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Kolhapuri Chappals

The Kolhapuri Chappals are world famous for their durability, sturdiness and comfort to wear. They are eco friendly and because of their quality and unique traditional designs, Kolhapuri chappals are still widely accepted and in great demand.

As per the history, the Kolhapuri chappals were worn even in the early 13th century. But it was only during the late 1920 the chappals became known to the outer world. During this period, the chappals that were made by many people in Kolhapur, but the ones that were made by Saudagar family in Kolhapur were famous. These chappals made by them were thin and light weight with a decorative top side. The chappals developed initially had flaps on either side of it, thus they were called as Kanwali which means chappals with ears. They began trading these chappals to Mumbai to one of the prominent footwear retailers there. Soon these chappals got noticed and there was great demand for them. This increase in demand for the Kolhapuri chappals forced the Saudagar family to recruit more cobblers and teach them the method to make these types of chappals.

Making Process of Kolhapuri Chappals

There are templates are used for making a basic design which is then cut on the processed leather. This cut piece is dipped in natural colours or dyes. Then the upper part of the Chappals and the sole are stitched with leather cords. Once they are joined, the outer decorations and designs are made which gives these chappals a trendy look. But people still prefer the traditional design of the chappals. The sole of the chappals is made of two or more leather pieces which are pasted and stitched together to give extra strength.

The design patterns include golden strings that are locally called as gota. Today there are many designs available from simple designs to complicated designs. The traditional designs are known as bakkalnali, pukari and kachkadi.

Design of Kolhapuri Chappals

Though leather foot wears are comfortable to wear they get easily torn due to the daily wear and tear, it is here that the importance of Kolhapuri chappals come to light. Kolhapuri chappals are thin and light weight chappals that are handmade in Kolhapur in the state of Maharashtra. These chappals are made from processed leather. Mainly buffalo, goat or bull hides are used in the manufacturing of these chappals. This leather is processed and grazed. The grazing makes the chappals more sturdy and durable for daily use that it can withstand the wear and tear. As only natural colours are used for dyeing these chappals, it can be worn without fear of allergies. Another important feature of Kolhapuri chappals is that there is no iron nails used in them.

With the increase in demand and popularity many other neighbouring areas like Dogari and Kapashi in Kolhapur have also started the manufacturing of the chappals.  The popularity of this is mainly because of the fact that these are very trendy as well as formal which makes its suitable for any occasion. Moreover they are not expensive as well. The Kolhapuri chappals are still popular because of the intricacy in the craftsmanship and also due to the fact that it goes well with any outfit. It is comfortable, sturdy, trendy as well as cost effective.

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