Kolhapur (Mumbai): We all like to slip into a pair of Kolhapuri chappals once in a while. But the Kolhapuri has been given a new design now. The chappals can be folded and put inside the pocket.
The brain behind the innovative design is chappal manufacturer, Bhupal Shete, “I have made a 20 gram chappal that is totally handmade from the stitching to the solework. It's all very delicate.”
The chappals are made with wafer thin strips of animal hide. With a buckle or two and a bit of polish, and the foldable kolhapuri is ready.
Chappal manufacturers came up with this innovative model in a desperate bid to boost dwindling sales.
“Our business suffered because of duplicate chappals,” says Shete.
Add to that is the scarcity of raw material brought about by the collapse of the local tanning industry.
Says chappal maker, Shankar Nagre, “We are facing a raw material shortage and often have no work for 15 days at a stretch.”
These chappal makers hope the foldable kolhapuri will help revive their fortunes.
Says Shete,” Our chappals have a huge demand abroad and the new one could enter the Guinness Books.”
So the humble Kolhapuri chappal seems to have come a long way. And it's time you invested in a good pair, that is, if you have enough pockets.