Leather is one of the earliest materials, durable and versatile, used for every purpose from storage of food to protection from the elements and in the making of footwear too. Leather, the material that on one hand, adorned the feet of kings, on the other hand, forced its workers outside the boundaries of their cities and tagged them as “untouchables”. But this did not discourage the leather craftsmen from making sturdy shoes not just for the common man, but also the most elegant footwear for the royalty.
With the progression of time over the course of centuries, a rich variety of footwear was created in India, in many different shapes and forms, using a collection of different materials and decorations. Perhaps, huge diversity of climatic conditions of the country, ethnic and cultural traditions, rituals and conventions, and introduction to the outside world was a motivation in bringing about this abundance of styles.
Among these, the Punjabi Jutti is one of the styles of footwear that has constantly emerged due to numerous influences from near and far. Juttis come in many contrast according to regional tradition, period and shoemaker and befit as per the environment and materials. One of the unique features of Punjabi Jutti is that they have no left and right distinction, and are mostly flat-soled.
In Northern India, especially in Punjab, one can commonly see the curled capsized toe of this footwear, and the beautiful fancy embroidery. Earlier the Punjabi Juttis were embroidered with pure gold and silver wires covering the entire surface of the pair. The Punjabi Jutti has evolved in a heap of styles, yet the fundamentals of its look and technique remain the same even today.
While men take care of the cutting, shaping and assembling of the shoe, the women work beautiful embroideries on the top, back and sometimes even instep of the Jutti. Embroidering the Juttis involves the use of stencils, for cutting and pursuing designs on to the leather parts of the Jutti. They range from simple cut-out shapes to be filled with simple embroidery, to sophisticated designs. These are pasted on the shoe uppers, backs and insoles and given away to the women who then embroider these with gold and silver tilla thread.
Fazilka’s Tilla Juttis are the most desired due to their detailing of design, intricate embroidery and precise finishing. The most decorated ones stand apart as they have every inch covered with the tilla thread and appear as if made of solid gold or silver. Patiala being the biggest market for all types of Juttis with broad variety of designs, keeps it at par with the trends in time. It is either made up using materials like velvet or is machine embroided. Impressive “dabka” (fine metal wires) work is also used in most Juttis. With the passage of time, many different materials, colors and styles have been produced.
Although these unique styles are popular among trend conscious youngsters, it is yet the favorite among men and women from middle to old ages. Beaded and threaded, embroidered and embellished, in all the colors, there is a beautifully crafted Jutti out there at StepnStyle for everyone including our very stylish Indian men. For well crafted, designer, genuine leather and neat embroidery men Punjabi jutti, please click here.