Kolhapuri Chappals - Everything You Need To Know.

Kolhapuri Chappals - Everything You Need To Know.

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Over the years, we have seen various types of footwear come into existence. There are classic heels, edgy wedges, simple flats, comfortable flip-flops, gripping sneakers, and more.

While each has its unique history, Kosh-a is happy to bring you a type of sandal from the Indian subcontinent that has stood the test of time since the 12th century.

Kolhapuri chappals, pronounced khol-ha-poo-ree, are popular footwear in India.

We are presenting this beloved type of sandal that has both evolved and stayed classic, despite the presence of a myriad of footwear choices. 

History Of Kolhapuri Chappals



Kolhapuri chappals are from the historic city of Kolhapur, situated near the banks of the Panchganga river and Sahyadri mountains. Handcrafted with leather, Kolhapuri’s usually have open-toed, T-strap designs.

The original Kolhapuri is made from 100% leather. This leather can be from cow, buffalo, or even goat. These handmade leather footwear are then tanned using vegetable dyes, giving it a soft feel free of any allergens.

The traditional Kolhapuris do not have many different color options and can be seen only in shades of tan and deep brown. Similarly, they had three finishes - oil, natural, or polish.

Traditional artisans can take up to six weeks to make a pair of chappals. When maintained well, Kolhapuri chappals will last a lifetime! 

Currently, there are about 5633 units manufacturing Kolhapuri chappals in and around Kolhapur. There are close to 22500 artisans who are contributing to the Kolhapuri chappal industry.

Both men and women work in synergy and have their work divided.

As the male workers focus on cutting, seasoning leather, and fitting, women work on designing the upper belts and sole-stitching.

While we think of them as fashion piece that is part of our wardrobe, these artisans spend weeks crafting these chappals to make them more comfortable, stylish, and durable.  

Why Is Kolhapuri Chappal Famous? 

The beauty of these slippers is in their simplicity. The production does not take months, there is no high-end equipment involved.

Yet, Kolhapuris have a separate global fan base for their craftsmanship that represents their culture and individuality. Kolhapuri has two other varieties, too - Kapashi and Dongari. 

Beyond the craftsmanship, here are reasons why we believe Kolhapuris chappals have stood the test of time.

  • This footwear can pair itself with a casual outfit as well as occasional party wear

  • They come in a wide range of varieties from simple patterns to exquisitely decorated patterns

  • They do not cause any injury to the feet while giving a regal look

  • There are no hard materials, no nails or any other sharp objects used in the manufacturing of these chappals

  • The entire chappal is pounded and hand stitched together with leather 

  • When enhanced with golden cords called "gota,” it can be worn by everyone from kids, girls, boys to men and women. 

Fashion is a constantly changing field. Designers from around the world come up with different styles every season. But Kolhapuri has stood its ground and stayed classic.

However, to keep up with the trend, new-age brands and artisans have started incorporating designs, embroidery, heels, and patterns to make them more versatile. 

Types of Kolhapuri Chappals:

There are several different types of Kolhapuri chappals, each with its own unique characteristics and variations. Here are some of the most popular types:

Basic Kolhapuri Chappals:

These are the most common and traditional type of Kolhapuri chappals. They are usually made of leather and have a simple, flat sole with an open-toe design. The upper part of the chappal is typically adorned with intricate leather braiding and stitching.

Kolhapuri Wedges:

Kolhapuri chappals

These chappals have a wedge heel, providing some elevation to the wearer. They are designed for a more stylish and contemporary look while still retaining the traditional Kolhapuri craftsmanship.

Kolhapuri Sandals:

kolhapuri sandals

Kolhapuri sandals feature multiple straps that cover the front part of the foot. These straps are often decorated with decorative elements like beads, embroidery, or metallic embellishments. They offer a more secure fit compared to basic Kolhapuri chappals.

Kolhapuri Juttis:

kolhapuri juttis

These are a fusion of Kolhapuri chappals and Punjabi juttis. They typically have a closed-toe design with intricate embroidery or embellishments on the upper part. Kolhapuri juttis offer a blend of traditional aesthetics from both regions.

Kolhapuri Boots:

kolhapuri boots

These are a variation of Kolhapuri chappals that extend higher on the ankle or calf, resembling ankle boots. They are a more modern take on traditional Kolhapuri footwear and offer better coverage and protection.

Kolhapuri Slippers:

kolhapuri slippers

These chappals are more minimalistic and have a back strap, making them easier to slip on and off. They are a convenient and comfortable option for daily wear.

Kolhapuri Chikna Chappals:

kolhapuri chikna chappals

"Chikna" means smooth, and these chappals have a sleek and polished appearance. They are often made from high-quality leather and are known for their premium look and feel.

Kolhapuri with Toe Ring:

kolhapuri with toe ring

Some Kolhapuri chappals come with a toe ring attachment, adding a unique and decorative element to the footwear.

These various types of Kolhapuri chappals showcase the versatility and craftsmanship that has evolved over time while preserving the traditional essence of this iconic Indian footwear.

How Kolhapuri Chappals Are Made ?

Kolhapuri chappals are crafted using traditional methods and specific materials. They are traditionally made from buffalo or cowhide, and occasionally sheep or goat hide is used. The process includes the use of natural vegetable dyes sourced from harida seeds and babul bark, ensuring that the dyes used are hypoallergenic and eco-friendly.

The entire production of Kolhapuri chappals is a labor-intensive, handmade process that can only be executed by skilled artisans who have undergone rigorous training, typically lasting at least three years. 

