Leather Kolhapuri Chappals/Sandals of Maharashtra

Craft, Handloom, Art

Leather Kolhapuri Chappals/Sandals of Maharashtra

Arora, Radhika

Kohlapuri chappals are handcrafted leather sandals that get their name from the place of their origin, the district of Kohlapur in the state of Maharashtra. Specific dates and details about the origin of this craft are unknown, but the cobblers of this district have succeeded in creating a globally recognised product. These chappals, which were probably worn only by the inhabitants of Kohlapur, are now worn all over India and abroad. They are especially popular among college- going students and tourists, who buy these chappals - which keep their feet cool during the hot summer months of India - at nominal rates.
Process, Technique and Tools Each piece, complete with intricate patterns, is handcrafted out of leather; even the cords used to stitch the sandals are made of leather and no nails are used in the production. The chappal is made of buffalo hide while fine goat leather is used for the plaited strips that decorate the upper portion of the chappal. The raw leather which is bought from traders is made pukka or hardened by drying and grazing it. After the grazing is done, the large pieces of leather are cut to the size required by using templates. The leather used is either in its natural tan colour or dyed deep brown or deep black maroon, depending on orders and requirements. The sole, which is the first part of the chappal to be made, is cut and then the tw...
This is a preview. To access all the essays on the Global InCH Journal a modest subscription cost is being levied to cover costs of hosting, editing, peer reviewing etc. To subscribe, Click Here.