Peshawari chappal is one of the most common and largely used footwear in Pakistan since it is considered trendy and durable. People love to don them both formally and informally. I have discussed some of the reasons of its popularity in my previous piece. Here I would like to mention another reason: the vast and diverse varieties of Peshawari Chappal, available for all sorts of parties, functions and festivals. One can easily, if they wish to, pick out different hues and designs appropriate for each separate occasion. Otherwise, a single fancy pair is good enough for many occasions. And contrary to popular belief, Peshawari Chappal has faster changing trends than any other local footwear.
It is generally perceived that every Peshawari chappal which has a Peshawari triangle cut in front and a back strap with a buckle on the side is called Khedi. Actually every Chappal, even with a slight dissimilarity, falls in a particular category and has a different name. Beyond doubt, it is difficult for a layman to distinguish all different styles.
Currently Peshawari chappal has 400-500 designs available in Pakistan. Many of these designs are manufactured in almost all cities of Pakistan, but a few are unique to their regions. For instance, “Titanic”, “F-17 Thunder” and “Mountain Style” are rarely found anywhere but Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtoon Khwa. It is presently Peshawar’s most favored fashion statement of Peshawari Chappals. Likewise, Zari Chappals are native to Multan and Kamra.
Over a hundred varieties of Peshawari Chappal available in Karachi, such as Peshawari style, Quetta style, Balochi Style, Sandal Style, Slipper Style, Fancy Style, Kolapuri Style, Winter Style and the very famous 7610 commonly known as Chheyattar Das. These are all deemed the leading styles of Peshawari Chappals. There is also a variety that differ them from each other in shape which includes Cut Shape, Gol Shape, Cut Gol Shape, Broad shape and Border Wali. Most of them have different designs on the upper such as Crocodile Leather Design, Broad Sole Design, Border Wali, Balar, Cut Work, Punching Pattern, Stitching Pattern, Zari, Cut Dana and so on. Many different colors are available in all of the above mentioned styles but the pioneer colors of Khedi are in the range of blacks and browns. Whether it is light brown, dark brown, dull brown, orange etc all of them are largely sold and eagerly worn by men with all kinds of attire. There are some distinctions according to quality as well which are called Keel Wali, Silai Wali, Single Sole, Double Gear and Triple Gear.
PESHAWARI & QUETTA STYLE:
The shopkeeper of Mardan store located at Nazimabad Market opined that “basically chappals with a small cut on the front and a slim sole are all called Peshawari chappals while the chappals which have a broad cut and wide sole with a heavy look are all Quetta style. Chawwad is the most famous style of Quetta’s Peshawari chappal,” he added.
The styles in Peshawari chappal also has various sub styles which are known as Chakwali, Cut Chana, Chorus Mun, Charsadda Cut (also known as Charsadwal), Pindiwal Style, 6 Patti Wali, Chakwati Style, and Goati Style. Charsadda cut is very popular among the politicians due to its sober outlook.
According to one chappal maker, “I have made a pair of them for the MNA Haider Abbas Rizvi, just a few days before your visit. Elites of our society including the people in the assembly come to buy these chappals.”
In addition to these styles, there is a latest style that has been launched here recently known as 7610 i.e. generally called Chheyattar Das in lingua franca. This style actually began from Peshawar and the artisans of Peshawar gave the interesting name to this chappal. The reason behind this very unusual name is that the designers’ muse has the inspiration from the popular items which they want to copy such as Nokia cell phone model 7610 on which the name of this chappal has been given. Previously, they used to name the Chappals on places like Mardan style etc, but the trend is shifting nowadays. They are now introducing unusual names like Mountain style, F-17 thunder etc to grab the customers’ fancy.
It should not be assumed that a 7610 Chappal actually resembles the Nokia cell phone model. Basically, it is a normal khedi style whose pieces are crosswise abutted on the sole; the mere difference is that it has a slight curve on the upper pieces of leather.
Crocodile Leather is also one of the well liked designs available in Peshawari styles. It is exactly like a khedi with a cut shape on the front but the differentiation is merely of the leather and the design made on the leather. The upper resembles the crocodile skin and has the exact hard embossed effect of crocodile’s hide. It was named crocodile leather design due to the same designing pattern of crocodile’s skin.
There is another category of chappals that are known as Balochi chappals. At present, these chappals are the latest trend favored by youth. By and large, these are fervently worn with jeans although some of the boys also like to wear them with Shalwar Qameez as well. The Balochi style is made with a wide sole and so has a broad and masculine look. Balochi Khedi and Balar are the famous styles of Balochi chappals.
Balochi khedi is similar to the original khedi but made with a different animal pelt while the Balar is a little different from the regular style of Peshawari chappals. This sandal is made with one leather piece rather than the two that are diagonally sewn on the sole. It resembles a typical pair of sandals frequently available at men shops. Then there are a few more designs such as the one having a stitching pattern on the upper and the one that has a cutting pattern on the borders of the chappal.
Balochi Chappals are as comfortable and durable as the regular Peshawari chappal is but the distinctive quality of this style is that they are made with washable leather. Thus it can be used roughly on a regular basis without any hesitation of shoe and feet damage as it is a broad shape chappal and covers complete the foot.
