HYDERABAD, (APP): Known for its durability, elegant styles, colorful designs, and worldwide popularity, Peshawari Chappal has turned to become a fashion with a popular brand of clothing in the vicinity and suburbs of the city.
The love and admiration for Peshawari chappals all over the country are evident in the fact that every Pakistani man has owned a pair of this traditional footwear.
The admiration for the Chappals is also evident from the fact that a large number of Pakistani men proudly wear the pair of this traditional footwear. The footwear is usually used with shalwar kameez but the sale of the sandals by popular clothing brands have turned them into fashion items which are now by and large used with pants and shirts or t-shirts as well.
These Chappals come in a wide array of designs which are available at various prices in almost all cities of the country. The top-notch quality of these sandals is produced in Charsadda and Peshawar but the markets selling them are across the country.
Hyderabad is home to the largest Peshawari Chappal market in Sindh. The traders prefer to buy consignments of these sandals from Peshawar and Charsadda. “Many traders tried to start local production of Peshawari and other related sandal varieties in Hyderabad but their efforts didn’t result in success,” said Malik Riaz Hussain Aiwan, who has been running a shop for over three decades at Nai Pul, which is a market of this footwear.
“The local craftsman couldn’t create the matching and refine quality which was a trademark of these chappals when they were manufactured in Charsadda and Peshawar,” he told. The chappal traces its origin in Peshawar. The genuine quality sandal is traditionally made from pure leather sewn onto a rubber tire sole. More expensive ones are sewn on pure leather soles.
The replicas of the original Peshawari use rexine or artificial leather to reduce the cost of production as well as the sale price to attract the low-income group buyers. “A low quality of the chappal can be bought between Rs 600 to Rs 700,” tells Amjad, a worker at a shop at the Nai Pul market. “But we tell buyers that such chappals have a life of not more than two to three months.
Consider them as disposable items.” However, the good quality pair of this sandal ranges between Rs 3,500 to Rs 5,000. The copies are made from low-quality rexine or artificial leather. Instead of the new tires, old and worn-out tires are used in the soles of such footwear. Hand stitching is replaced with cheap binding adhesives. Khadim, another shop worker said the pure leather does not harm the skin of feet or bones even if a person walks for long-distance or for a long time.
“The cheaper version of these sandals can be harmful if worn in the long term. But we have to sell these low varieties as well because many buyers can’t afford the original thing,” he added. Imran Khan Awan, who runs a shop at Nai Paul, said that the sandals made in Charsadda are more exquisite than those from Peshawar. Nevertheless, the market share of the latter was far higher than the former which were expensive products, he added.
“According to an estimate more than 80 percent of the sandals which are brought to this Nai Pul market come from Peshawar,” he informed. Awan was apprised that some local traders invested in the manufacturing of these sandals in Hyderabad but the production was not up to the mark.
“Some manufacturing units still exist in the streets behind Nai Pul but the cost of purchase from Peshawar as well as the quality can’t be locally matched,” he said. A worker of his shop showed two different pairs of Naorozi variety of Peshawari sandals and explained the difference in the variety with the local version of the sandal being outshone by the one made in KP.
“There is a negligible difference in the prices of these two pairs of Naorozi but if you look at the quality, they are poles apart,” he argued. These chappals come in various shapes including the narrow, broad, Panjaidar, and T-shapes, slippers, and sandals.
They are made in plain and elegant styles as well as in colorful variety, boasting intricate work in golden and silver threads. The durability of these Chappals depends on how many times it is being sewn with from one to three tiers of stitching on offer.
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