Footwear protects the feet from thorns, sharp stones, slushy mud, sunny sand, uneven surfaces to provide a comfort and luxury for the activities of man (human being) like walking, running, jumping, climbing etc. The heel size is decided as per the trend in the market and popular choice. Durability and ornamentation are some of the aspect, which is looked into from the time of civilizations of man.
The search for some of the ornamental and durable footwear led to the city of Kolhapur located in Maharashtra, India. As the name itself Kolhapuri Chappal originated from Kolhapur, which was especially made for the people of this place. Chappals of hard core for the farmers and fancy chappals for the office bearers in the courts of the king as per their need (of work- rough use) were made. It is believed that the artisans were encouraged in making varieties of chappals during the reign of Shahu Maharaj of Kolhapur. For which artisan’s had tussle with themselves to find the ways in making best and variety of chappals for the king according the artisan, who runs chappal business since many generations.
Chamar community does the hereditary occupation of tanning and leatherwork. Subash Nagar of Kolhapur is one of the main areas, where about 15-20 artisans together make the Kolhapur chappals. Chappals are usually flat with intricate patterns made of the buffalo/ cowhide as the base and fine goat leather for the plaited strips to decorate the upper portion. The cords used to stitch the chappals are usually made of the tail part of the buffalo/ cow leather for all chappals, but nowadays it is only done based on order, instead nylon threads are used. They are traditional chappals with a toe strap for strength, decorated with golden cords and leather braids with varieties of designs.