Kolhapur stands for its food, Goddess Mahalaxmi’s Temple and the Kolhapuri Chappal, which happens to be famous globally. Owning a pair of these, would make you feel closely related to Maharashtra. The pair of Kolhapuri Chappals is a hand crafted foot-wear which was originated from Kolhapur and is made out of Buffalo-hide and is dyed with vegetable-extract. The pair usually takes around 6 months to be made perfectly and it can last for a life-time if not worn in rainy season.
The Kolhapuri Chappal has numerous names like ‘Paytaan’, ‘Pukari’, ‘Kapashi’, ‘Bakkalnali’ and ‘Kachkadi’ These are the names of some different places where the Kolhapuri Chappal craftsmen families belong to. These families have been working in this business post 13th century and have also modernized in the method of craftsmanship too.
This hand made slipper has a basic design which consists of a spoke, two straps, a heel and some decorative element. The some is cut out from the Buffalo hide by a scissor dimensionally. The heel is made according to the requirement of the design. The heel is then, separately attached to the sole and is fixed by nailing. The sole is covered by another piece of leather which is glued to the base sole. After gluing, the sole is hammered to make sure that the adhesive has worked it’s way into it. The decorative part is taken care by hand carving. Certain tools which are designed to create particular niches.
Though they look simple, but are efficient to create eye catchy patterns on the slipper. After that, the grip for the slipper is made by attaching two different straps. A T-strap and a toe-strap is attached to the sole by flying them out and also hammering them. Now we have almost all the parts attached and glued to the slipper, time for some finishing folks! Since the leather is hand cut, glued and is hammered, it would at least need some finishing. This is done by holding the slipper onto a machine operated wheel and After that, some wax is also poured into the sides of the sole to complete this process.The slipper can weigh up to 2 kilograms since it can be modified and has various designs in it.
Wearing a Kolhapuri Chappal is a privilege for one since it’s an invention of the medieval era. The slipper happens to be a link between the commoners and royals in that period. The beautiful craftsmanship, the hard-work and the perfect final product states a lot about this foot-wear.
The design of this slipper is planned in such a way that it helps the body of a person to reduce the heat present in . As this happens , there can a noticeable change in the colour of the sole of the slipper . So this can assure one that the heat in the body is being thrown out.
In today’s market, we can see a lot of handcrafted chappals which are an impersonification of the basic design of a Kolhapuri Chhappal. Street markets have had a bang-on sale of the modernized versions of the Kolhapuri Chhappals. Whilst there are also those , who still follow the old method and want to continue with the tradition of it. Being a true craftsman is all about originality and continuing the traditions ( Buy original and traditional Kolhapuri chappals at www.bestofplace.com ). And along with that the needs of the today’s generations are changing and so the artisan families have also introduced new designs to fulfill the new generation’s expectation. So it is a perfect blend of Tradition and Style where men and women both find comfort and style in Kolhapuri Chappals.
Since the chhappals have a basic design, they can be worn on any occasion. Either it can be a wedding, a normal day at work or even in an outing for that matters. The design being durable and basic, it probably matches every outfit be it a simple Cotton Saree or an elaborate Paithani Silk Saree.
The price, the joy, the royal and the style that footwear can make you feel, is only the Kolhapuri Chhappal.