Peshawari Chappal, a traditional footwear of Pakhtoons society, have stared attracting people ahead of Eidul fitre’s celebrations in Khyber Pakthunkhwa and Fata and shopkeepers viz a viz shoemakers are doing roaring business these days and working till late night to meet buyers’ demands.
As only few days left in Eidul Fitre, people have started thronging ancient Jhangirpura bazaar, main hub of Peshawari Chappal to select decent, shiny and unique designed pair of shoes for themselves and family members.
Known as city of artisans, Peshawar’s Jahangirpura Bazaar located near historic Qissa Khwani Bazaar was is a center of skilled cobblers, who are making Peshawari Chappal since long and earning valuable foreign exchange for the country.
The people from adjoining districts of Khyber Pakthunkhwa and Fata including Nowshera, Charsadda, Mardan, Kohat, Khyber Agency and Mohmand Agency were seen in large number to buy Peshawari Chappal for eid festival.
“I have come from Nowshera to buy Peshawari Chappal for myself and brothers in connection with Eid celebrations,” Khurshid Alam, a buyer told APP at Jhangirpura.
“Peshawari Chappal is my preferred choice of Eid’s celebrations because of its unique designs, durability and famousness,” he said, adding it has made deep inroads into Pakthoons culture and is being liked by all segment of the society due to varieties of its designs, hardness and durability. However, he said its prices for this Eid is relatively higher than last year that needed to be checked by the concerned officials.
“Last year, I purchased it on Rs3000 and the same handmade design is now being sold at Rs5000 for this Eid in the local market,” he said, adding iIf Govt can regulate and select prices of daily use commodities than why not for Peshawari Chappal.
It is relatively costly than rest of the shoes as its prices is ranging from Rs5,000 to Rs10,000 while others could easily be afforded by common man.
As discussed above, Jahangirpura is like a school where thousands of artisans started working as amateurs and later became masters of chappal-making trade.
One such artisan is Khan who has been in this hard business for past 35 years and is proud of adhering to his forefathers’ profession.
“I had over 35 years long expertise’s in making of Peshawari Chappal and has inherited it from my father,” he said, adding this chappal had achieved worldwide fame as this footwear is exported to South Africa, United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, UEA, Europe, Afghanistan and Russia besides liked in Sindh, Balcohistan, AJK, Punjab and Gilgit Baltistan.
He said a single pair passes through six stages of skilled hands to become a finished product,” adding in the first step the sole of the chappal was made flattened with rubber piece whereas In the second stage, a piece of leather is sewn and then fitting of piece with the sole is done in the fourth stage.
The wooden last is fifth stage in which the pair is stuffed with a wooden piece to stretch and fix all the nails, leather and thread placed together to get the shoe adjusted. In the sixth stage, finishing touches are given to a piece which includes polishing and varnishing to improve the look of the pair while the artisan also paints its border with a selected chemical for a long lasting shine.
“We are now working in double shifts and the number of skilled workers was also increased to meet the placed orders for Eid,” he said.
Peshawari Chappal is also being liked in festive parties like Eid, engagements and wedding ceremonies in Khyber Pakthunkhwa and Fata along with Shalwar Qameez.
“This chappal is no longer confined to any specific culture or age group and is being loved by all in order to give more colour to festivity of Eid, and currently we cannot accept more orders due to shortage of time, power load shedding and above all fasting,” Khan said.
It always gives added colour to traditional look on Shalwar Qameez and a trendy appearance when worn with jeans.
“I had visited Peshawar last Wednesday to buy Peshawari Chappal for my brothers who are living in UAE as they have especially asked for it for this Eid,” Tariq Khan, a resident of Nowshera told APP while busy in shopping in Jhangirpura.
“Finally, I had purchased plain black and green designs of this famous chappal as demanded by my brothers,” he said, adding its other designs both for girls and boys with different prints embellished with brooches and stones are giving a different look and individual style attracting a large number of buyers,” he remarked.
The popularity of Peshawari Chappal, especially with the young has signified that the footwear was still a hot choice in market with its innovative use by people especially by young generation during festive occasions.