Kolhapuri chappal

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Kolhapuri chappal

Kolhapuri chappals are Indian decorative hand-crafted and braided leather slippers that are locally tanned using vegetable dyes. Kolhapuri Chappals or Kolhapuris as they are commonly referred to are a style of open-toed, T-strap sandal, but also braided leather Mules or braided leather shoe type designs are also common.

History[edit]

The origin of Kolhapuri Chappals dates back to 12th century when the King Bijjala and his prime minister Basavanna encouraged Kolhapuri Chappal production to support local cobblers. According to historic records, Kolhapuris were first worn as early as the 13th century. Previously known as Kapashi, Paytaan, Kachkadi, Bakkalnali, and Pukri, the name indicated the village where they were made.[1]

Shahu I of Kolhapur (and his successor Rajaram III) encouraged Kolhapuri Chappal industry and 29 tanning centres were opened during his rule.[2][3]

GIS tag[edit]

In July 2019 Kolhapuri chappals got a geographical indication tag from the Controller General of Patents, Designs & Trade Marks. These chappals were first made in Kolhapur but artisans from Karnataka are also involved in making Kolhapuri chappals for centuries. Districts such as Kolhapur, Sangli, Satara and Solapur districts of Maharashtra as well as Bagalkot, Belgavi, Dharwad and Bijapur district of Karnataka will only be able to carry the tag of "Kolhapuri chappal".[2][4][5]

Production process & market[edit]

Kolhapuri foot wear in Hyderabad.

It can take up to six weeks to make a pair of Kolhapuris.[6] Originally made from buffalo-hide and thread, they weighed as much as 2.01 kilos because of the thickness of the sole, which made them durable despite the extreme heat and mountainous terrain found in the state of Maharashtra.[7]

For making Kolhapuri Chappal various operations are done step by step like skiving, pattern making and cutting, attachment of upper and bottom heels, stitching, finishing, punching and Trimming, decoration and Polishing, and assembling.[citation needed] Kolhapuri chappals are known to last a lifetime if maintained well and not used in rainy seasons.

In 2020, the total business market was estimated at around 9 crore, with over 10,000 artisans working in Kolhapur. Of the total six lakh pairs produced annually, 30% were exported.[8] The designs have moved from the ethnic to ones with more utilitarian value and materials from primal hard materials to softer and more comfortable to wear materials. The artisans themselves designed ethnic patterns and sold, but today the traders and businessmen with demand for cheap products drive the requirement of minimalist designs.[citation needed]

In recent decades, the business has struggled for survival with market decline, low profits, irregular leather supply, duplicates & fakes, environmental regulations on tanneries, cow slaughter ban, among other issues.[9][10][11][12]

Design & market trends[edit]

In the seventies, with the Hippie movement Kolhapuri chappals became a very popular footwear in the United States. The success faded out and recently came back influencing now models that are called toe ring sandals.[13][14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "History of Kolhapuri Footwear". Indian Mirror. Archived from the original on 2 February 2017. Retrieved 1 February 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Kolhapuris: The famous leather chappal get Geographical Indication tag - Geographical Indication tag". The Economic Times. 19 July 2019. Archived from the original on 21 July 2019. Retrieved 21 July 2019.
  3. ^ Dore, Bhavya (23 June 2019). "Chappal therapy". Bangalore Mirror. Archived from the original on 22 December 2021. Retrieved 22 December 2021.
  4. ^ Patil, Abhijeet (21 June 2019). "Kolhapuri chappal gets GI tag after decade-long wait". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 5 January 2020. Retrieved 25 December 2019.
  5. ^ "Namma Kolhapuri chappal gets GI boost". The New Indian Express. Archived from the original on 25 December 2019. Retrieved 25 December 2019.
  6. ^ "Kolhapuri Chappals - Chappals.co.uk". Archived from the original on 7 July 2016. Retrieved 28 June 2016.
  7. ^ Sangam, Sowmya (29 January 2021). "Cool Kolhapuris popular as ever in Hyderabad". Telangana Today. Archived from the original on 22 December 2021. Retrieved 22 December 2021.
  8. ^ Gayakwad, Rahul (22 June 2020). "Kolhapuri chappal artisans stare at uncertain future". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 22 December 2021. Retrieved 22 December 2021.
  9. ^ Sriram, Jayant (8 July 2017). "The last original Kolhapuris". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 22 December 2021. Retrieved 22 December 2021.
  10. ^ "Fading footprint of Kolhapuri chappals". ETRetail.com. 1 February 2016. Archived from the original on 22 December 2021. Retrieved 22 December 2021.
  11. ^ Gokhale, Pratham; Welankar, Parth (27 April 2019). "Iconic Kolhapuri chappals in a fight for survival". Hindustan Times. Archived from the original on 22 December 2021. Retrieved 22 December 2021.
  12. ^ Nair, Remya (8 April 2019). "Sindoor to papad, lungis to Kolhapuri chappals, it's all made in China today". ThePrint. Archived from the original on 22 December 2021. Retrieved 22 December 2021.
  13. ^ Paitandy, Priyadarshini (13 July 2019). "Can your footwear be vegan too?". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 22 December 2021. Retrieved 22 December 2021.
  14. ^ Kulkarni, Dhaval (27 August 2017). "Kolhapuris to get a French accent". DNA India. Archived from the original on 22 December 2021. Retrieved 22 December 2021.