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THE IN & OUT OF KOLHAPURI CHAPPALS – HISTORY, FACTS, FASHION & MORE


Kolhapuri Chappals were first worn in early 13th century by the Saudagars of Maharasthra and have remained an Indian style staple since then. Even after 700 years, Kolhapuri chappals remain a style statement for those who seek unconventional footwear that gives their casual and ethnic look a traditional spike.If there is one footwear that is as popular in urban India as in the rural area, then Kolhapuri chappals might be the first name that pops into your mind. Despite of the fact that it has been a part of Indian history for more than 700 years, there is nothing wrong in saying that it has become more of a style statement today. You might also have a pair but do you know the history and interesting facts surrounding it? Let us take you to the history, trivia of Kolhapuri Chappal and how you can style them in your daily wear.

The Making of Kolhapuri Chappals

Even though we are in the 21st century and we might sit and live on the technology, we haven’t forgotten our ancestral art, atleast the people of Kolhapur, Maharastra have not. Kolhapuri, Kapashi, Paytaan, Bakkalnali, Pukari and Kachn, no matter which name we use, this handcrafted artform is not only beautiful but eco-friendly because they are made by tanning vegetable dyes.

Most of the family in Kolhapur district is involved in this business. While the men cut the leather, women dip them in water and then stitch the patta, and the kids at home do the weaving. Different parts of the animal skin are used for different things, like head skin for the strap, tail skin for thread and goat skin for the braid. Oil is used to remove the wrinkles on the leather. Each family produces about 35-40 chappals per week, also, the chappals are waterproof.


Originally, the Kohlapuri chappal was made using Buffalo-hide and the sole was enormously thick which made the chappals weigh up to 2 kilos. The reason behind this was that these chappals needed to be water proof and heat resistant and needed to withstand the rugged mountains of Maharashtra. These

Now however Kolhapuris have undergone a major transition to keep up with today’s sensibilities and practicalities. The Kolhapuri Chappals that we get now are light as a feather and have a flat and thin sole. Though they’re still made from good quality leather, the purpose of these chappals has changed over time.



The traditional kohlapuri chappals come in a tan brown color, with intricate thread designs woven onto the flap, with a bright red fur ball placed in the center. These days, Kolhapuris are available in a variety of colours and are exquisitely designed and intricately embellished. A lot of them have intricate zari work, tassles, colourful pom poms, gota and many other embellishments to give them a royal and fashionable look. So much so, that what was considered a rugged footwear for men, is now being sported by women at weddings and other fashionable events
Facts that make Kolhapuri more Interesting

Facts that make Kolhapuri more Interesting
• Inspite of the fact that it is made of leather, these chappals are waterproof.
• It is believed that Madonna also owns a pair of Kolhapuri chappals, which she absolutely loves.
• Not a single iron name is used in the process. It is completely made by stitching the pair which makes them more durable.
• To give them a darker and richer appeal, these chappals are dipped in diesel.
• They are great to wear in summer as they cool the feet and reduce body heat.

Fashion trends that make Kolhapuri Chappals more special

Pair them with jeans or Go Boho
You can never go wrong with Kolhapuri chappals paired with jeans. Add any color top to complete the look. Embrace the Boho style by pairing the footwear with the maxi-skirts. Add boho jewellery to complete the look.

Be ethnic ready
No footwear compliments your ethnic look the way Kolhpuri chappals do. Team them with a nice kurta, silver jewellery and churidaars. Make your Kolhapuri style little hatke with colored kolhapuri chappals.

 

It;s truly a testament to the skilled artisans form Maharasthra that these simple yet versatile slippers have withstood the test of time and are still in vogue even after centuries. Made in pure leather by skilled footwear artisans of Kolhapur, Maharastra, these chappals, both plain and printed, are a must have for urban & chic everyday ensembles.





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