Embroided Leather Footwear/Chappals of Chamba, Himachal Pradesh

Embroided Leather Footwear/Chappals of Chamba, Himachal Pradesh

The Chamba Chappal is made with sheep, goat leather or calfskin, by traditional families of cobblers. While men make the chappals it is the task of the women to embroider the elaborate felt uppers in base colours of black or maroon, that are then pasted and stitchedon to the leather chappal. The chain stitch embroidery, using silk floss yarn, called Chamba kadhai is done with a hooked needle. The colour palette of the yarn is bright with pinks, greens, reds, blues and yellows. Silver and gold zari yarns and sequences are also added to most uppers. The patterns are usually flowers and leaves. According to the craftspeople they came to the Chamba Valley as part of the dowry of a Kangra princess who married into the royal family of Chamba, thus introducing leather chappals into the valley.

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