Closing is a highly skilled operation and requires years of experience. The term is used for the sewing together of the various pattern pieces to create and close the shoe upper. Eyelet holes and rivets and the decorative punch holes creating distinctive brogue patterns are added here, leather thickness is skived and edges stained, seared or folded.
Stitching one row at a time, closing is a precise and difficult operation, which not only forms the shoe upper but also gives the shoe its distinctive face. Before lasting, a closed upper will hang in a dedicated room for several days to mull in high humidity, absorbing moisture and making the leather less prone to splitting or cracking when stretched and shaped.