The complexity of the craft lies not only in its intricacy but also in the use of sharp tools. Multiple artisans work together in a coordinated effort, with each specializing in specific tasks such as cutting, beating, stitching, and more. Women also play a crucial role in the process, taking care of decorating and embellishing the chappals with meticulous attention to detail.

Benefits of Kolhapuri Chappals

Kolhapuri chappals offer various benefits due to their unique craftsmanship and natural materials. They are highly recommended for daily wear, as they have the ability to absorb body heat and sweat, helping to regulate the body's temperature effectively. 

Additionally, these chappals promote better blood circulation in the foot area, reducing the risk of blood clotting issues. Known for their remarkable comfort, softness, cost-effectiveness, and durability, transitioning to traditional Kolhapuri chappals is advised, especially for individuals experiencing foot and sole pain.

Why You Should Own a Pair of Kolhapuri Chappals?

why you should own a pair of kolhapuri chappals

Owning a pair of Kolhapuri chappals offers several compelling reasons:

  • Crafted with the finest craftsmanship, reflecting a rich heritage.

  • They are soft, lightweight, comfortable, and exceptionally durable.

  • Suitable for both western and ethnic outfits, making them versatile.

  • Made from genuine leather, ensuring quality and longevity.

  • Dyed using natural colors, contributing to their eco-friendly appeal.

  • Produced in an environmentally sustainable manner.

  • Available in a wide variety of styles, catering to diverse tastes.

  • Exude an elegant and timeless charm.

  • Each pair is truly one of a kind, bearing unique details that reflect the artisan's skill and creativity.

What is so special about Kolhapuri Chappal? 

Kolhapuri Chappals are renowned for their unique and intricate handcrafted designs, exceptional comfort, and durability. They are made using traditional techniques that have been passed down through generations, making them a symbol of Indian craftsmanship and heritage.

What is Kolhapuri Chappal also known as? 

Kolhapuri Chappal is also known by various other names, including Kapashi, Paytaan, Kachkadi, Bakkalnali, and Pukri. These names often indicate the specific village where they were traditionally made.

What is the story of Kolhapuri Chappal? 

According to historic records, Kolhapuri Chappals date back to the 13th century. They were originally known by different names, as mentioned earlier, and were crafted by skilled artisans in various villages around Kolhapur, a city in Maharashtra, India. Over time, these chappals gained popularity for their quality and design, becoming a cherished part of Indian footwear culture.

Why does Kolhapuri Chappal make a sound? 

Kolhapuri Chappals are known for making a distinctive sound when walking due to the leather sole's construction. The sole typically consists of several layers of leather stitched together, creating a unique "clap" or "slap" sound as the layers flex with each step.

What is the meaning of Kolhapuri chappal?

Kolhapuri Chappals are Indian hand-crafted leather slippers that are locally tanned using vegetable dyes. These traditional sandals are known for their distinctive design, featuring an open-toed, T-strap style. Kolhapuri Chappals are named after the city of Kolhapur in Maharashtra, India, where they originated. They are highly regarded for their comfort, durability, and the intricate craftsmanship involved in their making. The leather used in Kolhapuri Chappals is often tanned using natural, eco-friendly processes, making them not only stylish but also eco-conscious footwear. These chappals have become a symbol of Indian heritage and craftsmanship, cherished both for their cultural significance and fashionable appeal.

Kosh-a Reinvents Kolhapuri Chappals For The 21st Century 

In this day and age where old-classic comes with a modern twist, Kosh-a vows to remain grounded to its Indian roots and recreate cruelty-free Kolhapuris that works for the modern women.

What sets our Kolhapuri sandals apart is not just their vibrant colors or contemporary design but also the fact that they are crafted with a conscience. Our sandals are made of faux leather, offering a cruelty-free and vegan alternative to traditional leather Kolhapuri chappals.

By choosing faux leather, we embrace a sustainable and eco-friendly approach, reducing our environmental footprint while still delivering the luxurious look and feel associated with genuine leather. Kosh-a Kolhapuri sandals cater to the values of modern consumers who seek ethical fashion without compromising on style.

Kosh-a range of Kolhapuri sandals for women comes in two distinct forms - flats and wedge sandals. Both have traditional patterns but have been carefully designed to make them more trendy and suitable for the western world.

Our collection starts with five colors this season, including black, maroon, blue, beige, and white.

1. Black Kolhapuri Sandals

Elegance in simplicity, our black Kolhapuri sandals are versatile and perfect for any occasion.

2. Maroon Kolhapuri Sandals

Radiate sophistication with our maroon Kolhapuri sandals, adding a touch of regal charm to your ensemble.

3. Blue Kolhapuri Sandals

Make a bold statement with our blue Kolhapuri sandals, capturing attention wherever you go.

4. Beige Kolhapuri Sandals

Neutral and versatile, beige Kolhapuri sandals complement a wide range of outfits.

5. White Kolhapuri Sandals

Classic and pristine, white Kolhapuri sandals exude timeless grace, suitable for various settings.

Each pair is crafted to ensure comfort. These trendy flat sandals are great for everyday wear and special occasions. 

Our range of flat sandals has something for everyone. For those who appreciate minimalism, we offer the shanti, kalay, chai, and rosa models.

If you're looking for a bit more flair, our Luxe wedges are the perfect option to add a touch of edginess to your wardrobe. All our Kolhapuri sandals have been carefully designed and tested to ensure optimum comfort while being oh-so-chic.

These easy-to-maintain sandals are guaranteed to last a very long time. Made in India, Kosh-a products are all handcrafted and focused on creating the perfect pair for everyone.

High on style, these trendy Kolhapuri sandals are made of faux leather.

Excited to see what we have been upto? Visit https://www.kosh-a.com/shop to see our labor of love!