Behind the Scenes: Making of a pair of Kolhapuri Sandals – Chappers

You've got to hand it to these designers and craftsmen for the passion, diligence, and care they bring to the creativity, art, and skill of handcrafting this trendy line of Chappers footwear (and foot-care) for your world. Come, discover how, why, and where they do what they do for you with this step-by-step tour into the world of Chappers.

We have a great deal of respect for the people that make Engrave what it is, i.e., an invaluable resource and a thriving marketplace for makers of handmade arts and crafts from all over India. That’s why, it always gives us great pleasure to introduce them to you in more ways than one; one of these being this intimate look at how our makers do what they do by going behind the scenes. Welcome to Behind The Scenes. Welcome to the makers’ world.

Inside the Chappers workshop – the making of a pair of Kolhapuri sandals.

You’ve got to hand it to these designers and craftsmen for the passion, diligence, and care they bring to the creativity, art, and skill of handcrafting this trendy line of Chappers footwear (and foot-care) for your world. Come, discover how, why, and where they do what they do for you with this step-by-step tour into the world of Chappers.

Some leather soles which have just been cut and pasted. Sole cutting requires constant sharpening and waxing of tools.

Dark brown leather sheet being marked for cutting. The tools are selected on the basis of the gauge (thickness of the leather used)

The recycled rubber insole is cut and is then finished with the help of a grinding stone.


The leather is cut and is treated with a special leather solution for stiffening. Stiffening protects the leather from creasing.

A belt being made at the Chappers workshop.

The upper layer of leather is pasted with the insole and kept for drying.


The insole being hammered for strengthening the glue bond.

The base of the pair of Chappers sandals in the making.

Stitching involves selecting color shades of threads, size of the needles and the thickness of threads. The needle and thread size depend on the gauge (thickness) of the leather being used.


The belt of the sandal is finished with a tool called ‘Rapi’. Its this tool that gives the belt its classic edge.

The thumb of this pair has a golden braid to it. The golden braid is made out of intertwined metal-coated foam sheets.

This pair has a special size requirement and thus the sole is being cut separately. The sole leather is first marked and then precisely cut with a bigger ‘Rapi’.


The sole being cut.

The belt and thumb being attached to the body of the Chappers sandal.

The rough edges are cut and the sole is attached to the body of the Chappers sandal. The sole has to be finished later, which again involves grinding the pair on the stone. This process gives the Chappers sandal its smooth side edges.


A heel being attached to the sole. An extra-strong poly-urethane adhesive is used to give the heel that extra-durability. The folks at Chappers take great pride in claiming that their heels won’t break..! And we trust them.

All the tools required to make a fine pair of Chappers sandals.

Chappers pays its karigars two times the usual wage. It’s just one of the reasons why Prakash is so happy making Chappers sandals for your feet..!


And the pair looks like this..! Get yourself a pair of Chappers sandals here: http://engrave.in/chappers.

Avinash Subramaniam

Avinash has been an advertising writer, fiction writer, poetry writer, freelance writer and serial wronger. Other roles he has been in include those of an editor, brand builder, and teacher. His interests include advertising, scrabble, body building, chess, cinema, making money, reading, internet culture, cricket, photography. To hear him air his thoughts, follow him on Twitter @armchairexpert.

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