The piece of June is a moulding machine for Kiowa moccasins. It was manufactured in the 1970s by the Italian firm Torielli (established in 1924 in Vigevano, Italy) and distributed in Inca (Majorca) and Ciutadella (Minorca) by Curtidos Fluxa (1963-2000).
The Kiowa moccasins were invented in the United States of America in the early 20th century, inspired by the footwear of Native Americans (in fact, they were named after the Kiowa tribe). This kind of shoes fit the feet like a glove, which makes them very flexible and comfortable. The manufacturing process requires a high degree of specialisation and is extremely laborious. They consist of one cut of leather stitched together by hand with a vamp (upper part) and two linings stitched together by machine.
The Torielli RSM/80 model is power operated and features four metallic shoe-shaped moulds that can mould up to two pairs of Kiowa moccasins at once. The moulds feature many tiny holes that help transfer the heat, which is essential to stretch the cut of leather. Once the cut has been stretched enough, the next step is to assemble the sole. The upper part of the machine features a control panel to activate the moulds and regulate pressure.
This machine was used at different plants in Inca and the Raiguer region that produced this kind of shoes (Calçats Amer, Calçats Belard, Calçats Rimaica or Yanko). The Kiowa moccasins were very popular in the United States and in the leading European countries in the early 20th century. However, they didn’t reach Majorca until the 1960s, where they arrived thanks to the Yanko firm (Inca, 1961). They soon became a sales hit because they were very easy to put on – they had no laces – and they were very comfortable to wear, in a time where trainers and sneakers were yet to be invented.