacturing process works. Here's an interesting video showing Nokia wellies from the 1990's (Part 1, Part 2).

Desma Rubber Injection Machines

Here is a video showing how rubber boots being made using Desma rubber injection moulding machines.

It also shows a Desma reaction injection machine for the production of polyurethane boots (3:41). The first part of the video shows a boot designer drawing the design of the boot on a piece of paper. Measurements are made using a carefully designed model of the boot. Pieces of material are cut out to fit the model. Rubber is then passed through rollers to soften and flatten. Strips of rubber are extruded out of the last roller. These are passed through more rollers like a spaghetti making machine until the rubber is thin. Dye is added to colour the rubber.

The other parts of the boot like the heel, inners, and sole are cut. Tread is added to the sole. The heel is glued to the based of the sole.

The factory and conveyor belts show the Wellington boot manufacture process (1:31). The rubber is measured to produce different size boots. The inner lining is glued to the rubber. The boot is placed around a mould and the rubber firmly pressed together using a special tool. The boot is taking shape (2:31).

The heel and sole are glued to the boot. The boots are stacked onto a loading trolley and pushed into a large oven for vulcanisation.

The finished boots are checked by quality control. Each boot is dipped in silicone to protect the rubber from sunlight. The video ends abruptly at 3:22.

Compression moulded rubber boots

One process of manufacturing rubber boots is called "compression moulding". This forces rubber into a mould in the shape of a boot. If you are interested in making your own boots you should research compression moulding or injection moulding. Making injection moulds is very expensive. In large quantities, this option may be the best though in terms of production output.

Rain Boot/Wellington Boot making machine

See this Chinese company (Kou Yi Iron Works Co. Ltdshoe-machinery.com for large-scale production machines that use plastic pellets to make rain boots. These machines weigh 33,000 kgs.

Rubber Boots Making - Viking Askim Penang Part 1

This video shows the production of rubber rain boots at the Viking Askim Penang factory in Malaysia. It shows [0:55] the process of collecting latex from plantations and then processing this latex to create rubber blocks used for rubber boots. The machinery, rollers, and equipment are displayed at various stages in the process. Tests are conducted on the rubber to test its strength, tear resistance, and waterproofness. 

Viking makes some of the finest Wellington boots in the world. 

Ref: Video

Rubber Boots Making - Viking Askim Penang Part 2

The second part of the video shows the making of the components of the rain boots. It shows the various cutting machines (band-saws) used to shape the pieces. The video shows the quality control checks. At [4:00] it shows the soles being moulded.

Ref: Video

Rubber Boots Making - Viking Askim Penang Part 3

The last part of the video serious shows the assembly of the boots. It shows the attachment of the galosh around the rubber of the boot to waterproof the boot. The complete boot is first seen at [2:28]. The curing of the boots (vulcanisation) is shown at [2:50]. The boots are heated and pressurised for 1½hours. An interesting test is shown at [3:38] which shows testing for air leaks. At [4:00] the boots are boxed.

Ref: Video


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