Now they have a line of decorative sandals that can be categorized as Fancy Style Peshawari chappals. As I have mentioned in the first article, nowadays, people are really fond of Peshawari Chappals to specially wear them on wedding functions. An interesting fact that I came to know about during my research is that the vogue of matching footwear is not restricted to women only. Today, men also have the tendency to buy footwear that goes with their attire. Almost all of the storekeepers of Peshawari chappals revealed this information that boys and men all come to buy matching pair of fancy Chappals according to the color of their Sherwani or Kurta. For instance, maroon pair goes with a maroon sherwani, a golden one goes with a golden sherwani. It has completely replaced the fashion of putting on Khussa with sherwani on the wedding day. These decorative Chappals, though quite expensive, sell like hot cakes during wedding seasons.
These chappals are fully decorated with unique colorful designs of Zari, Cut Dana, Tilla, Dhaga etc. Not only the uppers but the soles are also decorated with different designs. They are available in a number of colors but golden, silver, copper and multi-colored ones are top sellers. Their prices vary according to design, the upper work and quality. But generally, its prices begin from 2000 and goes beyond 5000.
The pioneer of these decorated Peshawari chappals was actually Punjab. Initially, fancy chappals began manufacturing from Mianwali and later it was extended to Multan, Chakwal, Bahawalpur and Faisalabad. Ever since then, Punjab is the hub of producing the best decorated Peshawari chappals, from where it is being sold all over Pakistan. This is the reason why these fancy chappals are named Bahawalpur upper, Faisalabad Upper, Mianwali chappal (which is the oldest design of Zari chappal) etc. An important fact here is that this artistic work on the chappals is being done by women at homes unlike the other alternations of Peshawari chappals made by male laborers.
After the popularity of Zari sandals, the skilled artisans brought a sub division of fancy chappals which are famed as Kolapuri style. It is basically the same Kolapuri chappal which is more like a slipper that has a separate thumb hole while the rest of the fingers remain open. These fancy kolapuri chappals also have colorful arty work on the upper. These types of slippers are mostly bought to put on with matching Kurtas that are very “in” these days.
CASUAL STYLE SLIPPERS & SANDALS:
The casual line of chappals offered by Peshawari Chappal-makers is mostly worn in daily use. The look of these chappals is same as the ones available at any branded store. The best qualities of these open chappals are that they are far more durable and inexpensive. A regular slipper of a branded name starts from PKR 1000 at least while the Peshawari slippers can be easily afforded by a layman with just PKR 300. Furthermore, these are handmade, prepared with pure leather and thus free from all chemicals which add to its features and make it much more comfortable. The casual wear also has a sandal style which is normally worn in the routine family gatherings or mostly seen in the government offices. This casual variety is available in black and varied shades of brown.
EXCLUSIVE STYLES FOR WINTERS & AGED MEN:
The manufacturers of Peshawari chappal are not much behind branded footwear stores with respect to seasonal varieties. These days, they are offering a new range of winter variety just like any brand bringing out “exclusive” varieties. Unlike the summer variety, winter Peshawari Chappals have no opening on the front. Thus the feet of the wearer remains covered, warm and free from dust.
Additionally, they also offer a Chappal solely for the aged or elderly people. It has a sober, elegant and decent outlook with a very small cut at the front. It is easy to wear socks with this type of footwear which prevent feet from drying and cracking. This clearly depicts that the artisans do take care of their consumers in the same way the reputed brands do. It is amazing that these laborers are catering to a wide target market within Pakistan as well as abroad without even studying marketing tactics. They are surely unlike those marketing officers who get a handsome salary to promote their product, to launch a new product after profound researches, yet they are still able to meet the desires and demands of their users and selling their products without any advertising strategies.
Besides the above mentioned designs, there is also a distinction of shapes in these chappals. One of them has a cut in the front and its sole is also straight at the front (no matter the size of cut). The one having a round shape upper and a round shape sole is known as Gol shape. In the same way, the combination of both shapes is called as Cut Gol shape meaning that the upper is in the cut shape whereas the sole remains in round form.
Quality of a Chappal also matters a lot to the buyers, so these artisans have five major separate variations of quality as well. The first in quality is the keel wali in which a pair of chappal is made by means of nails, thus it’s on the lowest level of durability. The second one is called Silai wali whose upper and bottom are abut by sewing which makes it a little more durable than the first one. The one made up of single sole is known as Single sole while the chappal sewn with double sole is called Double gear. Likewise, when a Chappal of double sole is sewn thrice, making it a very well sewn and the most durable among all types, then it would be called as Tripple gear.
Peshawari chappals have been progressing in styles and the skillful artistic minds of artisans are still evolving new alternations in designs.
The different colours, designs and material have changed the habits of men such that now they search for Chappals that match their attire.
Around 400-500 designs of Peshawari Chappals are available in Pakistan. Some are manufactured in almost all cities, and some are unique to their respective regions.
The trend of naming Chappals on places is changing; now the names are diverse, ranging from an aircraft’s name to a mobile phone one.
Subsidiaries of Peshawari Chappal like Balochi Chappal, Fancy Chappal, Casual Style and seasonal varieties are being made nowadays.
The types of Peshawari Chappal differ from each other mainly on the basis of the styles of upper and sole.
Artisans offer 5 types of qualities in Peshawari Chappals, the major criteria being their durability.
P.S. All the pictures above are self-taken.