Leather Embroidered Mojari/Footware of Rajasthan

Leather Embroidered Mojari/Footware of Rajasthan


Mojris (or jootis or pagarkhiyas) is foot wear made in Rajasthan from locally cured leather. They are very well-known for the quality of workmanship and the variety and richness of design. They are entirely hand-crafted and are measured with the fingers. The process followed is for different layers of the sole to be stuck with home-made glue. Once this is dry, the sole is stitched with cotton or leather thread. The upper portion is then embroidered by women who are very skilled at this. Plain or coloured piping is stitched to the edge of the inside portion of the upper form after the leather is dipped in water to make it soft. At every stage the leather is hammered to make the stitching and the pasting firm. When the upper form has been attached to the sole it is put on a wooden last to give it a final shape; local dyes are sometimes sprayed on the upper in shades of red, green, and dark pink. Simple tools like a needle, a knife, a wooden block, and a hammer, are used. There is a thin strip of leather attached to the front edge of the sole, curling around the toe and joining the upper form, which protects the toe. On the back portion, a strip of leather stands out by an inch to enable the wearer to pull on the jooti. The stitching on the sole is always done with several strands of cotton thread. The simplest form of the jooti has a plain leather upper form, stitched to a plain sole. There is no difference between the right and the left foot and the jooti takes the shape of the wearer's foot. The ornamentation is with silk or metal embroidery or beads and the designs are done in appliqué with thin leather pieces of different colours. This work is called as kashidakari. Jootis are also dyed in various colours and have brass eyelets adorning them. The soles have designs or patterns stitched with thread or appliquéd with small leather pieces of different shapes. Jaipur is the main centre for this craft and the mojris are made so daintily that they can be rolled into a little ball. The designs are delicate and the colours are subtle. The embroidery in Jodhpur has patterns which has bolder shades and interesting contrasts. Peshawari is the most common type of jooti: this is a heavy variety used by both men and women. A lighter Peshawari jooti without embroidery is made for children. Nagra jootis are made and sold in towns. They are the lighter variety and consist of one or two layers of leather for the sole and are embroidered with Mughal motifs in gold (and brightly coloured) threads.

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