Straw and Jute Shoes

Natural Fiber

Straw and Jute Shoes

Made and worn by the jyapu farmer caste of the Newari community, this unusual straw footwear can be seen on the feet of the women working in the fields in winter.

The straw shoes are made up of two pieces: an upper part and a sole. While the front and heel sections are made up separately, three plaited bands of straw are stitched together to form the approximately 3 cm thick sole. To weave the upper part, two-ply warp strands of straw are stitched in and looped around the outer edge of the sole. These warp strands are kept in place by straw strands all around for several rounds. The shape of the shoe is maintained by varying the thickness of the straw weft. The shoe is finished with a row of sisal-strands.

The jute shoes are constructed in a similarly to the straw shoes; however, in these the sole is made up of three to four thick, jute-wrapped straw bundles that are wrapped, coiled, and interlaced rather than plaited. The bundles are tapered to form a neat point at the toe.


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