The Kolhapuri Chappal is a traditional craft practised by the local community (Chamars) of Maharashtra and Karnataka, and loved across India and the world for their one of a kind aesthetics, comfort, and uniqueness. Kolhapuri Chappals are uniquely handcrafted open Indian footwear, made of tanned vegetable leather, using traditional Indian techniques and tools. In addition to being renowned for their pleasing aesthetics, they are also known for decorative woven patterns fixed over the upper bands of these Chappals. All parts of the chappal (meaning footwear in Hindi and Marathi) - sole, uppers and heels are made up of naturally tanned i.e bag tanned vegetable leather. The bag tanned leather is processed using babulbark and myrobalan fruits and its degree of tannage is around 40%. It exhibits shape memory on wetting or soaking with water. All the parts are stitched using bag tanned veg tanned leather thread. The decorative woven pattern fixed over upper bands is made from Head skin or goat skin tanned by bag tanners in the same bag tanning pit.
While stitching leather is a process being practiced for decades, nowadays in some areas of production, 'stuck' process is being followed. In the 'stuck on' process, all operations and their sequence remain the same but' latex' is used to paste the soles and upper bands to the sole. In few variations, there can be toe and instep band. At a few rare places, only stitching with leather thread is followed.
*The above information is sourced from the GOVERNMENT OF INDIA GEOGRAPHICAL INDICATIONS - JOURNAL NO. 109 ,AUGUST 09, 2018 / BSHARVANA 18, SAKA 1940l